Can Jimbo Fisher Take Texas A&M to Playoff Contention?

One of the biggest hires in college football was the Texas A&M Aggies stealing Jimbo Fisher away from Florida State after the Seminoles finished with a disappointing 6-6 record. The Aggies and many of their fans feel like they grabbed the one guy that could lead them to something they haven’t had since the R.C. Slocum era: a conference championship.

Since joining the SEC in 2012, the Aggies have had consistently worse seasons each year, going from 11-2 and on the brink of a spot in the title game in Atlanta to three straight 8-4 seasons from 2014-2016 and a 7-5 season this year, that led to Kevin Sumlin’s firing.

Now, the Aggies will get a crack at taking on the SEC with a brand new coach, but Fisher is far from a rookie. Fisher spent seven years in the SEC as offensive coordinator at LSU, winning a national championship under Nick Saban in 2003, and then worked at Florida State from 2007-2017, taking over for Bobby Bowden in 2010 and winning a national title in 2013.

Fisher brought the Seminoles from the middle of the ACC, which is essentially the bottom to their fans, back to the top of the mountain, winning 83 games, three conference titles, and the BCS National Championship in the span of nine seasons. He certainly has the chance to do the same with the Aggies, a team that hasn’t won a national title since 1939, nearly 80 years.

The Aggies have talent, there is no doubt about that and the key to their success over the next few years will be quarterback Kellen Mond, who had a decent freshman season throwing for nearly 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for over 300 and three scores in just 10 games. He will likely have to adjust without superstar wide receiver and return man Christian Kirk, who is aimed towards the NFL after a record career in College Station.

However, freshman Jhamon Ausbon showed promise with over 400 yards and two scores this year. There’s also Trayveon Williams, who will be carrying the rock for at least another year.

Defensively, Anthony Hines showed that he will be the next big thing in the SEC while their 2018 recruiting class also features big names like Bobby Brown and Max Wright. So, can they compete in the West?

The SEC champion will ALWAYS have a spot in the College Football Playoff and Alabama proved that the SEC is likely always going to have a bias regardless of what other teams do (sorry Ohio State). If you break down the rest of the West, the path to a showdown with the Crimson Tide over the next few years seems pretty easy for the Aggies.

Arkansas just hired Chad Morris, who went 14-22 in three seasons at SMU. Ole Miss can’t keep themselves from getting postseason bans, which certainly hurts their recruiting chances. Mississippi State lost Dan Mullen to Florida and won’t have Nick Fitzgerald forever. And LSU and Auburn are probably the only other teams that might get in the Aggies’ way, but both of the Tigers have proven to be wildly inconsistent.

The Aggies are going to have success under Jimbo Fisher, but the question is, how much? Fisher knows what he is doing and with the way college football continues to change, it is really going to be fun to see what happens with this team over the next few years.