We know nothing right now. We do not know whether or not Paul Chryst is Wisconsin's choice to replace Bret Bielema or whether he'd accept that position if offered. There have been no reports either nationally, locally or in Wisconsin to warrant any sort of panic. At least not yet.
But there obviously is speculation. And it's important to remember that it's just speculation at this point.
Deep breaths everyone. Deep. Breaths.
That being said, I think it's safe to speculate that if Wisconsin offered the job to Chryst there's a seemingly good chance he would likely take it. His ties to the state are pretty solid. As to whether he would be the pick, the Milwaulkee Journal Sentinel consulted, eh, someone?:
A source who follows college football closely suggested UW should approach former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who is in his first season as the head coach at Pittsburgh.
Chryst coached tight ends at UW in 2002, left to join his friend Mike Riley at Oregon State after that season but returned to UW in 2005 as offensive coordinator.
Chryst, 47, still has family in Wisconsin, including his mother, and maintains a cottage here.
Oh God. Please don't let "maintains a cottage here" be the new "he has family here." But besides Chryst's ties to the state and university, there's his relationship with athletic director Barry Alvarez, who really went to bat for Chryst when he was looking to become a head coach. I really wouldn't underestimate that as a factor.
ESPN's Big Ten Bloggers Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett tweeted that Chryst is the logical pick:
Really think Alvarez has to hire Chryst. Wisconsin guy. Wouldn't be looking for next best thing. Knows the offense.— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) December 4, 2012
Mark Schlabach of ESPN also speculates that Chryst "is the perfect guy" for Wisconsin. Fantastic.
Our SBN Wisconsin blog, Bucky's Fifth Quarter, also speculates that Paul Chryst is the obvious choice for Wisconsin.
Chris Peak gives us a veiled but reassuring tweet as my blood pressure falls from "dead" to "cardiac arrest.":
It sure sounds like Paul Chryst isn't likely to leave #Pitt, for a variety of reasons. But the next few days will be interesting.— Chris Peak (@PantherLair) December 4, 2012
Bless you, Chris Peak.