Why Jimbo Fisher gives Texas A&M a chance (if slim) to catch Alabama football

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher burned through the conventional means of trying to tamp down speculation this fall that he would jump at the LSU job if offered. Fisher and his family liked living in Texas, he said, and he enjoyed a good relationship with his boss, plus strong institutional support.


Such platitudes often preface coaches bolting.

Speculation continued bubbling that Fisher might return to LSU, where he’d been the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban, until Fisher spoke the clincher: If you don’t take him at his word, believe him for his recruiting class – because Fisher wasn’t recruiting like a coach who had a foot out the door.

Case closed.

Texas A&M became one of the biggest winners of this year’s wild coaching carousel by retaining Fisher. I don’t write that because of Fisher’s achievements through four seasons.

Fisher is 34-14 at A&M, including a victory over No. 1 Alabama this year. His record should be the floor expectation for a coach whose salary will increase to $9 million in January. Fisher’s record compares to predecessor Kevin Sumlin, who was 36-16 after four seasons, including one victory over Saban.

To be bullish on A&M’s future under Fisher is to buy into what the Aggies’ recruiting success will yield.

Texas A&M’s recruiting class ranked No. 1 nationally in the 247Sports Composite as of Wednesday night, the first day of the December signing period, ahead of No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia.

This will mark A&M’s fourth consecutive top-10 class.

“It’s pretty clearly the best recruiting class that Jimbo Fisher has been able to have at A&M,” said Greg Tepper, managing editor of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, a publication of particular gravitas in Texas, “and that’s saying something, because he’s recruited well there to begin with, but this is kind of taking it…


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