Rumor Mill: Boise State’s Peterson No. 1 for Arkansas, Vandy’s Franklin No. 2

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is poised to make Boise State’s Chris Peterson a very rich man. That is, of course, should the Broncos’ head coach of eight seasons decide to accept his offer by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Boise State Broncos coach Chris Peterson watches on the sidelines during the game against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Mackay Stadium. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

While the terms of the offer have not been disclosed, what we do know is that UCLA offered Peterson $4 million annually to take over for the Bruins, but he turned it down. The open position was then handed over to Jim Mora, who has his program poised to earn a trip to its first Rose Bowl since 1999.

Should Peterson turn down the position to head up Hogs Nation, sources have confirmed that Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin will accept the position. In fact, there is reportedly already a plane waiting to head to Nashville to pick Franklin up should Peterson not accept.

[Related: Kentucky has found their man]

Over the course of the last few weeks, ever since Long publicly stated that interim head coach John L. Smith would not be returning, rumors have abounded regarding who his replacement might be. Smith was hired in a panic after Bobby Petrino made a series of stupid decisions following a motorcycle accident. Petrino crashed and burned after it was revealed that his 25-year old mistress had been along for the ride.

TCU’s Gary Patterson, Monday Night Football announcer Jon Gruden and even Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy have had their names tossed around by members of the media, and Franklin and Peterson are the latest to surface.

While Franklin has done a fantastic job in guiding the Commodores to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history, Peterson is the real catch.

After taking over for Dan Hawkins in 2006, Peterson engineered a perfect season and a Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma, in spite of the fact that none of the big money bowl selection committees wanted anything to do with small-time Boise.

Over his eight seasons, Peterson has amassed an impressive 82-8 overall record, ushering in an new and modern era of football way out in snowy Idaho.

His current Broncos still have one game remaining. The team can win a share of the Mountain West title with a victory over Nevada on Saturday.

Thus, any announcement regarding Peterson’s potential acceptance is not expected to be made until at least Sunday.

That said, if Franklin is announced sooner, we will all know exactly what Peterson’s answer was.

Do you think Peterson is a realistic shot? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Hog Country

Latest from around Gamedayr >> Ellis Johnson fired after one season with Southern Miss.