Tulsa moves on without Todd Graham

With Tulsa coach Todd Graham headed to Pittsburgh, the Golden Hurricane want to get a new coach in place as quickly as possible.

The news that Graham could be leaving did not come out of nowhere, since he had extended conversations with Pittsburgh after Dave Wannstedt was fired and after Mike Haywood was fired. So the school has had time to make a list of potential candidates. Choices include former offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who was just hired as offensive coordinator at Clemson, and former Tulsa head coach Steve Kragthorpe.

The Tulsa World reports that Morris is a "strong candidate." Dave Sittler does an excellent job outlining the pros and cons of both coaches.

Several other assistants are also on the list of potential candidates, and a search firm has been retained. But with National Signing Day around the corner, speed is important. When Graham was hired to replace Kragthorpe in 2007, the search lasted two days.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham said at a news conference Monday night, "We hope to be very efficient in the process and move very, very quickly."

Continuity could be a paramount key for Cunningham as he makes his hire. This is a team that returns 16 starters, including Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year G.J. Kinne. Perhaps that is a reason Morris is high on the list. He helped Kinne improve dramatically and transformed Tulsa into a top-5 offense in the nation. The drawback with him is his limited collegiate coaching experience -- his only season on the NCAA level was this past season at Tulsa.