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Pitt Football: Tulsa's Todd Graham Pitting Tulsa Against Pitt in Money Game

Dave DeBlasioCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2011

Tulsa's head football coach Todd Graham has gotten an offer from the University of Pittsburgh to be the Panthers' next football coach. If he accepts, Graham will replace the two coaches Pitt has fired in the past 30 days, Mike Haywood and Dave Wannstedt.

According to Fox 23 in Tulsa, Graham is taking the offer back to Tulsa to see if Golden Hurricane officials will top it.

One source told a Fox analyst this morning that Graham to Pitt is all but signed.

The announcement this afternoon that Pitt has made an offer to Graham is not remarkable in any way. Graham was Steve Pederson's first choice in early December when Pederson, the Pitt athletic director, fired Dave Wannstedt.

Pederson couldn't meet Graham's salary demands then. Apparently, chancellor Mark Nordenberg has been impressed with Graham and is willing to open the checkbook to get him.

Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter, and Chas Rich, publisher of Pittblather.com, had indicated yesterday that Graham was Pitt's first choice.

He is the only candidate on the Panthers' short list who has had a second interview with Mark Nordenberg.

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The deal seems close to being finished. Sources in Tulsa reported growing tired of Graham's incessant maneuvering for more money. Whether the university will re-open the contract extension Graham signed in 2009 remains to be seen.

His wife, Penni, is a strong presence. She is very connected to the Tulsa community. There is no indication, however, she will try to keep her husband Todd in Tulsa.

Apparently, Graham's feelers at Stanford and Michigan are not giving him much to go on, and Graham seems ready to commit to Pitt.

Chris Dokish, respected blogger at Big East Report, believes Graham is the best choice to take the Panthers to the next level of winning Big East championships and competing in BCS bowls.

If he can bring Graham on board, Pederson will feel a sense of vindication, although Graham is not the choice of many fans.

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