Texas A&M fans welcome Mark Stoops hire with the opposite of open arms

News that Texas A&M intends to hire Kentucky's Mark Stoops was met with disbelief and anger from some Aggies fans.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops / Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal /
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The best thing about a coaching search is the hope. The prospect of a home run hire is alive. The possibility of bringing in the top choice on everyone's mind is open.

But it's the hope that kills you. It's the hope that disappoints you.

Plenty of Texas A&M fans are disappointed by the news that Kentucky's Mark Stoops is in line to take over for Jimbo Fisher as the head coach in College Station. And even more are beyond disappointed: They're downright furious.

UPDATE: Fans got their wish as Texas A&M reversed course and multiple reports confirmed Stoops is no longer in line to take over as head coach.

Texas A&M message boards are fuming over Mark Stoops hire

The anger around Stoops is simultaneously understandable and also slightly unfair. This is a matter of expectations.

Stoops is an objectively good head coach. What he has accomplished at Kentucky, a school far more focused on basketball than football, is nothing short of impressive. He took over a program that hadn't won 10 games in a season since the 1970s and led them to two 10-win seasons. A program that had gone through its share of bowl droughts went to seven straight with an eighth coming this year.

But Texas A&M as a program doesn't aspire to bowl eligibility. They hired a national title-winning head coach in Fisher to bring that level of success to College Station. When he couldn't do that, they ate a massive buyout to get rid of him.

Stoops hasn't sniffed an SEC title, let alone a national championship. That doesn't mean he can't get there, but the hype definitely isn't there.

It doesn't help that Texas A&M was rumored to be pursuing big-time names like Ryan Day and Dabo Swinney. Stealing the head coach at Ohio State or Clemson would be a statement. Poaching the head football coach at Kentucky doesn't have the same ring to it.

The important thing to remember is that hires are best judged after they've had the chance to prove themselves. Fisher was seen as a great hire, but it didn't work out. We'll see what Stoops does.

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