Dan Lanning Attempts to Shoot Down Texas A&M Football Rumors
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning, about whom much has been made in the past 36 or so hours with regard to the Texas A&M football job, took to the podium tonight for his weekly press conference. After a brief—extremely brief, as a matter of fact—opening statement, he was asked about the talk regarding himself and “another school,” as the reporter put it. He proceeded to give a long, emphatic denial—and since I’m such a nice guy, I transcribed it for you! Free of charge!
"We talk about outside noise a lot in our program. Um, I guess the reality here, one, our-my name and our program wouldn’t be a topic of conversation for another school if we didn’t have something here that everybody else wanted. And the reason we have something here, uh, that everybody else wants-that’s because of what our players, our coaches, the support that exists here at Oregon have created. I think I’ve been really, really clear here since day one, uh, everything I want exists right here. I’m not going anywhere, there’s zero chance that I would be coaching somewhere else, um, I’ve got unfinished business here, there’s a lot that I want to accomplish. Uh, here at Oregon, my number one priority is being elite, um, here at Oregon. And we have the resources, the tools… um, anybody that can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to be here at this place doesn’t understand exactly what exists here, right, like what I’ve said before, with a 13-year-old, a 12-year-old, and a 10-year-old, to be able to raise your, uh, family in a community like this, to be able to compete for, uh, championships and have the ability to get the resources you need… You know, a lot of coaches hang onto these moments and they don’t do anything or don’t say anything, one, because they don’t want egg on their face when they decide to do something else, right, two, because they’re concerned about things that I’m not concerned about, like getting a better contract. Like, I’m taken care of extremely well here at Oregon. I have the resources I need here at Oregon to be really, really successful. I’m not motivated by that. I’m motivated by winning. I’m motivated by being elite here. Um, and our players deserve my complete focus, uh, our fans deserve the best, uh, product on the field, so it’s outside noise. It didn’t matter before, it doesn’t matter now. I’ll continue to say it until I’m blue in the face. I want to be here at Oregon, that hasn’t changed, that won’t change."
That is about as emphatic as you could hope an answer like this could be, as an Oregon fan. As a Texas A&M football fan, it seems like the Dan Lanning dream might be dead—or is it?
Now, I’m sorry to the Oregon fan reading this. I remember how aggravating it was when LSU folks wouldn’t keep quiet about Jimbo and the LSU job back in 2021, no matter what he said—and repeatedly so. It really got on my nerves. But the reality here is that these negotiations are not determined by press conference answers. All the same reasons that I think Dan Lanning might end up as the head coach of Texas A&M football still remain, even with this answer having been given. I think Texas A&M football has more natural advantages than Oregon. I think they are better-positioned in the changing landscape of the sport, especially as regards regionality and the upcoming shifts in conference alignment—not to mention NIL. I think Dan Lanning is smart enough to realize how hard it is to get talent up to Eugene, Oregon as opposed to College Station, Texas. One team is seeking a playoff berth and the other is sitting at 6-4 with a fired coach. Which do you think has a higher average recruit ranking right now? The plain fact of the matter is that Dan Lanning can build a much better program at Texas A&M football due to inherent advantages at the school. With imminent changes at hand, I think that disparity between the two schools will only grow. My mind won’t be changed on that, whether or not he is the guy who takes the job here.
But you kind of wish he had waffled a little bit, even so.