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Texas A&M Football

After three seasons, it's time for Aggies to fully trust Jimbo Fisher

June 15, 2021
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“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him.”

— Booker T. Washington

The above comment is among hundreds regarding trust.

Trust is vital.

We want to trust. We need to trust. We seek out those we can trust. We all wish we had a trust fund.

Though that last sentence is accurate, it doesn’t really apply to the point we’re making. Trust is a valuable commodity. To some, it may be the most valuable commodity. Scottish author George MacDonald once wrote: “To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.”

Oh, but what if you are both?

Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher is. Or certainly should be. Aggies love their coach because he’s down-to-earth, and… well… because he wins.

Aggies should trust him, too. But that’s not easy. Aggies have trust issues.

Too many times, their trust in football coaches only wrought second-half collapses, false bravado, bizarre on-field decisions and empty promises.

Fisher is different. Over the last four years, he has proven to be trustworthy. Trust comes in truth, and a look back on several Fisher quotes indicates he can be trusted to tell the truth. For example, at his introductory press conference on Dec. 4, 2017, Fisher said:

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M finished the 2020 season with just one loss for the first time since 1994.

“We're built on four principles: toughness, effort, discipline and pride. If you're mentally and physically tough, we call that grit. Most successful people have it. It takes effort to be a good person, student and player. It takes discipline to pull those things off, too. Sometimes pride has to drive you. On those long days, there has to be pride in what you do. We want to bring people to Texas A&M that exemplify these qualities.”

The Aggies demonstrated those principles last season when they finished 9-1 and were ranked No. 4 in the final polls.

In six of their victories, the Aggies outscored opponents in the fourth quarter. In the three wins in which they did not outscore opponents, they held three-touchdown leads going into the final quarter.

In three of their wins, they trailed Florida, Auburn and North Carolina going into the final 15 minutes. A&M outscored those three opponents, 58-17.

Is that not the very essence of playing with toughness, effort, discipline, pride and grit?

Fisher has had several other comments that proved true.

“I think the new crop of guys are seeing the vision we have for Texas A&M and what we can go to. I think it’s selling very well, and we’ve got to go get this next class and be a top-five class. We have to be there.”

Fisher said that after assembling the nation’s No. 17-ranked recruiting class in 2018. The next year, the Aggies’ class was ranked third. He followed that with the sixth-ranked class in 2020 and the eighth-ranked class in 2021.

“You’ve got to have a national brand. In today’s world, there are going to be guys outside this state that you’d love to have on your team. It has nothing to do with guys here (in Texas). There are tremendous players here. We’re going to get everyone we can.”

Fisher has signed 35 players from 18 states other than Texas. He has also signed two from Australia.

“Those tight ends may not have 80 or 90 catches, but they’re going to have 30, 40, 50 catches. It’s how they get them… big third downs, red zones, to keep drives alive.”

“Let me tell you this: We ain’t done yet.”
- Jimbo Fisher following the Aggies’ 41-27 victory in the Orange Bowl

Fisher made that statement before the 2018 season. In the previous six seasons, A&M tight ends caught 35 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2018, Jace Sternberger had 48 catches for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jalen Wydermyer exceeded 30 catches and 440 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. He also had six touchdowns in both seasons.

“It ain’t like it used to be. It ain’t gonna be how it used to be.”

That oft-repeated quote was apparently made during Fisher’s first spring practice at A&M.

Under Fisher, A&M is 2-1 vs. LSU, 4-1 vs. the Mississippi schools and 12-3 after Halloween. The Aggies have also finished at least in a tie for second in the SEC West Division in two of three seasons under Fisher. Rest assured, that ain’t how it used to be.

“You tell your kids to go play every play hard, give everything you’ve got and you’re going to let the clock run out? That ain’t what competitors do. That ain’t what Texas A&M is going to do. Texas A&M is going to play until the horn blows.”

Fisher said that to answer why he called a time-out in the final minute of a 45-23 loss to Alabama on Sept. 22, 2018. Later that year, the Aggies defeated No. 13 Kentucky in overtime and outlasted No. 8 LSU in seven overtimes.

