Arkansas expected to hire Chad Morris away from SMU

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Joined ESPN.com in 2008.

SMU's Chad Morris has emerged as the top target to replace Bret Bielema at Arkansas, a source told Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.

Morris, 49, has a 14-22 record with the Mustangs, but his team's performance has improved dramatically over the past three seasons.

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Arkansas went 4-8 this season and just 1-7 in the SEC.

Sources tell CBS Sports that influential people in the college football world and within the SEC who consulted with Arkansas - a program that didn't have an athletic director until Hunter Yurachek was hired on Monday - nearly universally recommended Morris for the job due to his integrity, Texas ties and ability to consistently produce top-tier offenses. With Auburn and Memphis locking up Gus Malzahn and Mike Norvell, respectively, Arkansas has turned its attention to Morris. Some media sources speculate that Morris might try to lure Venables to Arkansas as defensive coordintor.

Morris is known for his fast-paced, no-huddle spread offense.

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The Mustangs are top 15 in the FBS in scoring offense (40.2 points per game), total offense (493.8 yards per game) and passing offense (308 yards per game) this year.

Prior to assuming the control of the program at SMU, Morris was the offensive coordinator at Clemson, where he was at the forefront of the Tigers' turnaround from ACC also-ran to perennial national title contender.

He has extensive recruiting and coaching experience in Texas, having coached high school ball for 16 years at four Texas high schools before joining the collegiate ranks as Tulsa's offensive coordinator in 2010 followed by coordinating Clemson's offense from 2011-2014.

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