BREAKING NEWS: CUTCLIFFE TO TENNESSEE -- MAYBE -- PROBABLY

UPDATE, 7 P.M. ET: Cutcliffe will be the next leader in Knoxville, according to the News-Sentinel.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe will be named Tennessee's next head coach barring a last-second snag in negotiations, a source told the News Sentinel.

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton declined to confirm an agreement with Cutcliffe, who was an assistant coach at UT from 1983-98 and from 2006-07. Hamilton said only that UT was still in the interviewing process. ...

Former head coach Phillip Fulmer released a statement today who called for UT to hire a coach that displayed integrity and embraced UT's traditions. Fulmer, who coached with Cutcliffe at UT, told the News Sentinel that he would endorse Cutcliffe's hiring.

Stay tuned. (HT: Rocky Top Talk)

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UPDATE, 5:30 P.M. ET: Dial it back, says Knoxville TV station WBIR.

But now, WBIR contributor Brent Hubbs of Volquest.com is reporting he's spoken to Cutcliffe personally--and Cutcliffe told him that report is not true.

Which is not to say that Cutcliffe isn't going to be the head coach. But we should remember that all reported coaching changes should be taken with a grain of salt.

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A North Carolina TV station is reporting that David Cutcliffe will be the new head coach at Tennessee. (Indirect HT: Rocky Top Talk)

Cutcliffe is 53-44 in eight seasons as a head coach at Ole Miss and Duke. He had five winning seasons in Oxford before being fired after a 4-7 campaign in 2004. (Which lead to hiring Orgeron, demonstrating the remarkably bad decision-making ability of Ole Miss at the time.) Cutcliffe was offensive coordinator at Tennessee from 1993-98, then 2006-07. A look at his effectiveness that last tour of duty through the total offense in the year before, the two years of and the year after:

2005 326.3
2006 372.5
2007 401.5
2008 268.8

There's a reason some thought the reason for Fulmer's success in the 1990s was largely due to Cutcliffe.

Further developments as they unfold, and of course much more on this in Sprints tomorrow.

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