“He (Ainias Smith) is, I’d say, an ankle breaker. He can play in the slot, play outside. He’s a great return guy. A guy you can get the ball to in his hands very quickly and a lot of different ways.”

Fisher lauded Smith, who was a mere three-star recruit, on signing day in 2019. Since then, Smith has caught 65 passes for 812 yards and nine touchdowns and has rushed for 347 yards and four touchdowns while shifting between receiver and running back. He has also averaged nearly nine yards on 31 punt returns.

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports
Fisher is one bowl win away from leading the Texas A&M program in bowl wins.  

“Let me tell you this: We ain’t done yet.”

Fisher made that proclamation in a postgame speech following a 41-27 Orange Bowl victory over North Carolina on Jan. 2.

A&M looks to build on that with six offensive and nine defensive starters returning this season. The Aggies figure to be among the Top 10 in preseason rankings.


Beyond that, Fisher showed he wasn’t done yet on May 6 when he told a Houston Touchdown Club audience that A&M would not have to wait until coach Nick Saban retires to beat Alabama…

“We’re going to beat his ass when he’s there, don’t worry.”

Obviously, that’s a ballsy statement. Alabama has lost just five times over the last five seasons. Three of those losses were to the national champion. That would suggest the Aggies would likely win the national championship if/when they beat Alabama.

Maybe the idea isn’t too farfetched. Fisher has made a lot of other statements and proved trustworthy.

It’s like Ernest Hemingway once said: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Discussion from...

After three seasons, it's time for Aggies to fully trust Jimbo Fisher

9,452 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by GigEmTx
fieldtrailer
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AG
They are close. Biggest change has been recruiting. 1000% better than it used to be.

Need to fix the passing game. Only area beside special teams (return teams) that hasn't had any improvement. If they could open that up, I think we would see that next jump from 9-4 team to 10-2 or 11-1 type team.
inch05
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AG
Good stuff, OB! In Jimbo we trust. ADY!
Iraq2xVeteran
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AG
Jimbo Fisher already posted more home SEC wins in 3 years than Kevin Sumlin posted in 6 years. Jimbo is 9-2 in home SEC games, including 5-2 against SEC West teams. His only losses at Kyle Field were a 28-20 loss to Auburn on 9/21/19 and a 47-28 loss to Alabama on 10/12/19.

By contrast, Kevin Sumlin went just 8-14 in home SEC games. Even worse, he went just 3-12 against SEC West teams at Kyle Field, including a 7-game losing streak to end his tenure. Sumlin's last home win against an SEC west team was a 30-17 win over Mississippi State on 10/3/15. We went for 1,134 days without such win until a 38-24 win over Ole Miss on 11/10/18.
Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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We finally have the right guy. It has only taken most of my life to find him but jimbo fisher is that guy. Jimbo fits Texas A&M like Texas A&M fits the SEC. it's a perfect match.
82 TAMU Ag
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If it's taken you 3 years to figure out you can trust Jimbo, you must have ridden the short bus to White Oak schools.
Sully Penny
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Good article, Olin.

Side note: I read a book about Booker T. Washington when I was a kid. He and Ben Franklin were my favorite American idols growing up. Nice quote. I hadn't read that one before.
DegenAg
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AG


Love Jimbo but maybe we should temper expectations a bit? Hope is a heartless and bloodsucking b**** that has made many grown men cry
Houston Oilers
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AG
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King, Jr.
T-Shizzle
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With all due respect Jimbo hasn't had to face both Mississippi schools at the height of there success under Mullen and Freeze. Like Sumlin did either.
Dex_Mick_Bear
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Houston Oilers said:

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Science is just another word for engineering that doesn't work." -Vox Day
MaroonStain
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AG
"I've never doubted Jimbo but I have doubted other Aggies." - MaroonStain
4
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AG
"I'll have the number 2 combo please, with onion rings."

