Penn State preparing for Texas A&M to make run at James Franklin

Penn State coach James Franklin right shows Ohio State coach Urban Meyer the student section of Beaver Stadium before an NCAA college football game in State College Pa. Saturday Oct. 25 2014

Penn State officials are preparing for Texas A&M to make a run at hiring James Franklin should Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies part ways, CBS Sports has learned.

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. On the hot seat only a little over a year ago, Franklin is now the toast of college football. Franklin, meanwhile, was given a six-year extension in August that pays him an average of $5.8 million a year (roughly $34.8 million over the course of the contract). Despite an impressive overall record for the Aggies (44-21, .677), Sumlin may have to finish 8-4 or better to stay in College Station.

But because of the way Texas A&M has played in recent weeks, the Aggies might not be getting rid of Sumlin this winter.

Since the loss to UCLA, A&M has only lost an eight-point game to Alabama, the Crimson Tide's closest game to date. Against teams from the West division, he was just 9-15 prior to this season.

Would Franklin make for an upgrade over Sumlin in terms of what he brings to the Aggies?

A Penn State spokesman has not yet responded to a request for comment.

If A&M fired Sumlin after this season, Sumlin will be owed the remaining $10 million left on a contract that expires at the end of 2019.

Coaching in the SEC would be nothing new for Franklin as before taking the Penn State job, Franklin was the head coach at Vanderbilt for three seasons.

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