Most Important Game Yet for Texas A&M Football Head Coach?
The funny thing about considering questions like the one at hand for the Texas A&M football head man is that, the longer a coach gets in his tenure, you never stop asking it. In 2020, the Florida game was the biggest game Jimbo had ever coached. Then it was the Orange Bowl. In 2021, it was this same Alabama matchup, and again in 2022. Then, it was the LSU game to close out the year. Now, here we are again.
But all that said, I certainly think that this one has a great case as the most important game that Fisher has coached. The previous games had less at stake when it comes to the division race: against Florida in 2020, the Aggies were already behind the eight ball due to their loss to Alabama; against Alabama in 2021, they were already 0-2 in conference; in 2022, they only had one conference loss, yes, but after the App State loss and the shaky performances after that, it was hard to see a solid path forward; the LSU game was only the Aggies’ second conference win of the season and came after the Tigers had already clinched the division.
Something more nebulous but readily evident, in my opinion, is the recruiting impact of this game. It will take longer to manifest, and it doesn’t show up as something so definitive as a mark in the win or loss column, but think about how far that home win against Alabama went in 2021. It is no coincidence that the 2022 recruiting cycle was filled with so much belief in the Aggies’ potential after that win. In addition, your biggest in-state recruiting rival has already beaten the Tide, and this is (pending postseason results) the only common opponent you will have with them; therefore, the deleterious effects of a loss are much sharper than they might otherwise be. The effects of a win, too, would be monumental: for one thing, the debacle of last year’s record would effectively be all but forgotten by everyone but those smooth-brained individuals in their pit-stained, burnt orange Walmart t-shirts, and another factor is that all indications point to many priority recruits being present at Kyle to watch this matchup.
Taking all that into account, I do think this is the biggest game yet of Jimbo’s tenure as the head coach of Texas A&M football. So much is on the line both in the standings and for the future of the program.
If they win, though, we’ll be saying that about one or two more games just this year alone.