By Tom Fornelli, Special to CBS Sports
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports) — While the Randy Edsall Award* of 2010 hasn’t been handed out yet, there isn’t much question that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is the runaway favorite to win it this season. Chryst’s name has popped up for job openings with Minnesota, Texas, Vanderbilt, Pitt and even the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, none of those jobs actually panned out, but it seems there’s another NFL team now interested in Chryst.
The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez has told the paper that the San Francisco 49ers have sought permission to talk to Chryst. The 49ers recently hired Jim Harbaugh — maybe you heard — as their new head coach, and Harbaugh just hired Geep Chryst to coach tight ends and quarterbacks in San Francisco. Geep is Paul Chryst’s brother, and it’s also a name I’m not sure how to pronounce.
Anyway, what San Francisco wants from Chryst, I don’t know. Greg Roman has already been hired as offensive coordinator, so if Chryst is to be offered a job, it’d likely be as a position coach. There’s also talk that a raise is in the works for Chryst at Wisconsin, and that it’s just awaiting approval by the school’s Board of Regents in February. So whether Chryst has any interest in leaving Madison or not, the fact that others are interested in him has earned him a raise at the very least.
*The Randy Edsall Award is an award I just made up. It goes to the college football coach who’s name pops up in the most coaching rumors during an offseason. For the past few years Edsall’s name came up in seemingly every opening, but he never left UConn until this season when he took a job at Maryland after his name was never even mentioned as a candidate.
(© 2011 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)