Is Florida Atlantic Interested in Carl Pelini?

Is Carl Pelini headed to South Beach? (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Chuck King of Owl Insider reported last week that Florida Atlantic athletic director Craig Angelos traveled to Lincoln to discuss the Owls now-vacant head coaching position with Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini. FAU is looking for a successor to Howard Schnellenberger, who announced his retirement plans at the end of this season in August. Last Saturday, the Owls defeated Alabama-Birmingham 38-35 to send Schnellenberger out a winner.

That victory was Florida Atlantic's only victory on the season; the Owls went 1-11 on the season. Even Western Kentucky beat the Owls 20-0 in Boca Raton this season. So whomever Florida Atlantic turns to, the next coach will have quite a bit of work to do.

Is Carl Pelini a serious candidate for the FAU job? FAU athletic director Angelos has done a fairly good job keeping his candidate list quiet, though it's believed he's been targeting offensive coaches. Schnellenberger's teams have gone downhill since 2008's Motor City Bowl team. Even with a senior quarterback in Rusty Smith, the Owls couldn't get back to a bowl game after offensive coordinator Gary Nord left for Purdue. Angelos is looking for a coach who will implement a spread attack, thinking that will give them a better chance to compete in the Sun Belt conference.

But that doesn't mean that Pelini isn't a candidate, though I'm sure one of the biggest questions Pelini will face is who he'd bring in as his offensive coordinator. If Carl leaves the shadow of his brother, who would Bo Pelini bring in to replace Carl?

Considering the issues on defense this season, would another change on the coaching staff provide Bo Pelini and opportunity to further refine his coaching staff? Or would it raise even more questions going into the 2012 season?

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