After 40 games Jimbo Fisher is 29-11. That’s a 72.5% winning percentage which is pretty damn good. Especially when you consider the team he took over and the schedule he inherited. That 2019 schedule was just brutal with Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and LSU who were all ranked #1 at one point in the season. All but Alabama was on the road that season. Brutal.
I went back and looked at Jimbo’s 11 losses. In my mind there’s only 2 losses that are completely on the coaching staff. That was the 2019 Auburn game at Kyle and the 2021 Arkansas game. Jimbo and his staff got completely jumped by Gus Malzahn and Sam Pittman in those games. Both coaches had wrinkles and a game plan that identified A&M weaknesses. They got really early leads and the Aggies could never claw back. The Aggie coaching staff was just completely overwhelmed from the start. Without a doubt those 2 losses were coaching failures.
Of the other 11 losses, 7 of those were against teams that won the national championship that season or was ranked at #1 at some point in the season. I would have loved to have won those games but A&M really didn’t have the team to compete. I’m not going to say Jimbo should be 29-4 but let’s be real no coach in America other than maybe Nick Saban is winning those games with the talent A&M had at the time. Just completely overmatched. Jimbo actually almost pulled off a win against Clemson in 2018 and Georgia in 2019.
The other 2 losses I’m putting on the players and coaching staff. The 2018 Mississippi State game was on the road against a quarterback that simply had our number. Nick Fitzgerald had A&M’s number for whatever reason. Their defense had 3 or 4 guys that went in the first few rounds of the NFL draft. They were a good team and our guys simply didn’t make the plays they needed to.
The 2018 Auburn game was a complete meltdown by the players. Cullen Gilaspia botched an assignment that created a fumble by Kellen Mond early in the game. That gave Auburn a short field where they scored a touchdown. A&M would claw back to have a 24-14 lead with 7:00 left in the game. Auburn would score two touchdowns their final two drives were Aggie defenders had an Auburn player stopped but simply didn’t tackle him. It was a comedy of errors by the defensive personnel on those final two drives. That should have easily been a win but the players didn’t execute. This game certainly wasn’t on the coaching staff.
Jimbo has proven to be a stubborn coach in wanting to play a certain way every week but his method has worked as we could have easily lost the following games:
- 2018 Kentucky
- 2018 Ole Miss
- 2018 LSU
- 2019 Arkansas
- 2019 @Ole Miss
- 2019 Oklahoma State (Bowl Game)
- 2020 Florida
- 2020 North Carolina (Bowl Game)
- 2021 Colorado
A bunch of 2020 games could have been lost but Jimbo somehow turned Kellen Mond and an offensive line devoid of real talent into the number 4 team in the country by season’s end. That was a great team last season. Maybe it was lightening in a bottle but Jimbo’s stubbornness certainly paid off in a big way last season. That team definitely played above it’s talent level and won all but 1 game. That’s an outstanding season.
I have no idea what the rest of 2021 holds for the Aggies but Jimbo’s previous 3 seasons say we’re still going to win a lot more games than we lose. This is still really a talented team that needs to correct some mental errors and get a couple of key players healthy. Mainly Layden Robinson and Haynes King. It’s usually easier to correct mental errors than overcome talent. The talent is there.
I HATE the Arkansas loss. I can’t tell you how much I hate losing games we should win simply because we weren’t prepared. That’s not the mark of a championship program. However, other than Alabama it happens to most programs in the country.
2021 is likely going to go down as a season of disappointment as we all wanted more in Jimbo’s 4th season. However, if Jimbo can manage 10 wins including the bowl game this is still a pretty good season and better than most in college football. We’ll probably still be a Top 10-15 team when it’s all said and done.
Even better if we just lose to Bama the rest of the season and I do think that’s still possible. I don’t see us beating Bama with Calzada under center. No way he goes from deer in the headlights against Arkansas to beating the #1 team in the country in two weeks. Hope I’m wrong.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens for the rest of the season. I personally don’t think it’s time to panic just yet. Let’s give Jimbo the benefit of the doubt because I think he’s earned it.
Here’s a spreadsheet summary of Jimbo’s 11 losses for quick reference: