Rumor mill: Next year's coaching carousel could include LSU, Texas A&M and Texas
Four FBS head coaching jobs remain open as of Friday night.
Before the proverbial paint has begun to dry, already media members and those inside the business are discussing which major jobs may come open in 2016.
On that list? Two SEC West teams.
According to ESPN’s Travis Haney, LSU, Texas A&M and Texas are “the three biggest jobs that coaches and ADs have their eyes on for the next calendar year.”
The Tigers flirted hard with jettisoning coach Les Miles after the 2015 season. Then, after LSU beat Texas A&M to finish 8-3, athletic director Joe Alleva would in fact stick with Miles.
Among the circumstances surrounding that decision:
- LSU was negotiating with Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher through intermediaries, but prior to the announcement that the Tigers would retain Miles, Fisher let it be known in the media that he planned to remain in Tallahassee.
- The total buyout for Miles and his staff was reported anywhere from $15 to 20 million. Given the university’s monetary struggles on the academic side, it didn’t seem prudent to spend that much money just to move on from a very successful football coach.
- The majority of the LSU fan base responded to media leaks in a resounding way, calling for the school to keep Miles.
Despite all of that, Miles must be willing to change up the team’s offense, or he may find himself out of a job after the 2016 season. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron seems all but gone. Miles must allow the new system and coordinator, if such a move is made, to not be as stubborn and conservative.
The buyout money for Miles and his staff will lessen after next season. Also, LSU remains very talented with the return players like Leonard Fournette. Another three-loss season may not be enough for Miles to keep his job.
Writes Haney: “Les Miles’ awkward return doesn’t provide any real job security for the long-term future.”
The Aggies are 11-13 in the SEC since 2012. For a coach making $5 million per season, coaching in a stadium that was just renovated to the tune of nearly $500 million, that’s not getting the job done.
Coach Kevin Sumlin has done a great job of recruiting. It was a coup to pry John Chavis from LSU to coach the defense. But this team needs to do better than 4-4 in conference play next season or it could be Sumlin’s last.
Writes Haney: “Kevin Sumlin’s future isn’t talked about nearly as much as his counterpart in Austin, but big-money A&M donors — the ones who helped overhaul Kyle Field to the tune of $450 million — are growing impatient and I’ve repeatedly been told that another .500 SEC season would push them to the brink of dismissing Sumlin.”
After two seasons in Austin, Charlie Strong is 11-14. That’s not what the Longhorns had in mind when they hired him away from Louisville.
Strong is in the middle of a search for his next offensive coordinator, and it has been an embarrassment.
An OrangeBloods.com report said the school didn’t land TCU co-coordinator Sonny Cumbie because administrators wouldn’t tell Cumbie if Strong would still be head coach after 2016. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy said that Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert also turned down a three-year offer.
Whomever Strong lands could either save his job or hasten his exit from the university.