Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Texas A&M Aggies season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Texas A&M Aggies
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Texas A&M Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
You bought him, and now you get to keep him for a long, long time.
Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher. It’s a very, very exclusive club of current head coaches with an FBS-level national championship on the resume, and Texas A&M has one.
It took a massive ten-year, $75 million contract, but if Fisher does what he’s supposed to do, and he’s the one who helps the program finally make that jump to being a true SEC player, he’ll be more than worth it.
What A&M did was buy itself stability.
“Son, your head coach is going to be there when you graduate or leave early for the NFL.”
Who else in the SEC can say that? Alabama? Saban is about to turn 67. Georgia? Probably, but the NFL might be a factor soon for Kirby Smart. Just about everyone else is one key loss away from being on a hot seat, and one total clunker season away from getting Butch Jonesed or Jim McElwained.
For a program that’s been mired in the land of the very-good-but-not-elite for a long, long time, this is the longview play for A&M. Of course, Aggie fans are going to want to win now, but there’s a terrific chance that the other six SEC West programs will undergo a head coaching change over the next ten years. Over that span, it’s up to Fisher to build up a consistent powerhouse that makes its share of appearances in the SEC Championship, and comes up with a College Football Playoff appearance or four.
But with that price tag also comes $75 million worth of pressure.
Kevin Sumlin won 68% of his games – Bear Bryant won 63% at A&M – and it wasn’t enough. R.C. Slocum is a College Football Hall of Famer, but none of his teams ever finished in the top five.
Meanwhile, Saban has won 87% of his games at Alabama – and with a contract like Fisher just got, that’s the dream of all dreams. That’s not attainable, it’s not fair, but more realistically, Fisher won 78% of his games at Florida State with a national title, another College Football Playoff appearance, and three ACC championships in eight years.
And that’s what A&M is hoping it just bought, all the while praying for a whole lot more.
Fisher’s first FSU team went 10-4 in 2010 and got to the ACC Championship. His first Aggie team won’t be that strong, but the talent is there to do something big out of the gate to set a tone that things are about to be a whole lot different.
It starts with finding the right quarterback. Kellen Mond and Nick Starkel are both terrific options, and the coaching staff has to pick a lane and develop from there.
The O line is full of veterans, the skill spots are solid, and there’s just enough depth, talent and athleticism to mold into a more consistent group. Offense won’t be a problem. It’s the defensive side that A&M has to get right after several years of varying production.
The pass rush that was among the best in the country will still be amazing thanks to the return of Landis Durham on the outside, and the defensive tackle combination of Daylon Mack and Kingsley Keke is fantastic.
There’s thump and bulk talent at linebacker and safety, there’s freakish size at corner, and there’s going to be more of a defensive mindset now.
And the coaching staff is in place.
Settle in, Aggie fans. No matter what, you’ve got your guy now for a long, long time.
And if Jimbo does what he’s expected to do, get ready to pay him a whole lot more – and you’ll be happy to do it.