Jeff Brohm is loved at Purdue, has a $3.8 million annual salary that ranks 27th in the country, works in a gorgeous new football facility and is creating a top-25 recruiting class for 2019.
There are a lot of great reasons for Brohm to stay at Purdue. Still, the Louisville lure is obvious and it seems like — from 10,000 feet — there's not a non-zero-percent chance he might leave for his hometown and alma mater.
If Brohm does leave for Louisville, who might Purdue target? Let's get ahead of ourselves and make nine guesses:
Current Position: Head Coach – Toledo
Candle reportedly interviewed for the UCF job last December before signing a six-year extension at Toledo. The 39-year-old Ohio native hasn't coached outside of his home state, spending the first six years of his career at Mount Union (the last two, 2007-08, as offensive coordinator) and last eight at Toledo, but could be a nice fit at nearby Purdue.
Current Position: Head Coach – UCF
UCF is a really, really good job right now. Another strong year or two and Heupel will probably on the short list of several high-end programs. However, the AAC is not the Big Ten, his salary isn't half of Brohm's and just four years after being fired as Oklahoma offensive coordinator, he might wanna take a shot knowing how quickly things can change.
Current Position: Head Coach – Temple
Collins seems destined for an SEC or ACC job because of his southeastern ties — with the exception of one year at Fordham (1996), he spent his entire career in the region before taking Temple job two years ago. However, the Purdue job might be better than anything that'll open in the southeast in the next couple years.
Current Position: Head Coach – Cincinnati
Luke Fickell's coaching stock has skyrocketed over the last year. The 45-year-old former Ohio State player and longtime Buckeyes' assistant (and interim head coach in 2011) is recruiting like a champion and, just two years after Tommy Tuberville left the Bearcats in a mess, has his program in New Year's Six contention.
Current Position: Head Coach – Memphis
A calculated and highly respected offensive-minded head coach with Power Five experience, Mike Norvell would, presumably, lead a smooth transition from Brohm.
Current Position: Offensive Coordinator – Ohio State
Ryan Day reportedly turned down Mississippi State last year. Does he consider Purdue a better opportunity?
That's assuming Purdue wants to be the latest Big Ten program to hire a coordinator away from a conference foe. For what it's worth, it didn't work for Maryland and it's not working for Rutgers. Still, Day is young (39), did well in a tough spot as interim coach and has recruited most areas east of the Mississippi.
Current Position: Head Coach – Troy
Like Norvell, Neal Brown will be mentioned as a potential candidate for nearly every Power Five job until he takes one.
Brown, 38, is approaching a third straight 10-win season at Troy and has Power Five coordinator experience (Texas Tech and Kentucky).
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator – LSU
With a $2.5 million annual salary, Dave Aranda is the nation's highest-paid assistant coach. Purdue would top that but that's still a massive salary and a great job. He recruited the region while Wisconsin defensive coordinator from 2013-15 and has likely fielded several interview and job offers. At this point, he might have his pick of the litter.
Current Position: Assistant Head Coach & Quarterbacks Coach – Michigan
Pep Hamilton has spent only five of the last 16 years in college football, but he did brilliant work at Stanford as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (2011-12) and has dramatically improved Michigan's passing game as quarterbacks coach this year.
If Purdue is interested in saving money — unlikely given their investment in football recently — Hamilton is an intriguing option. They can do better.