Golden’s nuggets: Fisher will win with the Aggies, but is he worth it?


Jimbo Fisher will win at Texas A&M.

He called the decision to leave Florida State a no-brainer.

Yep, a $75 million no-brainer.

But will Fisher win championships there? Perhaps one — that’s more difficult than it appears — but Nick Saban isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Props to AD Scott Woodward and the Aggies leadership for taking a giant swing at potential greatness. It was a bold, expensive move and one that sends a message that Texas A&M is in it to win big and not to just be competitive.

That said, you won’t find a fan base with more lofty expectations despite having not won a championship in nearly 80 years. Maybe there’s something in the water, but they believe with all their being that they should be in the title conversation every year.

After this hire, I agree with the fan base. Shoot, if you’re going to give a football coach a $75 million guaranteed deal over 10 years, you should expect to compete with the Alabamas, Clemsons and Oklahomas for national championships.

Fisher needed a change of scenery and the A&M facilities are miles better than the ones in Tallahassee. Did the Aggies overpay? Sure they did, but that’s part of the narrative in this state. It was good to hear that state funds weren’t used to bring Fisher aboard though the move will be panned the first two times the Aggies finish somewhere behind Alabama in the SEC West, which falls in the safe-bet category.

Fisher is a fine coach, but expecting him to come in and unseat Saban right away is a bit presumptive. “Your expectations will never be greater than mine, I promise you that,” Fisher said in his introductory presser.

Think again, Coach. Welcome to College Station.

Tom Herman can use these bowl practices not only to figure out what younger players have the most potential to contribute in 2018, but also to somehow convince linebacker Malik Jefferson that he’s better off waiting for one more year before getting NFL money.

Jefferson hasn’t announced his decision yet, which gives Longhorn Nation a little bit of hope that he’ll be manning this defense next season. But the guess here is that Jefferson, smart guy that he is, realizes that loyalty to the football program should pale in comparison to the millions he can start earning.

He’s dealing with a turf toe injury, not a brain injury. He should be thinking clearly enough to make the smart decision for himself and his family. Take the money. Come back and get your degree later.

Conference championships aren’t nearly as important as one would believe when it comes to the CFP, else the Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes would be playing Clemson in the Sugar Bowl and not USC in the Cotton Bowl.

Remember when the CFP chairman said there was very little separation between Nos. 5 through 8 in the standings before the weekend began? Well, after the committee moved Alabama up to that coveted fourth spot — just ahead of the Buckeyes — Hocutt changed his tune.

It was a tough call, but the committee got it right. Had Ohio State put another 59-0 pasting on Wisconsin in the conference title game, maybe they would have had a bigger beef, but the two losses, including that 55-24 no-show at Iowa, were too much to overcome.

Part of me hoped to see Bama excluded, not because I have anything against the Tide but because it would have moved college football closer to what it really needs — an eight-team playoff.

Imagine these first-round pairings: 1-Clemson vs. 8-USC, 2-Oklahoma vs. 7-Auburn, 3-Georgia vs. 6-Wisconsin, and 4-Alabama vs. 5-Ohio State. Then two more rounds after that. Heaven.

One day, college football. One day.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski should have been suspended more than one game after his unbelievable cheap shot on Buffalo defensive back Tre’Davious White, a dirty play he says was borne of frustration from calls made against him.

Calls made against him in a 23-3 win? Are you kidding me?

Could you imagine if someone like Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict, the league’s reigning cheap-shot champion, had plunged his elbow into the back of Tom Brady’s head under the same set of circumstances? He would have gotten a minimum of three games and a sizable fine.

Shoot, I’ve seen players flagged for a personal foul for whiffing on a low hit on Brady — and Gronkowski wasn’t even thrown out of the game? To his credit, Patriots coach Bill Belichick apologized to Buffalo’s Sean McDermott, but that doesn’t absolve Gronk of intentionally inflicting a head injury on a defenseless player.

Football is violent enough. That was a thug move. Gronk got off easy.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Planting The Seeds: Horns, Baylor climb into tail end of NCAA field
Planting The Seeds: Horns, Baylor climb into tail end of NCAA field

PLANTING THE SEEDS American-Statesman staffer Kevin Lyttle, an Associated Press Top 25 voter, returns with his weekly NCAA Tournament projections. There are 32 automatic bids for conference tournament champions and 36 at-large bids. Selection Sunday arrives March 11. On the top line: Villanova, Virginia and Michigan State are the easy part. The fourth...
Whelan adds Austin Marathon victory to recent 3M Half Marathon triumph
Whelan adds Austin Marathon victory to recent 3M Half Marathon triumph

Running in only his second marathon, Joe Whelan served notice that he’s now the man to beat in Central Texas road races. Coming off a convincing victory at the 3M Half Marathon last month, Whelan built an early lead and raced to victory in the 2018 Austin Marathon on Sunday. A Texan who lives in Spring Branch, Whelan topped the field of 3,500...
Joel Embiid impresses in first NBA All-Star appearance
Joel Embiid impresses in first NBA All-Star appearance

In just his second healthy year in the NBA, Joel Embiid is an NBA All-Star. A budding superstar for the Philadelphia 76ers, Embiid was previously selected as a starter for the 2018 NBA All-Star game, where he represented ‘Team Stephen,’ and did did so in impressive fashion. After quickly reaching double figures...
OLB Jahmar Brown praises Miami coordinator Manny Diaz after unofficial visit
OLB Jahmar Brown praises Miami coordinator Manny Diaz after unofficial visit

MIAMI — Jahmar Brown got to do a lot during his Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. The unranked outside linebacker from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., got to tour the Miami campus and watch a men’s basketball game at the Watsco Center. Mostly, though, he got to watch a lot of film. When the...
Kentucky 4-star S commit Keontra Smith: Miami offer is ‘game-changer’
Kentucky 4-star S commit Keontra Smith: Miami offer is ‘game-changer’

MIAMI — Keontra Smith waited patiently while his childhood team scouted him from nearby. The 4-star safety grew up rooting for Miami, but until Friday the chance to play for the Hurricanes sat slightly out of reach. Miami finally came through this weekend. Two days before Smith took the field for The Opening Miami regional...
More Stories