Could Long be back at Iowa in 2011?

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

In case you missed it, my colleague Tim Griffin has an interesting post on the Big 12 blog about former Iowa star Chuck Long and his future plans after being fired as San Diego State's head coach in November.

Rather than bolt for a job as an assistant somewhere, Long is expected to remain at San Diego State for the duration of his contract, doing projects and analysis to the tune of $700,000 a year. Given the current economic situation, can you blame him?

Long will be $1.4 million richer when his contract at San Diego State expires on Dec. 31, 2010. Football coaches are restless creatures and addicted to competition, so it wouldn't shock me to see Long return to the sideline earlier.

What will be his next stop? Griffin thinks Long could go back to the Big 12, where he served as Oklahoma's offensive coordinator. Kansas State and Iowa State are possibilities.

But don't be surprised if Long comes back to where his coaching career started -- Iowa.

Long coached defensive backs, special teams and quarterbacks for his alma mater in the late 1990s. He's regarded as one of the school's greatest players and appeared on my Mount Rushmore for Iowa football.

Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz recently received a new contract and won't be leaving unless he wants to, but those NFL rumors will continue to crop up, especially if Iowa builds on last season's success. Ferentz also is extremely loyal to his assistants, but offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe has come under fire in recent years.

You'd have to think if Iowa had a coordinator vacancy, Long would be at the top of the list.