CBS sports’ Dennis Dodd broke some interesting news earlier Thursday afternoon that may pique the interest of Penn State footballs fans. He reported that Penn State was gearing up for Texas A&M to make a run at James Franklin if the Aggies fire their coach.
— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) October 12, 2017
While it doesn’t come as much a surprise that Texas A&M would target a big-name head coach like Franklin to replace Sumlin — who’s 48-23 in his Aggies tenure — if indeed he’s fired, the likelihood of such an event taking place is highly unlikely.
Here are the first of many issues:
Franklin Is Content In Happy Valley
James Franklin didn’t hold back on expressing his true feelings on the new contract he just signed — along with his current situation at Penn State. “I think, for me, it’s about stability,” Franklin said after signing his contract. “We have started to build something here that I think can really be special. It provides stability for my family, but it also provides stability for my assistant coaches, it provides stability for their families, it provide stabilities for our players, it provides stability in recruiting, all of those types of things.”
Money aside, Franklin is happy at Penn State. I find it hard to believe he’d uproot his family to return to the SEC when he’s building a perennial contender here in central Pennsylvania — one rich with fruits of his feverish recruiting efforts over the past few years — to restart in College Station with players who aren’t his. He’s taken Penn State from the ashes and returned the Nittany Lions to national prominence; James Franklin is a smart businessman, but even he knows such a move would prove to be disadvantageous.
This would be one expensive move to make if it happens at all. Currently, Franklin’s extension he signed in August puts him in the top-10 in national coaching salaries, making a little north of $6 million per season. If he were to bolt for A&M, his buyout would be $2 million.
Furthermore, Texas A&M would be on the hook for the remainder of the six year, $30 million contract extension Sumlin signed late in 2013 (the deal went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014). There’s a good chance Sumlin is fired if the Aggies can’t finish the season on the right note, but then again, he’s 4-2 right now with marquee games still left on the schedule. There’s time for the Aggies to turn it around, which would bolster Sumiln’s chances of hanging around.
In short, this is fun to discuss for national pundits on paper, but it’s hard to see such a coaching move ever materialize.
Dream on, Aggies fans. Franklin’s unlikely to bolt anytime soon.