Sentiment On Interim Texas A&M Football Coach Slowly Changing
When it was announced that Elijah Robinson would be the interim head coach for Texas A&M football, most fans viewed it as a solid decision. Long one of the program's best recruiters, and a locker room favorite, adding "E-Rob" as a guy to steady the ship in this transitionary period seemed to be a natural next step for the team.
Even after suffering a loss at LSU, Robinson's popularity and demonstrated value to the Texas A&M football program was enough for some people—and players—to call for the job to be his in a full-time capacity. The reasoning wasn't out of nowhere, either; there are several instances of the interim taking over the full-time position in major college football to great success, Ed Orgeron the most notable and recent example.
Once the Aggies decided on Elko to head the ship, however, things began to feel a little more precarious. Most Texas A&M football fans expected the team to retain Robinson in an associate head coach/co-DC role, along with remaining the defensive line coach. But when a deal wasn't struck in the first days after Elko was announced, the Maroon and White faithful grew ever more concerned.
Eventually, when Robinson's longtime friend was named the head coach of Syracuse, some fans saw the writing on the wall—or, at the very least, let their pessimism shine brightly. Whether prognostication or pessimism, it turned out to be correct, as news broke that Robinson had accepted a role as play-calling defensive coordinator with the Orange. He would remain with the Aggies to coach the bowl, however, in an attempt to finish "the right way."
The thing is, though, the team is now in a strange situation. The foregone conclusion that he is outbound has reportedly been the prime mover in several key players' decisions to enter the portal, yet here he still stays in this odd, lame-duck capacity.
As Elko tries to maintain and even add to the Aggies' current high school recruiting class, though, things might be coming to a head with Robinson. A photo has recently surfaced of Robinson, presumably in the capacity of his role with Syracuse given that he is with the new head man for the Orange, in an in-home visit with 5-star Aggie defensive line commit Dominick McKinley.
Is this a bridge too far? It's no secret that the relationship with Robinson was one of the big differentiating factors for the Aggies for McKinley, who every program in the nation continues to hotly pursue. The Texas A&M football brass have put themselves in an extremely strange situation, clearly expecting that Robinson would be retained from the beginning, and now may be facing some unintended consequences.
So, is it time to cut Robinson loose? Tough to say. I'm not sure who would take the reins for the bowl, given that this Texas A&M football team has already begun practicing. But at the very least, this situation has to be addressed quickly.