Boise State's Chris Petersen: The Man to Replace Jim Harbaugh

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Boise State's Chris Petersen: The Man to Replace Jim Harbaugh
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Whether or not Jim Harbaugh ends up as the new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines (which, as of 6:40 p.m., the reports are looking like he won't), one thing has become pretty certain.

He isn't staying at Stanford.

I mean, why would he want to?

He only returns 72 percent of his rushing attack, including the explosive Stefan Taylor. Tight-end Zach Ertz, who caught touchdowns in four of his last five games, is coming back. And the offense, and defense, returns two-way star Owen Marecic. 

I guess it must be losing the projected number-one pick in the 2011 overall draft that has him scared.

But if Harbaugh really took a good look, he might see that Stanford has the potential to be just as good, if not better, over the next few years as any program that he's "reportedly" or "unreportedly" looking into.

But enough about that fellow. Let's get into the real meat. Who is going to replace Harbaugh at Stanford?

It almost certainly won't be somebody in-house. Whoever Harbaugh doesn't take with him to Miami (NFL), San Fran (NFL), Carolina (NFL) or even Michigan (NCAA), most certainly won't have enough experience to be worthy of the Bradford M. Freeman Director's Chair (the fancy name Stanford gives their head coach).

Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby is going to be looking for the right type of person, and if he looks too hard he might miss the perfect candidate, just 667 miles to his northeast.

That's right, Boise State's Chris Petersen.

And while you may think that Coach Pete (as the Boisians lovingly refer to him) is just another small-town coach who preys on small-town teams to unfairly inflate his win-loss record, let's take a look at why I think Coach Pete is just the guy to keep alive what Harbaugh began at Stanford.

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