Tennessee coaching search: Jon Gruden the favorite to become Vols' next coach

With Butch Jones officially out at Tennessee, we can now officially say that #GRUMORS season is here.

How likely is it that former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden ends up on Rocky Top in 2018 as Jones' successor? Very likely, according to BetOnline.ag.

According to updated odds released Monday afternoon, Gruden is the front-runner to land the full-time job at +180 with former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, current Memphis coach Mike Norvell, former LSU coach Les Miles and current Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen not far behind.

CoachCurrent Odds

Jon Gruden

+180

Mike Norvell

+400

Chip Kelly

+500

Les Miles

+500

Dan Mullen

+600

Jeff Brohm

+1000

Bobby Petrino

+1200

Mike MacIntyre

+1200

PJ Fleck

+1200

Tee Martin+1600
Jim Bob Cooter+2000
Lane Kiffin+3300
Brian Kelly+5000
Peyton Manning+5000

Gruden's odds have actually increased since last week. He was +250 on the same site on Nov. 10, but his odds were actually at +150 as the odds-on favorite on Nov. 3. 

"We continue to have a huge exposure on Gruden being the Vols next head coach," Dave Mason of BetOnline.ag told CBS Sports. "If he is named head, it would be the biggest loss on a prop this year -- by far. There are more bets on Gruden than all of the other names combined. The only other exposure we have are Lane Kiffin and Peyton Manning, believe it or not."

The current NFL commentator was 95-81 in 11 years in the NFL, won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Bucs and was a graduate assistant for the Volunteers from 1986-87. He hasn't been a coach at the college level since he served as the wide receivers coach at Pittsburgh in 1991, prefers the NFL according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports and stated as recently as this summer that he would struggle with rules associated with being a college coach

This comes on the heels of even more smoke coming from the edge of the smoky mountains. Jayson Swain, former Volunteer wide receiver and current host of The Swain Event on WVLZ 1180, reported Monday afternoon that Gruden is even sending feelers out to gauge interest in coaches and others familiar with the program about their interest in joining his hypothetical staff.

It should be noted that, while Gruden is the front-runner according to the oddsmakers, Norvell jumped from +800 on Friday to +400 Monday afternoon -- the biggest move of the bunch.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, while also hosting on ESPNU on SiriusXM Radio channel 84, the... Full Bio

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