"We wrote down eight jobs over the last two years that we would leave for — my wife and I did,” Fleck said on Being P.J. Fleck. “This was on the list. And a person that didn’t know much and was a fan and walked in and looked at my list and they saw that name, Minnesota on the list of seven others, they would have said, ‘why is this one on the list?"
It's unclear when each of the eight jobs were added and how much they considered the likelihood that those jobs would actually open and an offer would be made. But given his "why is this one on the list?" comment, it's safe to assume the Gophers were one of the — if not the — least successful and/or sexy program on the list.
Who were the other seven? Let's make some guesses.
Fleck has minimal experience recruiting Texas and would've been walking into a difficult situation. But given his life philosophy and commitment to the development of young men, it might have been a good fit.
The Cal job didn't open until after Fleck arrived at Minnesota. However, Sonny Dykes was just 19-30 in four seasons and could have been dismissed in December or — if Fleck wanted another year at WMU — after the 2017 season.
For what it's worth, he did spend two years in the Bay Area while on the San Francisco 49ers' roster and practice squad.
The Buffaloes have some of the same "sleeping giant" qualities that Fleck has said about Minnesota.
Fleck was reportedly high on Oregon's list of candidates after they fired Mark Helfrich, and it's highly possible he interviewed or spoke with them about the opening.
James Franklin was a modest 14-12 in two seasons and started 2-2 last year. Penn State insisted he was not on the hot seat, though who really knows.
Fleck was a highly sought-after commodity but you'd like to think the Nittany Lions can do better than a MAC coach with one truly amazing season on his résumé.
There's little doubt that Fleck — like any other Group of Five coach with Power Five aspirations — would take a job like Texas (or Penn State). However, like the Penn State, could Texas have done better than P.J. Fleck?
Kevin Sumlin's seat is scorching. A third-straight eight-win season did nothing to quell whispers that the Aggies were ready to move on in search of someone who can deliver an injection of consistency into the program.
There's no denying Fleck's enthusiasm would fit well with their fan base.