Texas A&M Football announced on Sunday that they have mutually parted ways with Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital, and a national search for his replacement will begin immediately.
Worst-kept secret in CFB: Jake Spavital/Texas A&M mutually part ways.— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) January 3, 2016
Spavital, A&M part ways. https://t.co/h6jRkXDMPz— Aggie Sports (@Aggie_Sports) January 3, 2016
The move comes after weeks of speculation about Jake Spavital's job security due to the Aggies' lack of offensive productivity and what many saw as questionable play-calling. Despite a seeming wealth of talent at skill positions, the offense often lacked rhythm and was especially unproductive inside the opponent's 20 yard line. In five of Texas A&M's last six SEC games, they scored a total of four touchdowns. Spavital joined the Aggies as the Quarterbacks Coach in 2013 following the departure of Kliff Kingsbury and assumed the role of Offensive Coordinator beginning in 2014. The offense has seen a decrease in productivity in each year of his tenure.
Known to most Aggies simply as "Spav," his offensive philosophies were one of the most divisive topics among the Texas A&M fanbase the past two years, with many taking the stance of staunch support or vocal opposition. But as the 2015 season wore on, most agreed that it would be Spavital's last season in College Station.
But whether you think Spavital was the cause for the Aggies' offensive woes, or simply a scapegoat, Kevin Sumlin is now in the position of finding a fourth Offensive Coordinator in only his fifth season at A&M. It's a hire that may well have Sumlin's own job hanging in the balance. After an 11-win debut in 2012, the Aggies have yet to live up to fans' suddenly raised expectations. If clear signs of progress don't come in 2016, Sumlin will no doubt be on the proverbial hot seat.
So who might take Spavital's place? The real answer is nobody knows (and it's definitely not Chip Kelly). Recent internet chatter has linked UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone to the A&M opening, but as A&M fans learned with the Defensive Coordinator search last year, the names floated as rumors often do not come to fruition.
Whoever takes Spavital's place faces a tall task, taking over an offense that lost two five-star quarterbacks (Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray) to transfer and three of five offensive linemen (C Mike Matthews, RG Joseph Cheek and RT Germain Ifedi) to graduation and the NFL Draft. But they also inherit what will once again be a talented receiving corps.
No matter who is hired, the Aggie offense will be what everyone is watching when Texas A&M takes on UCLA on Sept. 3. Leave your feelings on Spavital's exit and who you want to see fill the position in the comments section below.