Fisher Reportedly Safe as Texas A&M Football HC Through Next Year
According to a recent report by Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, Jimbo Fisher, as of early November, will remain as the head coach of Texas A&M football through 2024.
In 2021, Zwerneman was the first to officially report that Fisher would not be leaving Texas A&M for LSU (other than Fisher’s own answers in press conferences, that is), as well as the one who broke the initial story that Texas and Oklahoma were leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. In other words, he knows what he’s talking about when he breaks stories like this.
The reasons he outlines in the story are several, but they boil down to a few things I’ve been writing about on the site for a while. Firstly, the size of the buyout is huge. As Zwerneman points out in the story, it would be several times the size of Gus Malzahn’s buyout at Auburn a few years ago, which was thought of as a huge blow at the time. To editorialize a bit, I’m not sure that paying the buyout would be the real issue as much as finding the money to get a quality replacement. You can get creative with the contract structures in such instances, but that’s definitely a hurdle you’d have to get over.
Secondly, the hope that next year is the year is not completely unfounded. To many Texas A&M football fans, this can sound like the same old refrain, but it’s true: the losses this year have been close ones to good teams, and with one exception, they have come without your real starting quarterback at the helm. The Aggies, barring disaster, will end the year with one loss at home, a six-point defeat at the hands of Alabama that was even closer than that margin sounds. Next year, the schedule gets much easier, and all three of the Aggies’ hardest games will be within the confines of Kyle Field. It’s not exact, but there is a comparison to be drawn to the shift from 2019 to 2020 here: in 2019, the Aggies ended the year 8-5 after suffering several losses to good teams. In 2020, the Aggies were barely left out of the playoff due to a loss on the road at Alabama by the same margin that the Tide won the national title over Ohio State. If the Aggies can replicate that jump—and with the talent on campus, it’s very reasonable to think they can—then the decision-makers are getting what they’re hoping for.
This was the decision I thought would be made. It’s useful to note here that Brent notes several times that this is as of this moment; in other words, a loss at home in these final two games against Mississippi State and ACU, however unlikely, could change the calculus here. But when you take everything into account, this seems to be the most logical path forward, as much as we fans would like to believe otherwise. But, by all accounts, this is Jimbo’s last chance. He’d better capitalize on it.