With Arkansas and Auburn filling their head-coaching vacancies Tuesday, Tennessee is up next and could have its search wrapped up as early as Wednesday.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Louisville coach Charlie Strong had emerged as the front-runner to be Tennessee's next coach, although nothing had been finalized at that point. Then late Tuesday night, Yahoo! Sports reported that sources at Louisville were confident that Strong would remain at Louisville and be the Cardinals' coach in 2013. They face Florida on Jan. 2 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Strong interviewed with Tennessee officials last week and made quite an impression. He knows his way around the SEC and was the defensive coordinator at Florida when the Gators won national championships in both 2006 and 2008.
The other name mentioned prominently in the Vols' coaching search is Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, who interviewed with Tennessee officials on Sunday. Gundy was also in play at Arkansas, which hired Wisconsin's Bret Bielema on Tuesday. North Carolina's Larry Fedora is somebody else on Tennessee's radar.
Tennessee officials, including athletic director Dave Hart, were in New York on Tuesday attending the College Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer was inducted as part of the 2012 class.