Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal attempted to calm rumors of him jumping ship to Miami following the Ducks' 38-10 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday.
According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, Cristobal said the following about whether he has been in contact with Miami:
"I haven't talked to anybody, so let's not create narratives as we sit here in this press conference. Oregon's working on some stuff for me, and that's what I have right now, and that's the extent of that conversation.
"If there's anything to report, I'd report it. I always have."
Cristobal also acknowledged the likelihood of other schools pursuing him, saying: "Do I expect people to come [after] me? Yeah, I do. It happens every single year. There's nothing else to report besides that. If there is, or when there ever is—if there ever is—I'll make sure to get it to [the media] as fast as I can."
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Friday that Miami's pursuit of Cristobal has been "ongoing for several days" and there is "optimism" within the program that it will get him.
Prior to becoming Oregon's head coach in 2018, Cristobal played offensive line at Miami from 1989 to '92 and had stints with the Hurricanes as a coach from 1998 to 2000 and 2004 to '06.
While Miami's pursuit of Cristobal makes sense, especially with the program likely to fire head coach Manny Diaz after going 7-5 this season and 21-15 over the past three seasons, Oregon is reportedly set to pull out all the stops to keep him.
Per John Canzano of The Oregonian, Cristobal has received an "aggressive" contract extension offer from Oregon that would pay him around what USC gave Lincoln Riley to leave Oklahoma and what LSU gave Brian Kelly to leave Notre Dame.
If Cristobal accepts Oregon's offer, it will mark the second time in a year that he has signed an extension with the Ducks, as he inked a six-year, $27.3 million deal through 2025 in December last year.
A source told ESPN it is "a coin flip" regarding whether Cristobal will stay at Oregon or go to Miami. The source noted that the biggest motivating factor in Cristobal going to Miami would be the chance to be closer to his mother Clara, who is working through some health issues.
While Cristobal's first head coaching gig at Florida International from 2007 to 2012 didn't go well, with the Golden Panthers going 27-47, he has been a stabilizing force at Oregon.
In four seasons as the Ducks' full-time head coach, Cristobal has gone 35-12, and he has led Oregon to Pac-12 Championship Game wins in both 2019 and 2020.
Along with winning the Pac-12 title game, Oregon went 12-2 overall and won the Rose Bowl in 2020.
The Ducks had a legitimate chance to reach the College Football Playoff this season after upsetting Ohio State, but a loss to Stanford followed by two losses to Utah ended their hopes.
Still, the Ducks have registered another double-digit-win season at 10-3, and Cristobal seems like the right coach to lead them into the future.