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Sources: Colorado nearing a hire of....

Sources tell FootballScoop Colorado plans to hire their next head football coach in the next 36 hours.

Bret Bielema and Troy Calhoun are strong candidates for the position, sources tell FootballScoop.

Bielema, the former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach, spent the past two seasons on the New England Patriots' staff and had recently agreed to join the New York Giants' staff as outside linebackers coach for new head coach Joe Judge. We were told Tuesday that many of the decision makers at CU were very impressed with Bielema and felt he could be the right man for the job, but a few others among the CU brass had lingering questions.

While Bielema has a proven track record as a head coach at the major college level -- making three Rose Bowl trips is never a bad thing for a Pac-12 school -- but he's never worked west of Manhattan, Kan., and has next to zero experience recruiting out West.

Calhoun is much more of a known commodity in Colorado, having spent all but one year dating back to 2003 within two hours of Boulder. He was an assistant for the Denver Broncos from 2003-05 and then, after one year as the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator, has served as Air Force's head coach since 2007. He is 98-69 with the Falcons; the 2019 campaign was his best yet, going 11-2 and finishing No. 22 in the AP poll. That marked the first time since 1998 Air Force has finished in the year-end AP poll.

Over the past five years or so, Calhoun has often been asked to interview for Power 5 jobs; but for a multitude of different reasons hasn't connected with the right one yet. With his deep connections to the state and to power brokers within it, perhaps this will be the one he gets.

Needless to say, it's imperative that Colorado nail its next hire, its second in as many years. The program has enjoyed all of one winning season since 2006 and sits at 55-105 overall during that span. The Mike MacIntyre era represents the high-water mark over that 14-season span; he went 30-44. Mel Tucker went 5-7 in his one season in Boulder.

A source added that Colorado plans to have their decision finalized "by Thursday" and they would like to have him introduced Friday if logistics allow.

As always stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching job information.