Update, 12:50 p.m.: The Times can confirm that FSU is indeed doing some preliminary vetting on Oregon's Willie Taggart, the former USF coach.
Oregon won't let Taggart go without a fight. Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples reported that the Ducks have offered Taggart a new, five-year deal with more than $40 million.
Meanwhile, things aren't improving in Tallahassee. "Disastrous," is how the situation was described to me early Wednesday afternoon.
The original story is below:
Florida State is preparing as if Jimbo Fisher could bolt for Texas A&M.
FSU hasn't hired a search firm, but USA Today reported Wednesday morning that the Seminoles are researching Oregon coach Willie Taggart as a potential candidate. Taggart is a Palmetto native and coached at USF before leaving for the Ducks. I think Taggart would be the favorite, if Fisher leaves.
Or – maybe – when Fisher leaves.
The situation in Tallahassee has soured. Fisher has been courted by other programs in the past – LSU (twice), Texas and West Virginia, to name a few. Fisher has leveraged that outside interest into increased commitments from FSU, including a new contract for himself and better facilities.
But this time is different. Trying to squeeze more during a 5-6 season has upset some key powerbrokers at FSU. And Deion Sanders.
Fisher has remained silent publicly on the matter by sticking to his I-don't-talk-about-other-jobs policy. That hasn't helped appease influential people in Tallahassee.
The situation has festered, and I'm not sure it's salvageable.
Texas A&M's board of regents will discuss "issues relating to appointment of new head coach" at a meeting tomorrow. That might give more information into this search. Or it might just be a formality to begin the process.
Regardless, Fisher is publicly focused on Saturday's game against Louisiana-Monroe.
There's a very real possibility it'll be the last one he coaches at FSU.