Texas A&M Football: Athlon Sports ranks Jimbo Fisher among SEC elite head coaches

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football gave Jimbo Fisher a whopping 10-year, $75 million deal to be their head coach. According to one site, he’s among the elite coaches in the SEC now.

Jimbo Fisher came under a boat load of scrutiny due to the massive contract he was given by Texas A&M football to be their next head coach. Critics claimed he had not done enough to warrant being paid among the top head coaches in college football. I suppose winning a national championship is not enough.

While the last couple of seasons in Tallahassee were not up to the standards Fisher had set for the program, he still went 83-23, 5-2 in bowl games and won the 2013 BCS National Championship. He won 78.3 percent of his games, which ranks No. 1 among all FSU head coaches, even better than the legendary Bobby Bowden.

Given Texas A&M’s recent history of coaches that failed to contend for national titles despite regularly recruiting top-level talent, it made sense they wanted to bring in an established name.

Fisher has hit the ground running. He immediately implemented practice changes. Kevin Sumlin developed a reputation for having fun practices. He employed a DJ that would blare music over the speakers. Fisher instead chooses to use practice to teach and to focus on all the details. He is preparing his players for all situations they might encounter during a game.

He has also dominated the recruiting trail for the 2019 and 2020 classes. Fisher currently has the Aggies ranked No. 2 in the 2019 class and No. 4 in the 2020 class.

So, it makes a whole lot of sense when Athlon Sports ranked Fisher the second best coach in the SEC before he’s even taken the field as the Texas A&M head coach.

Here is part of what Athlon said about Fisher:

"With standout facilities and fertile recruiting territory, Fisher should have no trouble helping this program move forward in the SEC over the next few years. Fisher had a tough assignment at Florida State, replacing legendary coach Bobby Bowden in 2010. After going 19-8 over his first two seasons, Fisher guided the program to three consecutive ACC titles (2012-14) and a perfect 14-0 season in 2013 to claim the national title."

Maybe the biggest surprise about the list is the fact that Fisher ranked ahead of Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. While a small sample size, Smart has proven himself to be among the best head coaches in the country, let alone the conference.

Fisher has the national title over Smart, but Smart guided the Bulldogs to the national title game and lost in overtime to Alabama in only his second season. They also completely dominated recruiting for the 2018 class, accumulating a ridiculous seven 5-star recruits and ranking No. 1 by every major recruiting outlet.

Honestly, Fisher probably deserves to be ranked No. 2, but anywhere in the top three would have been good enough. He is one of two coaches in the conference to win a national title. He is one of four to have guided a team to the national title game. He won his national title against Gus Malzahn. He has the highest career winning percentage of any SEC head coach, including Saban.

Next: Jimbo Fisher dominating Texas schools in recruiting

Fisher has set the bar very high for his tenure with Texas A&M football. Fair or not, he has a lot to live up to and much will be expected of him early.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.