Was Texas A&M Football's Hire of Jimbo Fisher Really "Epically Terrible"?

The former head coach of Texas A&M football is being unfairly maligned—or is he?
Nov 19, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher on the
Nov 19, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher on the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Let's start with the easiest claim to dismiss: Chip Kelly did not have a more successful tenure at UCLA than Jimbo Fisher did at Texas A&M. He finished his time with the Bruins with a record of 35-34, one bowl win (the LA Bowl over Boise State), and only even reached bowl eligibility 3 times.

He went 3-9 in his first year, and 4-8 in his second year. He was 6-11 (0.352) against ranked opponents, with only 1 game against a top-5 team. His highest ranked finish was 21st.

Jimbo's record at Texas A&M, in what was obviously a much more difficult conference, was 45-25. He had a 3-0 record in bowl games, but reached bowl eligibility in 4 out of 5 seasons he completed in College Station (the Aggies were forced to withdraw from their matchup against Wake Forest in 2021 due to health and safety protocols).

He only had one losing season, in 2022, and even in that year notched a win over an AP top 5 team. His record against ranked opponents was 10-15 (0.400), with 11 of those games coming against top-5 teams. His highest ranked finish was 4th, after the Orange Bowl victory over UNC.

Am I crazy for thinking this is an all-around, much better resume?

I'll go a little bit further here. I don't think that Fisher belongs on that list with those other coaches. His tenure at A&M—again, when you take the whole picture—is head and shoulders above what the next guy (probably Kelly, possibly Mullen) was able to accomplish.

Think about it. He raised the profile of the school to where the Aggies were a national topic of conversation year in and year out after having fallen off sharply in the later Sumlin years. Much of that was negative late in his final two seasons, but even up through 2021, there were plenty of positives.

He led the school to their first top-4 finish in the AP poll in many years. They got a major bowl win in the Orange Bowl. They notched the top recruiting class of all time, many of whom still remain on the roster for Mike Elko to work with.

Which other coach on this list was able to do anything approaching that? Most just flamed out.

As a matter of fact, Jimbo played several of the other coaches on that list. His record in those games was 5-1.