Kevin Sumlin’s future at Texas A&M was thrown into severe jeopardy after the Aggies blew a 44-10 lead in the season opener against UCLA. That future is still murky with Texas A&M at 6-4 and road games against Ole Miss and LSU looming. The university was always going to aim for the moon with its next hire, so it’s not entirely shocking to read that they’re exploring the possibility of poaching Jimbo Fisher from Florida State.
There is nothing to lose in shooting high, but Aggies fans should — difficult as it may be — re-calibrate their expectations. Fisher’s Seminoles are mired in a season from hell: 3-6 despite coming in as the No. 2 team in the country. The injuries have been significant, the response poor, and the whole situation bizarre. Even with these stumbles, he is 81-23 in Tallahassee with trips to New Year’s Six games in four of the last five seasons.
Fisher has had his friction with Florida State but the cold, hard truth is that it’s an exponentially better job than Texas A&M. FSU can compete for a national championship every year by outdoing Clemson in-conference. Recruiting is easy and Fisher is comfortable there.
The Aggies job, meanwhile, entails hopping to arguably the toughest division in college football and piloting the fifth-best program. In the absence of a generational player like Johnny Manziel, it can be a suicide mission. In four-plus seasons, Sumlin has gone 24-22 in the SEC. It’s not fun for Texas A&M fans to consider that this may be near the ceiling, but it’s prudent.
Why would Fisher leave Florida State for much browner pastures? It’s tough to come up with a logical answer. It’s easier to see why he would feign interest and give a courtesy listen in an attempt to keep his own value high despite a poor season. Deep down, you’d hope the TAMU administration knows this and is entering into the process with eyes wide open.
A&M is trolling for Fisher with unappealing bait and should steer toward more bountiful waters, even if the catch lacks in name recognition.