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Jedd Fisch viewed as a top candidate for Washington Huskies job

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arizona-wildcats-coach-jedd-fisch-washington-huskies-football-hot-board Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When Nick Saban retired as head coach of Alabama on Wednesday, it set off a domino effect that began in Tuscaloosa and might reach its way to Tucson.

Less than 48 hours after Saban announced his retirement, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne found his replacement: Washington coach Kalen DeBoer. Byrne continued a trend of hiring offensive-minded coaches, including Rich Rodriguez at Arizona.

Byrne’s decision to hire DeBoer might have ramifications at Arizona, his former employer, if the Washington Huskies choose to go after UA coach Jedd Fisch.

So far there are no confirmed reports but plenty of speculation as to who Washington should hire. Unsurprisingly, Fisch is near the top of the list according to several college football pundits.

Fisch has led an incredible three-year turnaround at Arizona, taking the program from one win in his first season to a 10-3 record in 2023. With returners at most key positions, the Wildcats are poised to be among the top teams in the Big 12 next season and could find themselves in contention for a spot in the 12-team College Football Playoff.

Fisch, who has yet to sign a contract extension, knows he has a team capable of competing for a conference championship and a spot on the sport’s biggest stage. He also knows that other big jobs are sure to open in the not-too-distant future, including potentially the position at Florida, his alma mater.

Even with all the momentum Fisch has going for him, he’d be dumb to not at least listen to Washington if it were to call home. The Huskies are joining a better football conference in the Big Ten, have more money to spend on coaches and have a rejuvenated fan base that is craving for more success after this season’s run to the national title game.

Among the outlets to list Fisch as a top candidate for the UW job are The Athletic, the Seattle Times, and On3.

On3’s Andy Staples writes: “It’s unclear whether the 47-year-old Fisch’s next move would be to the NFL, where he worked for eight different organizations during his career. He also has been the offensive coordinator at Michigan and Miami, so he’s capable of succeeding in different regions at the college level. What Fisch has done at Arizona is nothing short of remarkable. He took over one of the worst roster situations in the FBS and built a winner quickly through high school recruiting and through the transfer portal. Washington saw Fisch up close last season in a one-touchdown Huskies win in Tucson. But while these programs have been in the same league, they’re both headed elsewhere. Arizona will be in the Big 12 and Washington will be in the Big Ten, and that makes the Washington job a much better destination.”

Other candidates receiving speculation are Huskies offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, Kansas coach Lance Leipold and Kansas State coach Chris Klieman.

It should be an angsty, if not agonizing next couple of days.