Every Wednesday we present Across the South, where we’ll get into a different topic on the SEC, break down the biggest matchups of the previous week, preview the coming week’s slate, and talk about where things stand in the best conference in the land!
In this week’s edition, let’s talk about a storyline that will continue to develop over the course of the season: the hot seat status of Jimbo Fisher.
Outside of Alabama and Auburn, there were a couple of interesting things to happen in the SEC during week two. Ole Miss was able to escape New Orleans with a road win over Tulane against the Green Wave’s backup quarterback. But even without star QB Michael Pratt, Tulane is a good team and a win is a win.
But the story of the week in my opinion, and it’s not a good one, has to be Texas A&M. The Aggies went on the road to Miami and took a beatdown 48-33 at the hands of Mario Cristobal’s Hurricanes. Give credit to A&M quarterback Connor Weigman, who performed solidly with over 300 yards and two touchdowns, but two interceptions as well.
It’s the same old story though, for Fisher and the Aggies. Fisher has recruited at an incredibly high level since arriving in College Station, bringing in a top-10 class almost every year including two top-5 classes and last cycle’s No. 1 class in the nation.
The talent is there. In fact, on paper, Texas A&M is one of the more talented teams across the nation. This fact makes last weekend’s results that much more inexcusable for Fisher. He has become a cautionary tale against long-term contracts in college football, with his 10-year, $75 million gargantuan deal to lure him away from Florida State looking worse by the day.
Fisher was brought to Texas A&M to compete for championships. Not only has he not done that, he really hasn’t come close. The one outlier was the COVID season in 2020, where the Aggies went 9-1 and finished second in the SEC West. Even in 2020 however, A&M was dominated in Tuscaloosa 52-24 and thus never had any real chance to win the West.
Fisher bought himself some time by beating Alabama in 2021 at home and becoming the first former assistant of Nick Saban to take him down, but the Aggies still reached a ceiling of 8-4 that year.
He also hired Bobby Petrino this offseason to take some pressure off himself and ideally quell some of the disastrous offense that has marked the Fisher era in College Station. The offense has looked better to start the year, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 48 points in Miami.
The question in my mind becomes this: When is enough going to be enough? Fisher has saved his job for this long solely due to the fact that his contract comes with an enormous buyout. Sure you could ask yourself who are you going to get that will be better, but at a certain point Aggie fans have seen plenty to show that Fisher is not the guy.
We can confidently say at this point that Fisher is never going to lead Texas A&M to a national championship. I’ll take it a step further and say he will never lead them to an SEC championship, or even an SEC West title.
At what point do the administration and boosters at Texas A&M decide enough is enough and it’s time to pay the buyout and move on?
As we move on through the rest of the season, it is undeniable now that Fisher is coaching for his job.
You can follow Michael Brauner on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP