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As the Miami Hurricanes limp to Durham as 13-point underdogs (and climbing) down a coach and a quarterback, the most interesting chatter regarding this once prominent program continues to be where the next head coach will come from.

There’s been in the vicinity of 20 names thrown around but how many are serious candidates? The most intriguing name out there may be Texas’ Charlie Strong, who’s in the second year of a fat five-year deal paying him $5 million-plus annually. The Longhorns are 3-4 after a 6-7 calamity last year.

CaneSport publisher Gary Ferman wrote early this week he “can confirm he wants the Miami job.”

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports “some UM people believe Texas’ Charlie Strong, Georgia’s Mark Richt and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez might emerge as candidates and that Strong and Rodriguez in particular would listen, despite the predictable denials from any employed coach.”

Peter Ariz of CanesInsight confirmed the interest from Strong’s camp is real and that he does “have interest in this job.”

There are several hurdles for Strong to be a feasible option, however, as Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel addressed on their Fox Sports podcast.

Strong has three years remaining on his contract after this season. Would he require an annual salary close to what he’s making now?An interesting tidbit: there is no buyout on Strong’s contract, he would only have to pay the salaries of his assistants. It has to be comforting because the Herald reported Al Golden’s firing cost the school $7 million.

Texas may be 3-4 but they’ve won two in a row and their remaining schedule is weak. Only No. 2 Baylor and Texas Tech have winning records. Strong may be undergoing struggles at Texas but it certainly isn’t square on his shoulders.

The appeal? He’s a name that would engender excitement within the fan base, has a strong personality, and has a proven track record. With 30-plus years of coaching experience the 55-year-old is polished with likely decades of coaching ahead. He vaulted Lousiville into a power that lost just three games over his last two seasons there, including two Bowl wins — a Sugar Bowl victory over the 11-1 Florida Gators and a 36-9 demolition of the Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl. He’s also very familiar with South Florida, having successfully dipped into the fertile area for recruiting.

Charlie Strong to the U? It may not be as farfetched as some think.

Follow Josh on Twitter @JoshBaumgard

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