Rumors continue to swirl that Texas A&M has made Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher a lucrative job offer and that Fisher will likely bail on Tallahassee for College Station in the coming days. While Florida State officials have said they would like Fisher to remain at the school, they are apparently preparing for the possibility of his departure, having reportedly begun research on Oregon coach Willie Taggart as a potential replacement.
Taggart, who is in his first season at Oregon after previously coaching South Florida, seems to be the obvious first choice to replace Fisher should he leave for Texas A&M. But Thursday, another, much less expected name popped up: Kevin Sumlin.
Sumlin is the man Fisher would be replacing at Texas A&M, as he was fired Sunday following six years at the helm of the Aggies program. Footballscoop.com reported Thursday that Sumlin has emerged as a possible contender to replace Fisher for Florida State.
Louisville and Mississippi State essentially swapped defensive coordinators following last season, but a head coaching swap would be virtually unprecedented. While the idea of trading a national championship-winning coach in Fisher for the recently-fired Sumlin might not be the most palatable for Florida State fans, the possibility of hiring Sumlin likely entices Seminole officials because the school could do so for cheap.
Since he is not currently employed, Florida State would not have to buy Sumlin out of a current contract, as they would to land Taggart or, say, Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente. Plus, Sumlin is in line to receive more than $10 million from Texas A&M in buyout money from Texas A&M, so the Seminoles could likely get away with paying him significantly less than the $5.7 million it paid Fisher this season.
Sumlin went 51-26 during his six seasons at Texas A&M, but the team’s record slowly worsened throughout his tenure, from 11-2 in 2012 to 7-5 this season. Prior to coaching Texas A&M, Sumlin wen 35-17 during four years as the head coach of Houston.
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