Is it Jon Gruden? Maybe it's Charlie Strong. How about Larry Fedora or Jimbo Fisher? No, wait it's got to be Al Golden.
The Tennessee Vols fanbase has been subject to the most brain-straining coaching search in the history of coaching searches this time around.
It's true that most are still clinging to the ill-fated hope that Monday Night Football analyst and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden is going to save the program. The only problem with that line of thinking is that Gruden simply doesn't appear to even want coach at the college level.
Some have reported that the only NCAA program Gruden would listen to is Tennessee. But more NFL insiders have stated that the MNF star's desire is to head back to the NFL coaching ranks or stay right where he's at--making a cool $4M-plus to sit next to Mike Tirico once a week and talk about football to around 12 million of his closest friends.
Who knows? Maybe Gruden's wife, who was once a Vols cheerleader, has some pull. Maybe she'll come through in the eleventh hour and convince the former Tampa Bay Bucs and Oakland Raiders head coach to come to Knoxville.
So, where does this dejected fanbase go from Gruden if it, in fact, comes to that? Most of the crazies who believe Tennessee should fold up the program if it can't land Gruden will likely continue posting nonsense on every message board from Chattanooga to Union City.
The other 80-percent of us will find a way to be happy with the eventual hire, whomever it turns out to be--Al Golden, notwithstanding.
Golden has been the one true lightning rod name in the whole process. Dave Hart seems to really like the Miami head coach. But his 40-45 overall record scares Vols fans worse than Gruden's mad face ever would.
There's no doubt Golden has tremendous respect among his peers. Many think Golden is destined for greatness. But to a fanbase who just revolted on a career loser, Golden is simply off-limits.
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong just wrapped up the Cardinals second straight share of the Big East title. Louisville will play in a BCS bowl this January for the first time since 2006.
Strong knows the SEC from his defensive coordinator days at South Carolina and Florida. He's an incredible recruiter. And winning 24 games and two conference titles in three seasons in any conference--yes, even the Big East--after the program had just 15 wins in the previous three years is quite a feat.
Other than Gruden, Strong would probably be considered the only slam dunk hire that is still a reasonable possibility at this point.
UNC's Fedora has an impressive resume, as does Florida State's Jimbo Fisher. But I don't see either of those potential targets as suddenly impactful as Gruden or Strong would be.
There may be other names surfacing in the very near future, but for the sake of our sanity let's hope the madness ends sooner rather than later.