Report: Chryst is Alvarez' Top Choice [UPDATED]

UPDATE, 10:14 am: Well, this is interesting. Just a few moments ago, Potrykus tweeted again that Chryst will indeed be Wisconsin's No. 1 choice. But there's one more name that should be thrown into the mix:

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Paul Chryst's name surfaced in connection to the Wisconsin job before Bret Bielema was even officially out the door. Now, it appears the speculation won't end until Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez makes his hire.

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported late Tuesday night that not only is Chryst Alvarez' top choice, the current Pitt head coach "still misses Wisconsin." Chryst, 47, is a Madison native and was raised in the state, fitting the "Wisconsin guy" image many have pegged for the positoin.

"Paul still misses Wisconsin," a source close to the UW program said, adding that the Madison native was the No. 1 choice of athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Chryst's mother still lives in Wisconsin and his middle child, daughter JoJo, is a senior at Madison Edgewood High School. The family still maintains a cottage north of Madison.

"He still misses home," the source said.

Chryst, who led Pitt to a 6-6 record in his first year as head coach, as the Panthers set to play Mississippi in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5 in Birmingham, Ala. Tuesday night, he issued a statement affirming his commitment to Pitt.

"I understand the speculation surrounding my name given today's developments. I am committed to the Pitt football program and the University of Pittsburgh. I am focusing all my time and energy on our team's bowl game preparation and recruiting a great group of young men to join our program and this outstanding university. We are working hard every day to re-establish this program and I am excited about the future of Pitt football."

The semantics game will continue until Wisconsin hires its coach, and our friends at Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pitt blog, believe it won't pass before then, either. They pass along the news that Chryst's buyout at Pitt is reportedly $6 million. Considering Big Ten schools reportedly earned $24 million from the conference's television deals, Wisconsin likely could afford that buyout.

Chryst and his coaches were reportedly working the phones last night in an effort to keep recruits on board, but as Cardiac Hill says, the process is still not over.

Paul Chryst is a better person than Todd Graham. That's obvious and undeniable. But there's nothing to prevent him from going to UW and claiming that he never had any intentions of leaving. Nothing out there that could be called a lie if he bolts.

This will not end until Wisconsin hires someone. Alvarez is a smart guy who hopefully had a contingency plan in place. Hopefully we know soon. For our collective sanity.

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