Some college football writers caused a bit of a kerfuffle amongst Detroit Lions fans over the weekend. It appears to have begun with The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, who in his list of potential candidates for the now-vacant Texas A&M head coach job noted Lions coach Dan Campbell.
“The 47-year-old Texas native played at A&M. Campbell epitomizes everything we suspect the school would want in a head coach, and if you’ve watched any clips of him in front of his team, you’ll see why,” Feldman wrote. “He has jumped into what was an abysmal franchise and has that city thinking there’s finally a Super Bowl in its future.”
While the list was Feldman’s own speculation—not necessarily a “source” or “report” on actual candidates, the article spread like wildfire. Lions fans began to debate online whether letting Campbell go take the job in order to keep offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was worth it. Others began to worry that the charismatic coach would be given an offer he couldn’t refuse to return back home to Texas. Even ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio got in on the action.
Of course, it was all a panic for absolutely nothing. Campbell’s connection to the Texas A&M job was predictably and swiftly squashed this week via a report from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.
“After backchannel communications were initiated by the Aggies, it was made clear that Campbell would be staying in the NFL with the Lions,” Dodd wrote on Tuesday.
Time to move on from this silliness and get back to this awesome 7-2 season.
UPDATE: Campbell was asked about the rumors on Friday and offered this response, putting to bed any talk about him returning to college.
“Maybe (they approached me). But that’s all good. Certainly I know some people there, and I love my school. That’s my alma mater. I want to do anything I can to help them but coach for them, and I’ll do that.”