The Florida Gators are out of the Chip Kelly sweepstakes, according to a report Friday afternoon from Yahoo! Sports.
Pat Forde is reporting that UF has moved on from Kelly. This matches what I was told earlier in the week – UF wouldn't wait on Kelly forever, especially with seasons ending this weekend and other candidates becoming available.
UCLA has also been courting Kelly, the former Oregon coach. In some ways, Kelly might be a better fit for the Bruins than he would be in Gainesville.
Before we move on, a disclaimer: Nothing with coaching searches is final until contracts are signed. Kelly, remember, was finalizing a deal to join the Bucs in 2012 before it fell apart.
Regardless, it looks as if UF will be moving on to Plan B – possibly because Plan A has moved on from them. The Gators' most likely target is UCF coach Scott Frost, whose undefeated Knights are hosting USF with a trip to the AAC title game at stake. Nebraska is also expected to pursue Frost, a former Cornhuskers quarterback.
Another candidate you'll hear about is Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, a former Gators assistant. UF can talk to him now, after his regular season ended with Thursday night's Egg Bowl. But Mullen indicated to reporters that he could stay in Starkville.
"I'm very, very happy here," Mullen said. "I'm happy with what we've built. I have a great president and a great administration. If you look at the fan base we have here and the program that we've built, I think it's pretty special.
"I'm fortunate to be the head coach. (Athletic director) John (Cohen) and Dr. (Mark) Keenum have both told me they want me to continue to be the head coach here. That's something I'll talk with them about over the next coming days, I'm sure, is what we can continue to build the program in the right direction."