B tier hires for Texas A&M football
Now we’re getting into the good stuff! Guys at this level or above would be ones where I can really see a strong path towards championship contention. This tier is the lowest end of that spectrum.
Lance Leipold: It’s not easy to resurrect Kansas. Leipold has a tradition of winning in his wake, and he brought that to one of the toughest football jobs in America and now has them as a legitimate squad for the first time in forever. There are questions about how his abilities recruiting-wise would scale to this stage, as well as whether his offensive system can be viable at a championship level, but this is one that I would not be opposed to at all.
Mike Elko: I think too many Aggie fans have it in their head that Elko is a bad candidate. He’s one of the brightest defensive minds in college football, and has made an immediate impact at Duke. His big time QB got injured down the stretch of this season, accounting for many of their losses, but I think Elko would be a great fit here. He’s not a bad recruiter at all, either; he may not be an ace, but he’s definitely an asset.
Jonathan Smith: Recent reporting from Footballscoop.com has the Oregon State head man as likely to head to Michigan State, but nothing is set in stone yet. Similar to Leipold, Smith has done wonders with a very tough situation up in Corvallis. His offense may be a bit too reminiscent of Jimbo’s for many Aggie fans’ liking (except that it, you know, functions consistently), and he hasn’t shown a huge ability as regards recruiting, but there’s a lot to like with Smith.
Jedd Fisch: Fisch is really intriguing for a lot of reasons: first, he’s been basically everywhere. He’s worked for almost every coach under the sun, it seems like, from Steve Spurrier to Bill Belichek. He has a forward-focused vision for his program, talking in a recent interview about instituting an NFL-style personnel department, which isn’t a bad idea in the NIL and transfer portal era. He’s also shown some recruiting chops, getting a top-20 class to Tucson where such a thing is unheard of. Not to mention the fact that he’s taken Zona from 1-11 all the way to 8-3 with 9-3 likely.