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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Could Luke Fickell move from Cincinnati to the NFL?

Luke Fickell stands in front of his players

Luke Fickell has been mentioned as a candidate for a number of top college coaching jobs, but none of those rumors have picked up real steam as he chases a championship with Cincinnati. With several of those jobs now filled, it’s fair to wonder if the NFL could be Fickell’s next stop.

Fickell is expected to be in the mix for NFL coaching jobs during the upcoming hiring cycle, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. The 48-year-old interviewed with the Detroit Lions last year before they hired Dan Campbell, so he has at least shown interest in the NFL in the past.

As Pelissero notes, college programs have been shelling out massive sums of money for reputable head coaches. Mel Tucker got an extension from Michigan State that is worth $95 million. Tucker is also said to have drawn interest from NFL teams, but you can understand why he chose to remain with the Spartans. It’s unclear if Cincinnati has the financial means to entice Fickell to sign an extension.

With the exception of Oklahoma, all the top college jobs that opened recently have been filled. Fickell was linked to several of them, but nothing came of it. He likely remains focused on trying to continue with Cincinnati’s outstanding season. When that ends, Fickell will probably have some conversations with NFL teams.

Fickell is 48-14 in his five seasons with the Bearcats. Cincinnati is typically viewed as more of a stepping stone job than a long-term one, and many expect Fickell to treat it the same.

Photo: Sep 4, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats coach Luke Fickell stands with his team prior to the game against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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