ATLANTA — Kirk Herbstreit made his pick known for the SEC coach who will excel the most among those involved with the conference’s active coaching carousel this year.
When asked about the topic by SEC Country at the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday, the noted ESPN analyst said Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has a highest ceiling among new SEC hires. Fisher was introduced as the Aggies’ coach on Monday, after going 83-23 as Florida State’s coach from 2010-17.
“I’ve got to say Jimbo Fisher,” Herbstreit said. “I think Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State raised a lot of eyebrows, including mine. But I think he’s going to a school that has an embarrassment of riches as far as the resources.
“Great tradition. Great recruiting area. So I think he hits the ground running, maybe more so than maybe any of the other guys. And I think people maybe, at times, underestimate how good he is as a play-caller and how good he is as far as getting his team ready to attack a defense.”
Fisher, 52, arrives in College Station with a 10-year, $75 million contract. His history suggests that big things are ahead for the Aggies. At Florida State, he never won fewer than nine games in a single season until this year. (Florida State is 6-6 this season.) He led the Seminoles to one national championship and at least 10 victories in six campaigns.
Fisher replaces Kevin Sumlin, who was fired after going 51-26 as Texas A&M’s coach from 2012-17. Given Fisher’s contract and his performance at Florida State, there will be big expectations for the coach to produce in College Station.
It should be revealing to see if he can make the Aggies an SEC and national contender in the competitive SEC West.