Jimbo Fisher has a lot to live up to after jumping from Florida State to Texas A&M at the end of the 2017 college football season. Not only does Fisher have to justify making the jump from a program like Florida State, but he also has to live up to the 10-year, $75 million contract that those at Texas A&M decided to give him.
Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman is very aware of those expectations, and makes a very good point on Fisher’s future: what happens if he has a similar arc to Harbaugh at Michigan, where the hype is high, but the results turn out to be slightly below where the dollar signs say they should be.
“What I’m curious about is if the expectations are going to be higher for Jimbo Fisher because they’re paying him $75 million dollars guaranteed. He has won a national title [at Florida State]. The question I have would be what would be considered fulfilling that? At what point do you get to this Jim Harbaugh point we seem to be at with Michigan where if you do not get to the playoff? Is it three years? Is it four years? Where are we on this? That’s the question I would have because, remember, Kevin Sumlin went 11-2 and had a Top 5 season during his first year at A&M and then all of a sudden it was a bunch of eight-win seasons and that clearly wasn’t good enough. I think within at least the first three years, at some point, Jimbo Fisher has to get them within the Top 10, if not the playoff, because they’re paying a ton of money for him.”
Former head coach Kevin Sumlin had Texas A&M set in a spot where the program was winning eight games almost every year, and if Fisher comes in and does that for a couple of years… fans might not be too excited about paying that price tag for a coach for the same ol’ results.
Of course, it might take some time for Fisher to really turn things around, much like Harbaugh has needed at Michigan. It will be a delicate balance for Texas A&M over the next few years, and it will be interesting to see how Fisher — still only 52 years old — builds the program after he was able to win 83 games in eight years at Florida State.
[H/T SEC Country]