Kentucky's hiring of Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops on Tuesday could be relevant to Tennessee for two reasons.
For one, it leaves Cincinnati coach Butch Jones on the market. Jones, 22-14 in his third season with the Bearcats, will finish his regular season Saturday and could be part of a second round of coaches that Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart talks to next week.
The other interesting tidbit is this: Stoops was hired by the Wildcats only about 24 hours after Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher adamantly denied that Stoops had interviewed for the position.
His evasiveness was understandable — he's trying to put together a recruiting class, after all — but it was also further evidence to take Fisher's loudly proclaimed commitment to FSU with a grain of salt.
** Meanwhile, in what has to be the craziest rumor of the college coaching silly season, a tweet from popular blogger "Sports by Brooks" reported that Arkansas was pursuing LSU coach Les Miles with a five-year, $27.5-million offer to make him the richest coach in the country.
LSU had no comment, although most dismissed the report as either impossible or a search for leverage by Miles. Although they aren't the only big jobs open in the country, the Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee vacancies are the most likely to have overlapping candidates.
**Two candidates with Auburn ties — former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and current Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn — have attracted plenty of buzz in the Tigers' search for a new coach. At first glance, neither coach appears to be on Tennessee's top tier of candidates.