2. Dan Lanning returning to the SEC could save Texas A&M
Another name that was immediately linked to Texas A&M was current Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning. Only in his second season in Eugene after serving as the Georgia defensive coordinator for three years, Lanning has immediately hit the ground running with a 19-4 record with the Ducks.
Lanning has checked every box you'd want while looking to replace Jimbo Fisher. He's an impeccable recruiter at the top levels, whether at Georgia or Oregon, a true leader that exudes tremendous energy on the sidelines and in the locker room, and has proven to be a smart head coach in terms of game management and analytical decision-making.
Still just 37 years old, Lanning looks like the right guy for any job that he would want. Would he rather return to the SEC with Oregon about to move to the Big Ten? Or would he rather stay put? That might be the only question standing in the way of the Aggies landing Lanning.
1. Mike Elko is the obvious Jimbo Fisher replacement for the Aggies
It's probably not a coincidence that Texas A&M has started to dramatically decline under Jimbo Fisher the past two years after former defensive coordinator Mike Elko took the head coaching job at Duke. Similarly, that narrative is furthered by the fact that Duke has enjoyed unfamiliar success immediately since Elko arrived, going 15-8 at a program not used to that on the gridiron.
Elko has proven at every stop in his coaching career that he's a tremendous defensive mind, which would obviously help Texas A&M rebound on that side of the ball. However, when you also throw in his eye for talent and his ability to avoid the pitfalls of many defensive-minded coaches by letting his staff run proper offense, he's just a damn good football coach.
With his success immediately as a Power 5 head coach and familiarity with the Aggies program, no one should be shocked to learn that Elko is one of the top replacements for Jimbo, if not the No. 1 candidate.