Florida is prepared to look beyond Chip Kelly as its next coach, Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday afternoon.
Of course the Gators are. They have to be. UCLA is a feasible landing spot for Kelly, the former Oregon coach. UF athletic director Scott Stricklin would be foolish if he didn't have a Plan B, and C, and D. Stricklin is not a foolish fellow.
Here's the key line in the report, from Pat Forde:
But with other potential candidates becoming available for discussion this weekend, Florida officials appear to be ready to move on shortly after Thanksgiving if a deal has not been struck with Kelly.
And here's how I read that: Hurry up and make up your mind, will ya?
UF wants to name a coach as soon as possible. Stricklin said last month that, ideally, the next guy would be "in place in time to positively affect the ability to sign players for the early signing period." That becomes tougher the decision stretches into December. Or, more accurately, UF loses its advantage of being one of the first jobs to open if it doesn't name a coach for another two weeks.
The longer Kelly waits, the more likely it is that other suitors formally reach out (Texas A&M, Nebraska), potentially driving up the cost of doing business. More importantly, if Kelly waits another week and then decides to go to UCLA, UF's search will be dragged out even longer. And that could be avoided easily if Kelly makes a decision in the next few days.