Despite recent reports that Houston’s Tom Herman has a tentative deal in place to become South Carolina’s next head coach, Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman says the Gamecocks have a different front-runner — Alabama’s Kirby Smart.

Sources have told one of college football’s most reliable insiders that the Crimson Tide’s 39-year-old defensive coordinator is at the top of South Carolina’s list and there’s mutual interest.

South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said last week he expects to name a new coach in December.

Houston, meanwhile, is trying to keep Herman with a considerable raise and contract extension.