Jim McElwain's Colorado State team is 10-2 in 2014
Jim McElwain's Colorado State team is 10-2 in 2014. (USATSI)

Florida's 2014 regular season might have just ended on Saturday, but the school has been in the process of finding a replacement for Will Muschamp for weeks now, and it appears Colorado State's Jim McElwain is a target for the Gators.

According to a report from Yahoo's Pat Forde, the Rams coach has "emerged as a leading candidate" for the Florida job. Forde reports that Florida officials have been gathering information on McElwain for the past two weeks, and that his name might be at the top of Florida's list. Forde also writes that Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze is another name on Florida's list, which comes on the heels of a report from Sports Illustrated saying the same thing.

McElwain took over the Colorado State program in 2012. The Rams had gone 3-9 in the three seasons before McElwain's arrival, and after going 4-8 with the Rams in his first season, Colorado State is 18-8 the past two seasons, including 10-2 in 2014. The Rams had also been in the hunt for an access bowl bid until losing to Air Force over the weekend ruined their chances at a Mountain West title.

The Rams have reached this high level of success due to their offense, which is an attractive quality to the Gators given the team's problems on that side of the ball under Muschamp. Colorado State finished the 2014 regular season ranked No. 13 nationally in yards per game (497.8), and No. 25 in points per game (35.9). Florida finished No. 93 and No. 57 in those respective categories.

McElwain is also familiar with the SEC landscape, as he served as Alabama's offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011.

One potential roadblock for Florida when it comes to McElwain is his $7.5 million buyout at Colorado State, which would be a huge sum for the Gators to pay on top of the $6.3 million they owe Muschamp for the three years remaining on his contract at the time of his dismissal.