For weeks, Les Miles, Bret Bielema, Willie Fritz, Jeff Monken and others have been mentioned as potential candidates, and while all three — and most of the others — make sense, what if new athletics director Jeff Long can't get — or doesn't want — those coaches? Who might he target?
Here are a few under-the-radar candidates to chew on:
Current Position: Head Coach – Kennesaw State
I first mentioned Bohannon as a potential candidate in September:
First, if Jeff Long goes the FCS route, North Dakota State's Chris Klieman is the crème de la crème. However, Klieman can do better, and, unless he's desperate for a Power Five job (unlikely) would be foolish to downgrade from Fargo to Lawrence.
Second, if Jeff Long can't get Willie Fritz (or Monken), might he consider another triple-option coach like Brian Bohannon? The former Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech assistant literally built the Kennesaw State program and led them to a 12-win season and the FCS quarterfinals in 2017.
It'd be a bold hire and one met with "Who the hell is Brian Bohannon?" reactions from 99 percent of Kansas fans.
Current Position: Head Coach – Temple
Geoff Collins' record isn't eye-popping in two seasons since replacing Matt Rhule — 12-10, including 8-5 in the AAC — but the 47-year-old former SEC defensive coordinator has done a good job keeping the Owls relevant.
Kansas might be a fair offer right now. It won't be a fair offer if Temple turns a corner and flirts with a 10-win season. If that happens, most Power Five programs will be calling him. Could Long jump early?
He's never coached west of the Mississippi but does have extensive recruiting experience in the southeast, a region in which the Jayhawks have found success lately.
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator – Oregon
Jim Leavitt's name has been mentioned by some pundits, but he's not mentioned among the top options.
His South Florida tenure ended with a messy divorce that included player mistreatment allegations and a contract dispute, but, after four years in the NFL, has rebuilt his image and is a highly regarded coordinator.
Leavitt was tapped as Bill Snyder's successor at Kansas State before Snyder vetoed it.