Report: Penn State 'preparing' for Texas A&M to pursue James Franklin

Dr. Saturday
James Franklin has a 31-15 record at Penn State. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
James Franklin has a 31-15 record at Penn State. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

UPDATE Friday Noon ET

The timing of this James Franklin tweet seems more than coincidental, no?


If Texas A&M moves on from Kevin Sumlin as many expect, could the school go after James Franklin?

A vague report from CBS was published Thursday saying Penn State officials are “preparing for A&M to make a run at hiring Franklin should Sumlin and the Aggies part ways.” Franklin, in his fourth season at PSU, is coming off a Big Ten championship in 2016 and has the Nittany Lions ranked No. 3 this year, so it makes sense that A&M would be interested in his services.

But would Franklin be interested in A&M? It’d be surprising.

A&M has devoted huge resources to football since it moved to the SEC, but Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, has Penn State rolling at a high level on the field and in recruiting. Franklin inherited a program saddled by NCAA sanctions and got PSU to seven wins in his first two seasons. The 2016 season started a bit shaky with losses to Pitt and Michigan before the Nittany Lions rattled off nine straight wins, including a dramatic decision over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.

Franklin, who agreed to a lucrative contract extension in August, has already coached in the SEC at Vanderbilt. Sumlin hasn’t exactly been treated with much dignity on what many think is his way out of College Station, despite a 48-23 overall record (23-20 in SEC play). On the surface, it’s hard to make a convincing argument for Franklin to take the A&M job.

Schools go after sitting head coaches all the time, so it’s not surprising that A&M would aim high if it decides to cut ties with Sumlin. Perhaps that’s the main thing we can glean from this report, which, to be clear, does not even say Texas A&M *will* go after Franklin. The report, written by Dennis Dodd (who visited State College this week) can basically be translated to this: Penn State believes Texas A&M may go after Franklin and is doing what it can to prepare for that possible pursuit.

We’re still several weeks away from that potentially coming to fruition.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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