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Next Texas A&M Coach Odds: Elko, Traylor, & Lanning Among Top Favorites

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 5 mins

Next Texas A&M Coach Odds: Elko, Traylor, & Lanning Among Top Favorites

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Texas A&M finally did the thing everyone said they wouldn’t possibly dare do. The optics alone would be a nightmare. Indeed they were but the Aggies did the thing anyway, firing coach Jimbo Fisher midway through his sixth season in College Station. 

In the process, A&M is eating roughly $76 million remaining on Fisher’s guaranteed contract – an unprecedented buyout number that dwarfs the previous high of Auburn’s $21 million price tag for parting ways with then-head coach Gus Malzahn. 

Now Fisher is set to receive about $20 million upfront and $7 million per year for the next eight years. Not a bad deal. 

As for the Aggies? We dunno about the Aggies. 

Fisher was supposed to be the next-level hire, the money-is-no-object move to bring a national championship to A&M. And they never came close, with just two nine-win seasons and countless disappointments in the big games over the past six seasons. 

Now the Aggies are going back to the drawing board and will have their sights on the biggest names. They’re not looking for an up-and-coming coordinator. They want to make another massive splash and they have the cash to do it. Whether or not A&M will land one of their top three or four candidates is another question entirely. 

Next Texas A&M Head Coach Odds 

CoachCurrent JobOddsImplied Probability
Mike ElkoDuke HC+20033.3%
Jeff TraylorUTSA HC+30025%
Dan LanningOregon HC+50016.7%
Kalen DeBoerWashington HC+80011.1%
Lane KiffinOle Miss HC+12007.7%
Lance LeipoldKansas HC+15006.3%
Mike NorvellFlorida State HC+18005.3%
Chris KliemanKansas State HC+20004.8%
The FieldNA+10009.09%

These odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

Who Will Be The Next Texas A&M Football Coach?

When looking at proven coaches with A&M ties who would likely jump at the offer, Mike Elko seems like the most obvious fit. Elko had great success as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator from 2018-21 before accepting the head job at Duke. 

At Duke, he quickly turned the Blue Devils around and earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for a 9-4 campaign in his first year in Durham. As much as Elko has thrived in the new role, it’s hard to believe he’d turn down the chance at such a big leap to the SEC and we have him as the most likely candidate.

Jeff Traylor is another realistic option with serious Texas ties. He’s led UTSA to a 30-8 record over the last three seasons and knows the state inside and out, with tons of high school ties and recruiting pipelines already in place. 

He’s likely not the first name that will be thrown out with A&M gunning for even bigger names, but this could turn out to be the best fit for all parties if the Aggies strike out on a bigger name or two in the search process. 

As for those bigger names, A&M would be foolish not to pursue Oregon coach Dan Lanning and Washington coach Kaen DeBoer

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Lanning and DeBoer have been the class of the Pac-12 for the past two years and would be considered major gets for the Aggies. We’re not so sure the school will successfully lure either one. Making a jump from the Pac-12 to the SEC may have been a tempting offer in years past, but both programs are heading to the Big Ten in 2024 with a chance to win at the highest levels.  

Dan Lanning does have SEC experience having served as Georgia’s defensive coordinator from 2019-21, and he also spent a season with Alabama as a graduate assistant in 2015. He’s as credentialed as it gets and backed it up over the past two seasons, compiling a 19-4 record with the Ducks. 

The problem for A&M is that Oregon is one of few schools in the country with nearly unlimited resources, so it’s not a monumental jump for Lanning from that perspective.

Kalen DeBoer is another proven winner having completely turned the Washington football program around. He’s very much in the mix for a College Football Playoff spot this year with the Huskies’ 10-0 start. 

But College Station is a long way from Seattle and he doesn’t have many ties to the region as far as we know. Washington would also be wise to offer a massive extension and lock him up for the foreseeable future as the Huskies make the move to the Big Ten.

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Similar questions arise for candidates like Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and Florida State coach Mike Norvell, both of whom would have tough decisions to make if seriously considered. We’re skeptical either would be ready to jump at an offer, particularly if the Seminoles keep it rolling this season. 

For all the flashy names in this search, we think A&M will end up with a reasonable hire who doesn’t generate the massive headlines a Lane Kiffin or Urban Meyer would bring. After the Fisher fiasco, that might be exactly what the Aggies need.

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.