Take Two: Can Jimbo Fisher get it done at Texas A&M?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network.
The expectations are going to be high. But what can possibly be done in an insanely loaded division featuring Alabama, Auburn and LSU. The Aggies are not paying Fisher $75 million over 10 years to win the division here and there, or to make it look good against Alabama in the coming years. Winning conferences and playing for national titles is the dream - but is it reality?
Fisher can win - he went 83-23 during his time at Florida State - but an argument could be made that the SEC West has more talented teams in it than the entire ACC. Alabama is not going anywhere under Nick Saban and this season Auburn beat the Crimson Tide by double digits.
Get past the SEC West and there’s an emerging Georgia program that won the conference and is going to the College Football Playoff in Kirby Smart’s second year. Florida should be much better under Dan Mullen, too.
Fisher gives Texas A&M hope, something the program really hasn’t had since the early days of former coach Kevin Sumlin. Under Sumlin, the routine was winning big early only to crush the fan base with late-season losing streaks.
The belief is now that Fisher is in place, Texas A&M could be the sleeping giant of the SEC. But there are already established giants who might not take too kindly to another team inching on their turf. Can Fisher get it done?
FIRST TAKE: MARK PASSWATERS, AGGIEYELL.COM
“Texas A&M has everything in place to win: a fertile recruiting ground, top-notch facilities and an alumni base that has more than enough money to spend to make sure things stay at the top of the line. They’ve been missing an elite coach and staff that sets them apart. Jimbo Fisher is a 'wow' hire that captures attention. He brings not only a legacy of success, but will make A&M more potent on the recruiting front with his ties across the Southeast. The Aggies have a good starting lineup, but need depth badly. If Fisher continues to perform up to past levels then everything is in place for him to compete with Alabama for the SEC West and, eventually, a national title.”
SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM
“They’re going to be behind Alabama. It has been more cyclical as to who the No. 2 team is in the SEC West. LSU has been there for some years. Auburn has been there. He can push A&M into that mix of being No. 2 behind Alabama but until Nick Saban is gone it’s going to take a lot for someone to convince me someone is going to win that division consistently and go to the playoff consistently.
“That being said, if anybody can do it, Jimbo should be the guy because he’s a great coach and a great recruiter. He’ll put A&M into the mix to be consistently in that top tier and maybe they could push through like Auburn did this year and win the West once every couple years.”