Butch Jones: 'I love being here'

The coaching carousel is in full swing, and already three Big East coaches have come up as potential candidates somewhere else.

Cincinnati coach Butch Jones is one of them. He had a chance to respond to the speculation during his news conference Tuesday.

"There'll be no beating around the bush," he said. "I think it's very flattering. It shows the progress people see around the country that we've made in a very short period of time and I think it's a reaction to the efforts of so many people in this football program. It's our players, its our coaching staff. It's our administration. I've said it and I"ll continue to say it. I love being here. We're blessed to have a great president. I'm excited about our athletic director, Whit Babcock. He's shown us so much support in a very short period of time.

"It’s that time of year. Rumors come and go. All it takes is one person to throw a name out there and it's across the country. That's why I don't get caught up in that stuff. Our focus is on UConn and our football team. You can read everything, but I’ve said it: This is a very special place."

Babcock told The Cincinnati Enquirer he would do whatever it takes to retain Jones, who is in his second year with the Bearcats.

USF coach Skip Holtz also has been linked to an opening at North Carolina, but last week he said he had no contact with that school. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano also was mentioned as a possible candidate at Illinois by The Chicago Tribune. Schiano hasn't been contacted for that job. By the way, Illinois has a new athletic director -- Mike Thomas, former athletic director at Cincinnati.