But there is far more reason to believe Franklin would simply use A&M as a bargaining chip to force Penn State into giving him another raise.
If Texas A&M moves on from Kevin Sumlin as many expect, could the school go after James Franklin?
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Franklin now leads the No. 3 Nittany Lions as they make a run at a second consecutive Big Ten championship and potential berth in the College Football Playoff. The Aggies are 4-2 and a week removed from a one-score loss to Alabama; Sumlin's fate is not almost as precarious as it seemed after their opening-week collapse against UCLA.
As we hit the midway point of October in this college football season, there is much to still be decided.
This past summer Franklin signed a three-year contract extension worth almost $20 million that would keep him in Happy Valley through 2022. Against teams from the West division, he was just 9-15 prior to this season.
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It's too early to make a judgment either way, but perhaps Penn State might be worrying over nothing - for now.
Sumlin still has the Aggies a respectable 4-2 this season.
Franklin previously coached at Vanderbilt, so this would be something of an SEC homecoming if he were to have interest in the job.
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If A&M wants to poach Franklin from Penn State, the Aggies would have to pay a $2 million buyout for the Langhorne, Pennsylvania native and pay Sumlin the remainder of his six-year, $30 million dollar contract that he signed in 2013.