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Top 5 schools that should hire Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong

GAINESVILLE -- So, UF won national championships thanks to its defense in 2006 and 2008. That's no secret.

And UF's 2009 defense is currently ranked No.1 in the nation in pretty much every major category, including the category of stomping a mud hole in No.4 LSU in front of a record crowd at Death Valley. Oooh, soooo scary, Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. Please.

The mastermind of UF's defense is Charlie Strong, the Gators' defensive coordinator. Strong has either turned down or been passed over for jobs as a head coach in the past. That shouldn't happen any longer. If Strong wants to be a head coach, there should be plenty of teams after this season who would love to hire him. Strong should have the luxury of picking the best school to fit his strengths. From my vantage point, here are the top five schools who should hire Strong next season. (Or, put another, here are the top five schools Strong should consider when they come calling.)

1. Memphis. The Memphis Tigers are so bad this season and they shouldn't be. Charlie Strong is the perfect fit for this job. There are great recruits in Memphis every year and Strong is a good enough recruiter to compete against Lane Kiffin, Houston Nutt, Dan Mullen and Nick Saban.

2. N.C. State. Strong was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina in 1999, so he's not totally unfamiliar with the territory. The Wolfpack is a soft team in need of a tough coach. Strong would kick these boys into shape in no time.

3. UCF. If Strong wants this job, it's his for the taking. Kind of close to UF, though.

4. FAU. Schnellenberger has done a nice job at FAU but it's time to move on. Strong would absolutely dominate the Sun Belt. (Or at least put together a team that could compete with Troy every year.)

5. Kentucky. Now that would be something! Hey, why not? Mississippi State hired Mullen last year and he's doing OK.



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