Texas coaching search: Charlie Strong interviews with Steve Patterson?

Andy Lyons

Things are about to really get started with the coaching search for the Longhorns, if they haven't already.

The big news on Tuesday for Texas Longhorns fans in the aftermath of Monday's Alamo Bowl blowout is a possible interview with Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, long rumored as a potential candidate for the job.

Well, some of the big news, at least.

Chip Brown of Orangebloods is reporting that an interview went down on Tuesday, though Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports -- an affiliate of Rivals -- is only willing to go as far as to say that Texas has "inquired" about Strong.

However, a reporter on the Louisville side says that the school has not been contacted by Texas asking permission to speak with Strong.

In terms of other names out there, The Dallas Morning News reported over the weekend that Balyor's Art Briles, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Vanderbilt's James Franklin, and Strong were all names high on the Texas list, according to industry sources. Throw Michigan State's Mark Dantanio into the mix as well, according to Brown.

If Strong did indeed interview for the job on Thursday, it may not necessarily mean that much in terms of a looming job offer -- Briles and Fisher both have BCS games to play and as Football Scoop points out, Brown is also reporting that Texas already interviewed Franklin.

Right now, the guess here is that neither Franklin nor strong are the top candidates out of that group of four reported by the DMN.

And the other big news of the day -- the Tuesday morning contract extension for Jimbo Fisher that has taken some weeks to iron out may effectively remove the Florida State head coach from the list of options for the Longhorns.

Except...

For those who believe that Fisher is still in play after signing his five-year, $21-million deal, the cause for hope is that Orangebloods is also reporting that there's no buyout in the contract, down from $2 million with his last deal.

ESPN simply says that there is no increase in the buyout.

There's also a date in mind for athletic director Steve Patterson -- the 15th of January, which is the end of the recruiting dead period. Other than that, Patterson wasn't willing to offer anything else on the coaching search gets ready to heat up with the Alamo Bowl out of the way.

Florida State plays in the national championship game against Auburn on January 6, while Baylor plays on New Year's Day, which could increase Briles-to-Texas talk in the days after that game if there is any interest on the part of the currents Bears coach.

It's on, y'all.

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