Texas A&M football and Jimbo Fisher: Is the honeymoon over in College Station?

Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football program is one squirt of lighter fluid away from being a dumpster fire right now, and Jimbo Fisher has a pack of matches in his pocket. 

Before the 2022 college football season began, experts lauded Texas A&M as the new heir to the SEC West, with usurper Jimbo Fisher leading the NIL and transfer portal charge for the Aggies to supplant Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

By hook or by crook, Fisher had assembled the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation and was reeling in players from the transfer portal with the promise of NIL deals and dreams of hoisting national championship trophies.

Just a few short months and four losses later, there are rumblings of boosters mulling over buyout numbers and fans are calling for Fisher to be exiled for the good of the realm in College Station.

If your team is boasting the top recruiting class in the nation, with eight 5-star players and a bevy of returning talent, your record has to be better than 3-4. The only acceptable reason behind such a poor performance would be if it was a coach’s first year on the job.

This is year five for Jimbo Fisher, and the Texas A&M football program is in worse shape than it was when he stepped in as the anointed savior in 2018.

Would Texas A&M football be better off without Jimbo Fisher?

For those who blindly think the Texas A&M football program is still “on the right track” with Jimbo Fisher and that he’s made improvements as compared to his predecessors, chew on these stats.

In his first four seasons at Texas A&M, Fisher went 34-14 with a 21-12 conference record. How did the coaches before him fare?

  • Kevin Sumlin: 30-16 (17-15)
  • Mike Sherman: 25-25 (15-18)
  • Dennis Franchione: 25-23 (15-17)

Improvement? Yes, but not exactly a huge turnaround. In fact, even if the Aggies pull off the unlikely feat of winning out the rest of the season and a bowl game, Fisher will have nearly the same exact five-year record that Kevin Sumlin did, with Sumlin coming in at 43-21 and Fisher would be sitting at 42-18.

His combative and rambling press conferences have become tiresome, his excuses are running short, and his public feud with Nick Saban is boorish and not even fun anymore (at least Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier kept it fresh).

So, is the honeymoon between Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M football program and its fans over? Has one of the most outspoken coaches in the nation worn out his welcome?

While nothing is certain yet, another loss tacked on to an already super-underachieving season will likely make things very uncomfortable for Fisher. That loss could come as soon as this week, with the Aggies taking on an outstanding Ole Miss team at Kyle Field.

Beyond his future with Texas A&M, the more pointed question might be, is Jimbo Fisher a completely ineffective college head coach? The numbers over his 12-plus years coaching at Florida State and Texas A&M would probably point to yes.

  • Overall head coaching record: 120-41
  • Conference titles: 3 (ACC 2012-2014)
  • National titles: 1 (FSU 2013)
  • Seasons with 4+ losses: 7

It’s the last stat that should make anyone looking to hire Jimbo Fisher stop and think. That paints a picture of a coach who produces consistently middling teams and caught lightning in a bottle with Jameis Winston and the Seminoles for a championship season bookended by two good years.

Beyond that, Jimbo has barely scraped by. His only real quality season at Texas A&M came in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, where all bets were off for anything normal to happen.

His record as head coach isn’t necessarily bad, but it certainly doesn’t stand up to the praise, hype, and — most of all– the money he’s received.

How much is Texas A&M paying Jimbo Fisher to lose?

Fisher’s current contract lands him in the top ten highest-paid coaches in the nation. But just how much is he being paid for the results he’s producing?

In 2018, Texas A&M signed Fisher to a 10-year, $75-million fully-guaranteed contract. On Sept. 1, 2021, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved a four-year extension that began in 2022 with a $9 million salary, increasing each year through 2031, when Fisher is set to make $9.95 million.

That’s a lot of money for a bunch of four-to-five-loss seasons. And it’s not just the number of losses, it’s who the Aggies are losing to and the way in which they’re losing.

Since Fisher took over the program in 2018, Texas A&M has lost — while ranked — to seven unranked teams, including a Week 2 loss to Appalachian State (who is now 4-3) in 2022.

It doesn’t get any prettier if you look at Fisher’s record against the best teams in the country. If you’re making just shy of $10 million a year, beating some of the top teams in the nation should happen regularly, but Jimbo Fisher is 3-9 against Top 10 teams while at Texas A&M. In 2019, the Aggies dropped five games to five different Top 10 opponents.  It’s no wonder the 12th Man is getting restless.

The problem now becomes, how much would Texas A&M have to play Jimbo not to coach the Aggies? The numbers are frightening and probably have TAMU boosters checking in on their 401k balances.

Per the terms of Fisher’s contract, if he’s fired before the contract naturally terminates on Dec. 31, 2031, Fisher is due a buyout “in an amount equal to the total compensation that would have been paid to [him] for the remaining term,”.

In layman’s terms, that means he gets every, single, solitary penny that he was due. So even if Texas A&M waits until the end of the season to fire Fisher, they’ll still have to pay him the hefty sum of $85,950,000.

So does Texas A&M ride it out, or file for divorce?

Some marriages stay together “for the sake of the kids”, while others are marriages of convenience where neither party can afford to live comfortably without the income or assets of the other. Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M is a marriage likely headed for an ugly divorce, and the Aggies’ brass will have to fork over one hell of an alimony check.

We could start seeing “Jimbo Fisher Day” celebrated on social media much in the way “Bobby Bonilla Day” has become a yearly festival of snark.

Next. Red Flags: 5 CFB teams on upset alert in Week 9. dark

For more College Football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.