Jimbo Fisher faced numerous SEC powerhouses during his tenure at Texas A&M, but perhaps the toughest battle he faced was the expectations bestowed on his program in College Station.
On January 2nd, 2021, Texas A&M defeated North Carolina in the Orange Bowl in convincing fashion to cap off their best season since Johnny Manziel walked the campus. They then won the offseason of 2022, when they showed off the most talented recruiting class ever, highlighted by EIGHT five-star recruits.
Fast forward to November 12th, 2023, and Fisher is fired, despite having $76 million left on his contract. So where did it all go wrong, and what's the impact?
The Issue At Texas A&M
Everyone remembers the 1919 and 1927 college football seasons, and nobody could forget 1939 when Homer Norton led the Aggies to a perfect 11-0 national championship season.
That's the last time Texas A&M won the national title, and they've never been particularly close in recent years. The No. 4 AP ranking they finished with in 2020 was the highest since 1995. They haven't exactly been a school with sky-high expectations, nationally.
Fisher was hired to develop A&M into a powerhouse that could compete with the best of the SEC. Having won a national championship with Florida State in 2013, he was able to once again recruit boatloads of talent. The problem, though, was that this talent looked like fish out of water. Something wasn't working, and the numerous resources deployed to develop a winning program were not reaping any benefits.
The gauntlet that is the Southeastern Conference is nothing short of the most difficult in the country. Even in a down year, there are six SEC teams in the AP top 25. Fisher was going to have to consistently beat some of the best programs in the country to keep his job. He didn't do that and now he'll be forced to take his $76 million home and face unemployment.
What This Means
Texas A&M fans have been fed up with Fisher for some time now. They'll be elated about moving on from him, but this is a massive decision for the school. $76 million is an enormous amount of money and it shows how desperate and eager they are for a winning program.
They truly believe they belong at the top of college football, so they'll do whatever it takes to get there. The transfer portal will undoubtedly steal numerous players from the current team, making this transition very difficult.
Reports suggest that they will offer boatloads to the top candidates, as they will now have first dibs in the negotiating process. Firing Fisher now as opposed to the end of the season shows that the athletic department is ready to get ahead of the hiring process.
As for Jimbo Fisher, any upset feelings can be resolved by peeking at his giant bank account. As Ed Orgeron said when fired by LSU: "What time you want me to leave and what door you want me out of brother?" And that was for *only* a $17.1 million buyout.
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