It's been a crazy week in college football with Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley departing for USC and Brian Kelly fleeing from Notre Dame to land at LSU.
What makes the situation even crazier is that Notre Dame could still make the College Football Playoff depending on what goes down this weekend. If they make the CFP, it is expected that defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman would serve as the interim head coach. That is if Kelly doesn't persuade Freeman to come to Baton Rouge with him.
Freeman seems to be a popular choice among the Notre Dame fanbase to be the next head coach of the Fighting Irish. However, there are some rumors floating around the Panthers head coach Matt Rhule could be a candidate for the job. A source also told SI All Panthers that Rhule is on Oklahoma's shortlist. I don't know how great of a fit Rhule would be at Oklahoma but there seems to be some interest in him from Oklahoma's side. Rhule had a ton of success at the collegiate level turning around both Temple and Baylor from bottomfeeders to conference championship contenders.
In just his second year with the Panthers, Rhule holds a 10-18 record and is on his way to a second straight losing season. Rhule agreed to a seven-year contract with the Panthers in January of 2020 knowing that it was going to take some time to get the franchise turned back around. The same source has not confirmed whether or not there is interest from Rhule to leave Carolina.
Back in late October, Rhule was asked about the college job openings and if he had any interest in going back to the college level.
"I have one of the greatest jobs you can have. I left an unbelievable job at Baylor with a long-term contract and great people for a place to come here. I built two football programs and when I say I, I mean my staff, and I built two great football programs at the college level and I wanted to try and do it in the NFL. We went through a tough first year like I expected. We're in the middle of the second year and it's been back and forth and we're not quite where we want to be but you don't get to say that you like to build and then get upset that you didn't inherit something. We're building something. I hope every guy here knows that I'm in it with them for the long haul to get this thing done. It really affects me every day when I take the elevator and I see the two championship trophies. Like, these fans, these people, everybody wants to try to bring a Super Bowl trophy here and it's really hard to do. That's one of the reasons I came here, I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to fulfill this mission that was started in 1995, 1996. We haven't done it yet but we're going to continue to grind until we get it."
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