No school is immune to the yearly swirl of rumors surrounding college football head coaching jobs. Being at a non-BCS school like Houston that is having some measure of success only makes things worse.
Last year, Cougar head coach Kevin Sumlin was rumored to be a finalist for a number of jobs, including the openings at Kansas and Tennessee. But when the dust settled, Sumlin came back to the Cougars.
With BCS programs like Minnesota and Colorado having already fired their coaches, Sumlin's name is already popping up again. Sources are telling ESPN radio in Minnesota that Sumlin is "definitely in the mix" for that job, and that Colorado "will be calling" on him, as well. The Golden Gophers, per the same report, are prepared to pay as much as an 8 year/$21 million contract for their new head coach. Colorado, for their part, is sincerely playing down how much they will be able to pay their next coach.
Between the two, Minnesota seems like the more likely threat, given that they could better than double Sumlin's current salary, and given his history with the Big Ten - he played collegiately at Purdue, and was an assistant at Minnesota for five years in the '90s.
In my gut, I don't see Sumlin leaving for either of these jobs. When you hear Sumlin talk about things like improving attendance and facilities, you can't help but get the impression that he wants to be part of something special. He has that chance at Houston. Given the huge recruiting base that UH sits in, this staff's ability to recruit it, and even the way that the fans have gotten behind this team - selling out every game so far this year - there's really nothing preventing the Cougars from becoming BCS busters sooner than later. Would Sumlin trade that in for the opportunity to coach a BCS bottom-feeder like Minnesota or Colorado? Maybe, but I don't see it.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Sumlin can't be torn away. If, say, Bob Stoops decides to try his hand at the NFL, and the Sooners come calling on their former offensive coordinator, Sumlin's a goner. But until a real program puts Sumlin in their sights, I think we can all relax.