4. Q: How much longer do we have to wait for Texas A&M to turn the corner?
Which program has the best combination of big name, good success, facilities and infrastructure. with the fewest amount of really, really big things to show for it – at least in the recent history of college football?
Wisconsin is up there in terms of being close to the national championship, but it’s managed to win Big Ten titles and go to several Rose Bowls over the last two decades.
UCLA is right there in a different sort of way, as is South Carolina, but overall – again, at least recently – Texas A&M probably heads the list as college football’s biggest sleeping giant.
The program counts three national titles on the resumé, but Illinois was the AP national champion in 1927, and Harvard had the better season in the split national title run in 1919. The program did have the 1939 national championship all to itself, but … 1939. That’s it for the national titles.
There’s just one top ten finish – 2012 – since 1994, and as for conference championships? It took a historic win over Kansas State to win the 1998 Big 12 title, and … that’s it since the old days of the Southwest Conference.
Jimbo Fisher has only had a year to work, and while it’s generally acknowledged that he’ll eventually get the talent level and other parts in place to be a regular in the national championship chase, that’s not a given.
Just because Texas A&M will be better, and just because it has an elite head coach, nothing is guaranteed in a division with Alabama, LSU and Auburn, and in a league as loaded as the SEC.
Just ask Michigan how easy it is to turn that championship corner.
At the very least, though, Jim Harbaugh has been able to get the Wolverines back in the discussion of big accomplishments, and Fisher will do that, too.
No one’s expecting a national title in Year Two, especially with the schedule ahead to deal with.
At Clemson. Auburn, Alabama. At Ole Miss. Mississippi State. South Carolina. At Georgia. At LSU.
Fortunately, the expectations aren’t jacked through the roof quite yet, and everything changes if Fisher’s Aggies can go into Death Valley and beat the defending national champs on September 7th. Do that, beat Auburn at home, and we’re talking about No. 2 Texas A&M facing No. 1 Alabama in College Station on October 12th.
And again, even after that there are still several brutal hurdles to overcome.
It appears to be coming, Aggie fans. A&M is positioning itself to be ready to pounce when and if the Alabama machine starts to break down, but give it another year or two.
Speaking of big, monster programs bound by absolutely nothing and have no excuse to be anything but amazing …