This is an interesting mid-week story. With the Tar Heels at 1-5, and their lone victory over a less than impressive opponent, the N&O considers ten potential replacements for Bunting.

The final four candidates listed–it’s alphabetical, so this is just coincidence–happen to be the “biggest names” on this list, which is likely just speculation by the paper rather than a wish list by anyone associated with the University.

Gary Patterson, Texas Christian head coach. Patterson is 44-30 in six seasons at TCU.

Bobby Petrino, Louisville head coach. A native of Helena, Mont., Petrino is 35-8 in four seasons at Louisville.

Greg Schiano, Rutgers head coach. A native of Wyckoff, N.J., Schiano is 25-39 in six seasons with the Scarlet Knights, including 6-0 this season.

Tyrone Willingham, Washington head coach. A Kinston native, he was 44-36-1 in seven seasons at Stanford and 21-15 in three seasons at Notre Dame. Washington is 4-3 this season after going 2-9 in Willingham’s first season.

I have a hard time believing that any of those four coaches would be that intrigued in leaving their current programs for UNC, if for no other reason than the fact that their programs are leaps and bounds ahead of the Tar Heels at this point. Willingham has done a tremendous job turning the Huskies around in just his second season; Schiano, if he doesn’t stay at Rutgers with his stud sophomore running back, is rumored to be one of Miami’s top picks to take the reigns from Coker; Petrino’s got one of the best teams in the country in Louisville; and Patterson can probably hold out for a better opportunity than Chapel Hill.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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