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Why the North Texas vacancy has become central to the coaching market

North Texas Apogee Stadium

The situation at North Texas has not changed. TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and North Carolina assistant head coach for offense Seth Littrell remain the two finalists for the job. "We're pretty close," North Texas athletics director Rick Villarreal said during the Mean Green's radio broadcast Saturday night, noting he'd like to come to an agreement with the new coach early this week.

As of now, nothing has changed.

But the circumstances around the job have changed mightily. reported Monday Texas head coach Charlie Strong is targeting TCU's other co-offensive coordinator, Sonny Cumbie, as his new offensive coordinator. Strong wants Cumbie to do for Jerrod Heard what he did with Trevone Boykin, turning the TCU signal caller from athlete playing quarterback into a Heisman candidate, and is prepared to pay him handsomely to do so.
"One high-level Texas official confirmed a couple weeks ago that the Longhorns are prepared to swing a mighty financial hammer, which might include spending more than a million dollars per season if that’s what it takes to get Strong’s preferred candidate," Richardson note.

This is where the North Texas job comes back in.

Should Meacham trek up Interstate 35 to Denton, Gary Patterson would more than likely make Cumbie the Frogs' sole offensive coordinator and bump his salary commensurate with his new, expanded role.

“This is something that we’d like to move fast on and I believe the only fly in the ointment would be Meacham taking the North Texas job,” a source told Richardson. “If all goes well, Cumbie will be the new OC and he’ll be announced on Monday.”

Meacham is expected to consider the job today, with a resolution coming as early as tonight or tomorrow morning. The 2014 FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year could elect to take the job, or he could opt to return to TCU while taking his chances on what could come his way in the still-evolving open market.

On the other side of the equation, Larry Fedora has told his assistants to focus on the task at hand while North Carolina prepares to meet No. 1 Clemson in the ACC Championship, with the hope a win would allow the Heels to sneak into the College Football Playoff.

Should North Carolina reach the Playoff, Fedora would more than likely expect Littrell to stay on board through the end of the Heels' run.

So while North Texas weighs its options, Texas, TCU, North Carolina and the rest of the college football coaching market wait.