Charlie Strong among top candidates

The NFL's recently formed advisory panel, which helps to identify potential minority coaching candidates, already is advocating the candidacy of Louisville's Charlie Strong and Stanford's David Shaw, league sources told ESPN.

It will be an upset if Strong is not a leading candidate for various NFL head coaching openings this winter.

There already is speculation swirling in select league circles that Strong and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is projected to be one of the top picks in next year's draft, could wind up reuniting in the NFL next season.

If Strong and Bridgewater end up on with same team in the NFL, it would be similar to the current situations in Indianapolis, where the Colts hired Pep Hamilton to serve as Andrew Luck's offensive coordinator, and Miami, where Mike Sherman was hired as an offensive coordinator for Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Strong, 53, has posted a 31-15 record in three-plus seasons at Louisville. The Cardinals got off to an undefeated start this season before Friday's 38-35 loss to Central Florida.

Louisville gave Strong an eight-year extension worth $3.7 million annually on Jan. 23, three weeks after the Cardinals upset Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Shaw, 41, has coached Stanford to a 28-5 record since replacing Jim Harbaugh in 2011. The Cardinal are 5-1 this season and have reached BCS bowls in each of Shaw's first two years as head coach.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.