Tier List: Ranking Texas A&M Football Head Coaching Candidates

Ohio State coach Ryan Day shakes hands with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh following Saturday's game.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day shakes hands with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh following Saturday's game. /
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D Tier Hires for Texas A&M Football

The good thing about this tier is that both of the names that occupy it have been more or less shot down—one more definitively than the other at this point, though.

Texas A&M football
UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor during the NCAA college football game at Tennessee on Saturday, September 23, 2023 in Knoxville, Tenn. /

Jeff Traylor: I think I’ve made my feelings on Traylor clear by now. He would be a great hire for a program looking for regional relevancy and reach, but for a program that is looking for national recruiting acumen and program notoriety, he’s not the guy. It does seem that he, like Kiffin, badly wanted this job, however; there’s an as-of-now unsubstantiated rumor being passed around that he was calling some of the A&M recruits and telling them he was getting the job shortly before something happened that made him emphatically deny that he was considering it (hint: he got told no by Bjork).

Traylor coaches up good, solid teams. However, his ability as a recruiter is limited outside the state of Texas, and his teams have been unable to win big games in his time at UTSA. His connection to the dumpster fire of Chad Morris’s tenure at Arkansas is concerning, as well. I don’t think he’s ready for the kind of spotlight that exists at a place like A&M.

Texas A&M football
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks in the Smart Family Media Center at the Smart Family Media Center at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson, S.C. Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023. /

Dabo Swinney: For as much clout as it would bring to poach two sitting national championship coaches in a row from the schools where each won a title, I don’t think this is the move for Texas A&M football either. Dabo’s teams are beginning to have eerily similar issues to Jimbo’s down here, and Swinney is making headlines a couple of times every season with his loudly stated opposition to the future landscape of college football.

Swinney has done a lot to build up the Clemson program, but he feels a bit like a coach whose star is falling rather than rising/at its peak. This would feel like a Jimbo retread in just too many ways, and so I can’t put him any higher than the D tier.