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IND file photo by Buddy Delahoussaye  

UL head football coach Mark Hudspeth expects to be in discussions with university brass soon about extending and enhancing his current contract with the Ragin’ Cajuns, according to a story in today’s Advertiser. But could interest and even an offer be in the works from Vanderbilt University, a Southeastern Conference school that reportedly is about to lose its very successful three-year head coach to Penn State?

Hud tells the daily Vanderbilt hadn’t contacted him as of Thursday. But widely recognized coaching authority (and former coach) Pete Roussel and his website devoted to college football’s coaching carousel, CoachingSearch.com, has Hudspeth ranked No. 2 on a list of the best possible choices for the Vandy job, ranking Hud behind Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morrison and ahead of coordinators at some major programs like Stanford and Michigan State.

Hudspeth’s name is also floating all around Vanderbilt football fan forums as a top choice to follow current (?) coach James Franklin. Penn State says it will announce its new head coach on Saturday.

It’s little secret (and understandable) that Hud would like to eventually move up in conference, and the SEC remains the premier league in college football. But it’s also widely figured that he would prefer to coach one of two SEC teams in his native Mississippi. If Vandy were to make an offer and Hud accept, his current contract with UL would need to be bought out to the tune of $250,000 — chump change for an SEC school headhunting a good coach. Franklin pulls down $3 million annually at Vanderbilt, more than three times Hud’s base pay of $750,000 at UL. (Hud has incentives in his contract and, according to The Advertiser, earned an additional $45,000 for the 2013 season.)

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