For as good as the offense was, the defense was worse. I’ve talked about why that is in other columns on this site (the most succinct summation can be found here), but regardless of the reasons, the frustration, the unmitigated sense of “if-it’s-not-one-thing-it’s-the-other” with which this defensive showing left the Maroon and White faithful is jarring. Understandably, some have spiraled into a fatalistic sense of hopelessness after this result. I’ve seen more than one person crying that this signals the beginning of the end for Jimbo; that this is the canary in the coal mine. A quick two things on that: 1) this is extremely premature for reasons I will outline below, and 2) if things don’t get better, I would be much more wont to point to, I don’t know, losing to Appalachian State at home than dropping a tough game to Miami on the road as the bellwether there.
Will Texas A&M football replace Jimbo Fisher?
So is this the beginning of the end for Jimbo?
To put a number on it, I’m about 95% sure that it’s not, if for nothing else than the simple fact that a guy who can recruit like Jimbo does will not be dismissed for anything less than an absolute disaster. I hear what many of you are saying already: recruiting doesn’t matter if he doesn’t develop! What about all those five star defensive linemen? Why couldn’t they get pressure against Miami?
The plain truth is that recruiting gets you in the national championship conversation. If you are not recruiting at a high level, you can’t even get in the door. It has not happened in modern college football history. Sure, there are teams that jump up every now and then, but it is an oft-repeated fact that since recruiting rankings became available, every team to win a national championship has done so with a squad that consists of 50%+ four-and-five stars. That is not an easy mark to reach, even at a program with so many natural advantages and fan support.
Of course, as we saw last year, a bad season can and must impact recruiting. So another 5-7 year likely would be enough to get Jimbo canned. And after the beatdown that was 2022, I understand that there is a certain section of Texas A&M football fans that views this Miami setback as a precursor to just such a season.
But it’s just not. Let’s talk about why.