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Miami preparing to make a run at Mario Cristobal

Riley to USC. Kelly to LSU. Do blockbuster coaching moves come in threes?

Editor's note> See the evening update at bottom

They say things come in threes. In the same week Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma for USC and Brian Kelly dumped Notre Dame for LSU, could Mario Cristobal exit Oregon for Miami?

Much like how USC's Mike Bohn and LSU's Scott Woodward actually got a yes out of "Make them say no" candidates, Miami's ..... uh, the school doesn't have a full-time AD right now, is prepared to do the same to the White Whale of South Beach. (Obviously, it bears mentioning Miami has a full-time head coach right now in Manny Diaz.)

From John Canzano of The Oregonian

I’m told by a source that Miami plans to attempt to talk with Cristobal and his agent after tonight’s championship game.

“They are going after Mario,” the source said.

As has been well documented, Cristobal is a Miami native who won a national title as a Hurricane, started his coaching career as a Miami GA, returned as a Miami position coach, and is probably the best head coach in FIU's short history. Beyond that, Cristobal's mother is gravely sick -- sick enough that Cristobal already made an in-season cross-country trip to visit her.

“She’s fighting," he said last month. "That’s the best way to say it, and that’s exactly what I expected to see out of her. We’re going to go day-by-day.”

On the Riley/Kelly scale, Cristobal-to-Miami would be downright rational.

The common link between those two recent moves and this potential one would be that all three coaches have or would leave for jobs where they don't have to hop on airplanes to meet elite recruits. In fact, Riley's move to USC may inadvertently push Cristobal to Miami, since Oregon's importing of Californian recruits would get that much more difficult.

Just as USC owns a national title more recently than Oklahoma, just as LSU has won three national titles since Notre Dame's last, Miami won five national titles from 1983 to 2001, while Oregon has been on the cusp of the elite-of-the-elite for two decades now but hasn't been able to break through.

In two of the last three seasons, Cristobal has seen potential Playoff runs detonated by road losses in November. He'll lead No. 10 Oregon against No. 17 Utah on Friday night (8 p.m. ET, ABC), where a win secures their third straight Pac-12 championship.

Afterward, stay tuned. 


Evening update> And more out of Miami now...