-4
SinKiller
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We're such a soft blanket for all coaches to land on...Jimbo must be amazed every day...
slyfox07
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AG
I think he's the best coach we've had in decades, maybe the best ever. But he still needs to get some skins on the wall.
Take off your mask.
SinKiller
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slyfox07 said:

I think he's the best coach we've had in decades, maybe the best ever. But he still needs to get some skins on the wall.
Come on...Sumlin's 2012 team would have rolled any of his 3, is Summy now the best?
Iraq2xVeteran
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AG
T-Shizzle said:

With all due respect Jimbo hasn't had to face both Mississippi schools at the height of there success under Mullen and Freeze. Like Sumlin did either.
That is true. In 2014, the Mississippi Schools finished behind Alabama and ahead of both Auburn and LSU. Mississippi State finished 2nd in the SEC West and 10-3 (6-2 in SEC games). Ole Miss finished 3rd and 9-4 (5-3 in SEC games). In 2015, Ole Miss peaked even further and nearly won the SEC West before a bizarre ending in a 53-52 overtime loss to Arkansas at home on 11/7/15 costed them that opportunity. They finished 10-3 (6-2 in SEC games) that year, but in 2016, both Mississippi schools finished the regular season 5-7. Even Arkansas managed to sweep these schools that year, but we got swept by them. Remember, we started 6-0 before losing 5 of our last 7 games in 2016. During that stretch, our only wins were over New Mexico State and UTSA. Since a 45-38 double overtime win over Tennessee on 10/8/16, we went for 350 days without win over a Power 5 win until a 50-43 overtime win over Arkansas on 9/23/17.

2016 was an excellent opportunity for Sumlin to lead us to a 10-2 (6-2 in SEC games) regular season record, 2nd place finish in the SEC West, and a Sugar Bowl appearance. Outside of Alabama, the SEC was so weak that 8-4 (5-3 in SEC games) Auburn got invited to the Sugar Bowl. Instead, we finished 8-4 (4-4 in SEC games) in the regular season and 4th in the SEC West and lost to Kansas State 33-28 in the Texas Bowl. On 11/5/16, we lost at then 3-5 Mississippi State 35-28, and a week later, we blew a 21-6 4th quarter lead to lose to then 4-5 Ole Miss 29-28 at home. Following that upset win at Kyle Filed, Ole Miss was outscored 93-37 by Vanderbilt and Mississippi State to end their season. It's one thing to lose to Alabama and LSU, but it's inexcusable to lose two very winnable games against the Mississippi schools. That's why fans called for him to be fired after the 2016 season ended.

No, Jimbo did not face these Mississippi schools at their peaks under Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze, but he does not lose winnable games against them either. His only loss against the Mississippi schools was a 28-13 loss at Mississippi State on 10/27/18. In 2018, Mississippi State finished 8-5, but their defense allowed just 13.2 points per game, which was 2nd only to Clemson in scoring defense nationally. Of course, our home game against Ole Miss got cancelled last year, but if we had played that game, we probably would have won by double digits.
QB1
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AG
Why fully trust him after 3 seasons? I was trusting him after we gave him $75 mil. Title is misleading
slyfox07
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AG
SinKiller said:

slyfox07 said:

I think he's the best coach we've had in decades, maybe the best ever. But he still needs to get some skins on the wall.
Come on...Sumlin's 2012 team would have rolled any of his 3, is Summy now the best?
JFF and Mike delivered Sumlin. After that he could never repeat it, even with 3 five star QBs on the line.

Jimbo is building institutional staying power.
Take off your mask.
GigEmTx
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SinKiller said:

slyfox07 said:

I think he's the best coach we've had in decades, maybe the best ever. But he still needs to get some skins on the wall.
Come on...Sumlin's 2012 team would have rolled any of his 3, is Summy now the best?
No.

Sumlin was given that 2012 team - he didn't recruit Manziel, and he apparently didn't develop him by coaching either. He did recruit two QBs who'd eventually start in the NFL and one who'd win the Heisman. Neither of those guys trusted Sumlin and they both transferred.
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