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Georgia coach Mel Tucker emerges as front-runner for Colorado Buffaloes head coach

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The Georgia DC has been linked repeatedly.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

This coaching search has been notoriously tight-lipped. The leaks have mostly run dry and just about everyone in the media industry is guessing as to who the Colorado Buffaloes will pursue as next head coach. That’s still the case, but we think there may be some clarity as to who the hire will be.

Something that was odd about this coaching carousel was that the local media and national media had completely different lists of candidates. For the local media, we had some combination of big-time assistants Ryan Day, Jimmy Lake, Phil Long and Mel Tucker. National media then had Jim Leavitt, Matt Wells, Tosh Lupoi, Derek Mason, and Tucker as a dark horse. Those lists are starting to come together around the name Mel Tucker.

With Day in line to succeed Urban Meyer at Ohio State and with Lake apparently content at Washington, Tucker would be the next-best up-and-comer assistant (or first-best, depending on your perspective). From the national lists, Wells going to Texas Tech, Leavitt still has a weird relationship with Colorado (and Bill Snyder might retire from Kansas State), Lupoi’s issues at Cal and Washington have been dissected, and Mason is eerily similar to Mike MacIntyre. Tucker is the only realistic name left there too.

We profiled Tucker’s fit on Friday and wrote that he would be an excellent decision. He doesn’t have ties out West and he’s never recruited California, but he’s a revered recruiter who could expand CU’s recruiting map to SEC ground. He’s also a great defensive coach and an excellent leader. Aside from the 2014 Chicago Bears, all of his defenses have been solid to great against SEC, Big Ten and NFL competition. And, more importantly, his players seem to enjoy playing for him as he instills camaraderie and focus.

Rumors are rumors and hot boards are just hot boards, but Georgia media circles are acting like they expect Colorado to hire him. In corroboration with Football Scoop, Dawgs 247 reported Tucker is a strong candidate at Colorado and suggested things will become clearer after the SEC Championship against Alabama. Rivals website UGASports.com has already reported Tucker has agreed to terms with Colorado. Adam Munsterteiger of BuffStampede wrote “There is a feeling in Athens that Tucker’s days on Georgia’s staff are numbered.”

If Georgia misses out on the College Football Playoff, we could find out soon if Tucker will be the next Colorado head coach.