Let the speculation begin.
With an NFL head coaching job already open just four weeks into the season, the rumor mill has months to churn. One of the candidates spit regarding the Houston Texans job is Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
The dot-connecting of Swinney to Houston is obvious: Deshaun Watson.
If the national champion coach is going to leave Clemson for the NFL, it would make sense to head to where one of his star pupils is under contract for the long haul.
During a Tuesday conference call before his No. 1 ranked Tigers take on No. 7 Miami, South Carolina sports radio host Phil Kornblut asked if Swinney had heard from Watson.
"I have not heard from Deshaun and that is not even anything that I want to even have to think about," Swinney said, before snickering, via the Houston Chronicle. "You would be the one to ask that question out of all the questions. You don't want to ask anything about Miami? Next question."
Swinney has a cushy gig at Clemson, where he built a perennial powerhouse and reportedly earns more than $9 million per year with the highest level of job security a coach can ask.
Convincing Swinney to leave Clemson would be a hard proposition unless he gets an itch to prove he can be just as successful at the next level.
For every coach, the most important position in football is the quarterback. To convince a successful college coach to leave for the NFL, stability at that position would be necessary. Watson is among the young, dynamic new faces of the NFL. Hence the speculation.
Whether the Swinney-Houston connection becomes anything more than speculative fodder remains to be seen, and we're a long way off from Houston choosing its next full-time coach. It would make sense if the Texans at least checked to see if the championship coach has any interest in reuniting with Watson, even if the ultimate answer is no.