It's that time of the year again: the coaching rumor mill has started.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen, like it or not, is going to have his name linked to jobs all over the country and, especially, any job on the West Coast.
The talk of Coach Pete to Washington started several weeks ago.
The Seattle P-I has been counting down the days until current Washington coach Tyrone Willingham is fired for about a month. Petersen's name pops up whenever Willingham's impending dismissal is discussed.
On this morning's Colin Cowherd show on ESPN Radio, Cowherd said his sources have told him that Washington is prepared to pay "$2.5 million to $3 million" for a coach and Petersen is among their top targets.
(Note: Whether they are preparing that offer for Petersen is debatable, listen here. The relevant part is about the 6:45 mark.)
Cowherd asked his guest, ESPN college football analyst Ivan Maisel, about the possibility of Petersen going to Washington for that kind of deal.
"It's something we all assume anyone would do. I'm not sure he would do it," Maisel said. "He has set roots down there. He's got a lot of reasons to stay there. In the end, you'd be surprised if anybody turned that kind of deal down, especially at a Washington where there is a tradition and a foundation to build a winning program."
Petersen is making $935,000 this season. If the Broncos (6-0) win 10 games this season, Petersen's annual salary will rise to more than $1 million. There are also bonuses in the five-year deal for academic and on-field success.
Additionally, Petersen gets $250,000 if he remains Boise State's coach on Aug. 1, 2009.
Petersen signed the five-year deal in 2007.
Petersen has had several chances to leave Boise, first as offensive coordinator and then again as head coach. Reports said that UCLA called Petersen about its vacant job last off-season, though Petersen denied those reports. He said one school, which he declined to name, did contact him last off-season.