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Illinois Coaching Candidates: Deal With Houston's Kevin Sumlin 'Not Happening'

It was rumored earlier today that the Illinois football team was closing in on a deal with Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin, but Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports is reporting that a deal between the two is "not happening."

Sumlin appears to be at the top of the Fighting Illini's list of coaching candidates after turning Houston into one of the better programs in the nation, but he's also one of the most popular coaching candidates in general when it comes to big-name gigs. Other major schools looking for new coaches right now include Arizona State, UCLA and Texas A&M.

Getting Sumlin on board would be a major coup for Illinois, especially given that programs in Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan are doing well and Ohio State is certainly on the path after hiring Urban Meyer. The Fighting Illini need a quality coach to make an impact in the Big Ten.

For more on Sumlin's ongoing job hunt, check in with SB Nation Houston. For updates and info on Illinois' search, visit SB Nation Chicago and Hail to the Orange, SB Nation's Illinois Fighting Illini blog.