BSU 5

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin watches his team play Utah State on Nov. 23.

Boise State’s Bryan Harsin has been mentioned as a top candidate for a Power 5 head coaching job.

The Broncos’ sixth-year head coach may be in the running to replace Barry Odom, who Missouri fired on Saturday.

Odom’s dismissal ended the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.

The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after beating Arkansas on Friday. That left Odom with a 25-25 record, a perfectly middling mark after Gary Pinkel’s successful run.

Also mentioned as candidates to replace Odom are Josh Heupel, who coached at Oklahoma and Missouri before taking over at Central Florida; Memphis coach Mike Norvell; and Louisville coach Billy Napier.

Athletic director Jim Sterk called the dismissal a “difficult” but “necessary” move.

Harsin is 63-16 in his sixth season as BSU’s coach. The Broncos finished 8-0 in Mountain West Conference play this season, their first unbeaten conference slate since 2009, when BSU played in the Western Athletic Conference. Boise State hosts Hawaii in the Mountain West title game on Dec. 7 at Albertsons Stadium.

It remains to be seen what candidates Missouri can lure given its significant disadvantages.

Odom was one of the lowest-paid coaches in the SEC. The school also resides outside the league’s natural footprint, and will forever battle SEC East behemoths Georgia and Florida — along with the powers in the SEC West, such as Alabama and Auburn — for both recruits and wins.

Missouri brought in several high-profile transfers this season, including former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant and Arkansas wide receiver Jonathan Nance.

But after the Tigers were picked third behind Georgia and Florida in the SEC East, they absorbed a stunning 37-31 loss to Oklahoma State to open the season.

The Tigers rebounded to win five straight games, beating South Carolina and Ole Miss to start 2-0 in conference play. But their offense unspooled in a stunning streak of futility: They lost 21-14 at Vanderbilt, 29-7 at Kentucky, 27-0 at Georgia and 23-6 to Florida.

Their loss to lowly Tennessee ran the Tigers’ losing streak to five straight, and not even a season-ending 24-14 victory over border-rival Arkansas was enough to save Odom’s job.

This past week, the school lost its appeal of NCAA penalties stemming from an incident involving a rogue tutor. That decision left in place postseason bans, recruiting and scholarship restrictions levied against the football, baseball and softball programs.