Jimbo Fisher Fired: Top Five Candidates to Replace Him

    While there were rumblings that Texas A&M fans and boosters were unhappy with the way things were trending under former National Title-winning head coach Jimbo Fisher, the news of his firing still came as a surprise to many. So, who are the candidates to replace Fisher?

    College Football Network has five candidates to watch.

    Candidates to Replace Jimbo Fisher

    The school has deep pockets, and despite planning to pay his nearly $80 million buyout in full, Texas A&M should still be able to make a flashy hire if they choose to go that route. Fisher was the hottest of names when he was hired, but it still didn’t work out in College Station.

    Expect the Aggies to remain aggressive in seeking an offensive-minded head coach, but after three straight failed head coaches known for their schematic minds, the administration could opt to look for a coach who follows a CEO model.

    Money is no obstacle, and accordingly, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Aggies opt to swing for the fences.

    Lane Kiffin: Head Coach, Ole Miss

    Athletic director Ross Bjork came from Ole Miss but left before the school hired Lane Kiffin in 2020. That being said, Bjork still has connections in Oxford, and Kiffin has become a successful SEC head coach.

    Kiffin is still considered one of the best offensive minds in college football. That will appeal to a fanbase that was promised a high-powered offense under Fisher but never saw that promise come to fruition.

    Kiffin would be a splashy hire that would appease most of the powers that be. That being said, Kiffin reportedly loves Oxford. Could the promise of a massive NIL infrastructure and nearly unlimited funds lure him away?

    Mike Elko: Head Coach, Duke

    Elko is in his second season at Duke and is the only defensive-minded head coach on this list. That being said, he’s already been able to turn that program around with limited resources completely.

    What could Elko do with A&M’s money?

    The key here would be getting Kevin Johns, Duke’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, as a package deal. Johns will have plenty of interest from other schools as a head coach, but if the Aggies throw money at Johns as well, the Texas A&M offense could see a huge improvement.

    Elko is a solid recruiter, but he’s more seen as a developer of talent, something the Aggies have been missing over the past decade or so.

    Dan Lanning: Head Coach, Oregon

    Here’s one more “swing for the fences” hire. Dan Lanning has SEC roots and has had near-immediate success as the head coach at Oregon.

    Lanning’s aggression as a play caller and on fourth downs should appeal to Aggie fans and boosters who have watched a product that has often lacked excitement despite talent everywhere on the field.

    Lanning is unique here because his current school is possibly the only school in the country that could match Texas A&M’s deep pockets. The partnership with Nike and strong NIL infrastructure would make it nearly impossible to pull Lanning from Oregon.

    Bobby Petrino: Offensive Coordinator, Texas A&M

    Here’s a wildcard.

    Bobby Petrino was hired as Fisher’s first true offensive coordinator, but sources behind the scenes have implied that he hasn’t truly been given the reins in Fisher’s offense. If the Aggie offense improves over the last week of the season, plus a bowl game, Petrino could be an appealing coaching candidate.

    Petrino checks many of the boxes the Aggies need to check in a new head coach. He has SEC experience, is known for his recruiting prowess, and no team or fanbase cares less about any pass transgressions than the Aggies.

    He’s a bit of a wildcard pick but could generate buzz, especially if the Aggies look solid over the final few weeks.

    Barry Odom: Head Coach, UNLV

    Barry Odom is another under-the-radar pick. He’s a guy that might not excite the fanbase as much as some of the bigger names on this list, but he’s a name that should.

    Arkansas’ defense has taken a tremendous step back this season after Odom went to UNLV to coach the Rebels. There, Odom has assembled an exceptional staff and has already led UNLV to its most wins in 23 years.

    The question with Odom is whether he’d feel comfortable bringing Brennon Marion and his “Go Go” offense to the SEC (he should) and whether the A&M powers that be would feel comfortable with such an out-of-the-box offensive system (they should). Odom wouldn’t be the splashiest name the Aggies could get, but he might be what they need.

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