Jimbo Fisher’s hire at Texas A&M will be one of the more interesting developments to track within the SEC in the years to come.
Of course, expectations will be high for the former Florida State coach in College Station. After all, he arrives with a national championship-winning reputation, and his 10-year, $75 million contract places pressure on him to succeed in a big way.
The move has been met with mixed opinions in recent weeks. In a post by Sports Illustrated’s Joan Niesen, Texas A&M’s hire of Fisher was given a 2.4 rating out of a possible 5 within a piece that graded each hire of the wild 2017 coaching carousel. For reference, only Arizona State’s hire of Herm Edwards scored lower with a 2.
You can read the entire post here. But the figures were determined by a rating system that included a splash quotient, geography considerations, the stylistic fit, the hire’s execution and instant-impact possibilities.
Here’s part of Niesen’s explanation for how the Fisher hire was scored:
Aggies fans and the school’s administration have high expectations for a team that’s perennially good but not as often great. Predecessor Kevin Sumlin became a star in his early years in College Station because of Johnny Manziel before settling into a frustrating routine of eight-win finishes, and there’s no Johnny Football in the wings for Fisher. Can he retool the program and recruit with the rest of A&M’s rivals? Sure. It’s just hard to see a major jump happening right away.
That’s fair analysis. Given Texas A&M’s placement within the SEC West, the climb for Fisher and the Aggies to SEC title contention will be difficult. Annual tests against Alabama, Auburn and LSU won’t be easy. Still, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Fisher hire rated so far down the list. (For what it’s worth, Nebraska’s hire of Scott Frost was deemed the best with a 4.6 rating.)
Can Fisher produce titles in College Station? Absolutely. We’ll see if he can meet his high expectations in time.