South Carolina Football: Rival coaches candidates for another SEC job?

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football fell just short of knocking off the rival Clemson Tigers on Saturday. Despite some awful self-inflicted errors, the Gamecock defense kept the team competitive the whole way, but the offensive struggles doomed Carolina in the game.

However, some other news related to Carolina rivals came to light during the game.

Around kickoff, reports started circling that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was a major candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Texas A&M.

The reports about Swinney’s interest in changing jobs come just a month after “Tyler from Spartanburg” lit into the Tiger headman on his weekly call-in show. In Swinney’s response to the harsh words from the fan, he made sure to include some less-than-subtle remarks about his potential to leave Clemson.

Now, with Jimbo Fisher no longer in charge in College Station, the endless pockets of the Texas A&M boosters seem ready to pay top dollar for their next head coach. Swinney is behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban in annual salary, making around $11 Million per season.

However, later in the game, another South Carolina football rival was reported as the man for the Aggies.

Reports from 247Sports’ Chris Fisher indicated that Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops was the hire in College Station.

While it doesn’t make much financial sense for a University to pay a coach over $70 Million to go away and then hire a coach that makes similar money (Stoops makes $9 Million; Swinney makes $11 Million), but if any program can afford to do it, it’s the Texas A&M Aggies.

After the Wildcats knocked off their rival Louisville, Stoops was evasive when asked about the Aggies head coaching job, and now, it is clear why.

In the middle of the night, the deal between A&M and Stoops fell apart.

It is unclear where the Aggies turn from here. Swinney is still a candidate according to some reporting, and a number of other names are in the mix. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz have been mentioned in passing but don’t seem to be realistic options.

Mississippi State is also in the market for a new coach (though, they might have found their man in Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby), and there is a chance that another SEC job or two could open.

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