Texas A&M made a huge splash with the hire of Jimbo Fisher, who was awarded a 10-year, $75 million contract with one goal in mind: Deliver a national championship.
Fisher’s addition makes the Aggies a fascinating case to watch in future seasons. Recently, SEC West programs such as Alabama and Auburn have overshadowed Texas A&M, which has just one season with double-digit victories since the Aggies joined the SEC before the 2012 campaign.
Fisher offers instant credibility with a national championship to his name from his time at Florida State. He also has experience working in the SEC, after serving as a quarterbacks coach at Auburn (1993-98) and an offensive coordinator at LSU (2000-06).
So why did Fisher choose to leave Florida State, where he served as the Seminoles coach from 2010-17? Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward suggested to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd that the move happened, in part, because of “resource issues” in Fisher’s former conference.
“I’m not going to put words in Jimbo’s mouth,” Woodward told Dodd, “but there are resource issues in the ACC versus the SEC.”
In recent years, friction developed between Fisher and Florida State officials over the school’s level of commitment to upgrading its football facilities. Dodd’s story mentions how Texas A&M’s resources are viewed within college football as superior to Florida State’s offerings.
Here’s more from Dodd’s piece:
So why is Texas A&M a better job for Florida State for Jimbo? Part of the answer is in the hires themselves. A&M got itself a national championship coach. FSU replaced Fisher with Willie Taggart, career record 47-50. The fan interest and level of commitment are basically the same at both places. Texas A&M is largely perceived to have the best of everything in terms of resources.
In the industry, there is no doubt about that: A renovation of Kyle Field — not a new stadium, mind you — cost $500 million. Part of that investment is pure hubris, of course. Since 2015, the Aggies have boasted the biggest stadium in the Lone Star State by 2,600 seats over the hated rival Texas Longhorns.
So there you have it. Fisher has a big task ahead of him to match that big contract. Perhaps he saw that he had reached his ceiling at Florida State after working there for so long. Or perhaps the money and potential in College Station were too tempting to pass up.
Whatever the reason for Fisher’s move to the SEC, he must deliver huge results fast.