There has been a lot of speculation that Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley may have talked to Boise State coach Chris Petersen in Orlando on Thursday night at some point before or after ESPN’s college football awards show.

It is unconfirmed whether a conversation actually took place – and whether it was just a casual “hello” or a more serious pitch from Foley about the vacant head coaching job at UF. Foley is not commenting on his coaching search and Petersen has not been available for comment. Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier is out of town until next week, and he did not return phone messages left at his office by The Sun on Friday.

Petersen is one of the hottest (and perhaps most coveted) coaches in college football at the moment, and it’s obvious the Gators are interested. But first, before things even have a chance to get serious, Foley has to find out Petersen’s level of interest and if it would be strong enough to possibly draw him away from Boise State, where he has said numerous times he has no plans to leave. If Petersen shows a sincere interest, it’s pretty obvious Foley will make a strong play for the ultra-successful coach, who has lost only five games in five seasons.

Maybe that’s what Thursday night was about in Orlando – Foley’s first advance to find out if Petersen is even interested. Some are speculating that he is – but speculation is all it is at the moment.

Foley is still in the very early stages of his search, so don’t expect any major breaking revelations for at least a few days.