Sunday, July 22, 2018
Colleges

Florida State: Possible replacements for Jimbo Fisher

Now that Jimbo Fisher has officially left Florida State for Texas A&M, who will replace him in Tallahassee? Some potential candidates include:

Oregon coach Willie Taggart:
FSU has already started vetting the 41-year-old Palmetto native and former USF head coach. Taggart knows the state, and he’s a great recruiter; the Ducks have the nation’s No. 6 class for 2018. He has successfully turned around three programs (Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon), so his 47-50 record doesn’t do him justice. Oregon has already offered him a new contract – SI reported it’s a five-year deal worth more than $20 million. It’s unclear whether he’ll want to leave after only one season, but expect him to listen. He looks like the favorite.

TOM JONES: Is Willie Taggart really ready for Florida State

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente:
The 41-year-old Oklahoma native is perhaps the most established of the up-and-coming group. He revitalized Memphis, then won the ACC Coastal Division in his first year with the Hokies (and finished 9-3 in his second). He replaced Frank Beamer in Blacksburg, so he isn’t afraid to try to fill big shoes. Does he want to jump into the ACC’s tougher division?

SMU coach Chad Morris:
Another rising star in the business, the 48-year-old Texan has turned SMU from a two-win program into one that’s bowl eligible. His Mustangs had the nation’s No. 8 scoring offense (40.2 points per game). Morris, too, is regarded as an excellent recruiter who helped land phenom Deshaun Watson when he was a Clemson assistant.

USF coach Charlie Strong:
He just took over the Bulls, but the former Texas coach might be interested in getting another Power Five job. Strong is a former Gators assistant, so he’s plugged into the state.

TCU coach Gary Patterson:
The 57-year-old is a longshot, yes. But he is one of the nation’s best coaches and might have a desire to take over the Seminoles.

Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz:
The 43-year-old brain behind the turnover chain might be ready to become a head coach. He’s a Miami native who went to FSU and was a Seminoles grad assistant, so he’s well-connected across the state. Hiring a coordinator might be too big of a leap for this job, however.

Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren:
The 40-year-old Tallahassee native is another FSU alumnus who will eventually become a head coach. There will be some pressure for the Seminoles to consider him.

Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin:
The optics of trading coaches with A&M are terrible and almost certainly too much to overcome. But the 53-year-old has a history of successful offenses and has posted an 86-43 career record.

RELATED: Jimbo Fisher leaves Florida State for Texas A&M.

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