Stanford will lose at least five assistants

Change is coming to Stanford's coaching staff, and the name at the top is still getting tossed around in the rumor mill.

First, it appears coach Jim Harbaugh will lose at least five assistant coaches this offseason.

Running backs coach Willie Taggart was hired to be Western Kentucky's new head coach, and he took defensive backs coach Clayton White and assistant strength coach Terry Obee with him. Co-defensive coordinator Andy Buh has been hired to coordinate the defense at Nevada.

Finally, Florida hired D.J. Durkin, Stanford's special teams and defensive ends coach. Harbaugh already has hired Brian Polian, late of Charlie Weis' staff at Notre Dame, as special teams coach.

It will be interesting to see if Harbaugh tries to retain his father, Jack, who served as the Cardinal's running backs coach in the Brut Sun Bowl.

Beyond all this, Harbaugh's own name is in the news, most particularly as a candidate for the Buffalo Bills job. And count on there being other rumors -- college and NFL. Recall that a number of reports had Harbaugh practically out-the-door to Kansas in mid-December.

Sure, Harbaugh recently signed a three-year contract extension, but that won't stop the rumors, particularly when the NFL jobs start to open up.

The good news emerging from this is that Stanford knows it has a good coach. The bad news is the constant distraction.