For this week’s blog I thought about doing the same thing Jimbo does with his offense. Just posting a previous blog and changing the name of the opponent. It’s essentially the same thing Jimbo is doing with his offense.
I like to think I’m better than Jimbo so you get a fresh blog this week.
Before I get going on the game I know we’re all numb to losing but let me put into perspective what that loss on Saturday in Auburn means:
- We lost to a team with an interim coach. No offense to Cadillac Williams but teams have interim coaches because they’re bad. Teams that have one of the highest paid coaches in the game are supposed to be good. JIMBO LOST TO AN INTERIM COACH!!!!
- Assuming Arkansas beats Missouri we secured last place in the SEC West EVEN with an unlikely win over LSU. If we lose to LSU then we own last place in the SEC West all by ourselves no matter else what happens. Jimbo’s FIFTH year as head coach and we’re sitting dead last in the SEC West including Auburn who has an interim coach after firing their head coach because their season is so bad.
- As we stand now we have as many wins in the SEC as Vanderbilt who is also last in their division. We have one less overall win than Vandy so we currently sit as THE WORST TEAM IN THE SEC ten games into the season. Let that one sink in. The worst team in the SEC including Vanderbilt.
- Assuming a win over UMass and an LSU loss along with Vandy losing to Florida and Tennessee we will be tied with Vandy for both SEC record at 1-7 and Overall record at 4-8 when the season is done. TIED. WITH. VANDERBILT.
Jerry Reed once sang, “It all sounds sort of funny but it hurts too much laugh. Jimbo got the goldmine and we got the shaft.”
I don’t know any other way to put it. Jimbo got the goldmine and Aggie fans got the shaft.
Let’s talk about the Auburn game for just a little bit.
We didn’t know it at the time but that game was lost before we even ran out of the tunnel before the game. For whatever reason Moose Muhammed’s decision to wear or not wear sleeves created a major issue in the game.
It’s still all kind of murky because Jimbo “handled it in house” but Moose Muhammed didn’t play in the game because of sleeves on his arms. That’s right, a player’s decision to wear sleeves on his arms either before the game or during the game caused him to not take a snap.
WHAT THE EFF???
What is going on with this football team when sleeves on a guy’s arm are either an act of confusion or an act of defiance? Seriously. It’s minor in the grand scheme but for whatever reason it created a real issue.
I get having standards that players must live by but this is just foolish. Who cares if a receiver is wearing sleeves or not if they’re producing? If they fumble while wearing sleeves then advise them to take them off. A player’s decision to wear sleeves is a minor thing if they’re producing. WHO FREAKING CARES???
This seems like the epitome of Jimbo’s problem. I get game preparation and team standards but how in the hell do sleeves on a receiver matter this much where a guy can’t play in the game?
They couldn’t have an adult conversation in warm up or during the game about the sleeves? He just got an automatic suspension? It seems like Jimbo is questioning if he has any control of this team so he’s going over the top. Straight foolishness.
As the game started the following things happened:
- False start before our first snap. Auburn is a tough place to play but it’s no different than other stadiums they’ve played in this season. How in the hell are we still false starting before the first snap in Game 10?
- We took two time outs in the second quarter to avoid a delay of game after already taking a delay of game. This was all on the same drive and our last offensive possession of the half. 10th game of the year and we’re still struggling to get plays in and snap the ball before the play clock runs out. Three times on the same drive. Unreal.
- The first 10 offensive possessions resulted in 10 punts.
Read that last one again. The first 10 offensive possessions resulted in 10 punts. Not a single scoring attempt in our first 10 possessions of the game against Auburn. TEN OFFENSIVE POSSESSIONS AND TEN PUNTS!!!!
Jimbo can blame injuries, suspensions, and whatever else he wants but 10 punts in 10 possessions is the definition of offensive failure. Auburn has a decent defense but they aren’t the 85 Chicago Bears that just dismantled every offense they played.
This Auburn defense has given up the following points to the following teams this season:
Penn State – 41
LSU – 17
Georgia – 42
Ole Miss – 48
Arkansas – 41
Miss State – 39
Okay, Auburn doesn’t even have a decent defense. They’re a bad defense. In 10 possessions the mighty offensive genius known as Jimbo Fisher couldn’t even muster a field goal attempt.
We had -3 total yards in the third quarter. NEGATIVE THREE YARDS IN A QUARTER!!!! To a defense that’s given up close to 40 or more in 5 games this season.
Winners find a way to win and Jimbo didn’t do that.
He ran the same damn offense that hasn’t worked all season that a junior high coach could figure out how to defend.
The formula is simple – Send your defensive ends straight into the offensive tackles. Don’t get cute. Just run as fast you can at the offensive tackles outside shoulder targeting where the quarterback will be three steps back from where he’s standing when he receives the snap. You both will arrive at approximately the same time. Then have your defensive tackles and 2 linebackers change up their path and timing headed to the backfield on every play. You’ll spend the entire night in the Aggie backfield with 6 guys. If you’re talented enough you can do it with 5. Then have your other defenders cover crossing routes and the Aggies won’t complete more than 50% of their passes.
Seriously people. It’s that simple.
Defenses keep doing it over and over again and Jimbo keeps calling plays right into it.
Now to the other side of the ball. While it’s true D.J. Durkin is our defensive coordinator there’s one thing everyone keeps forgetting – D.J. WORKS FOR JIMBO!!!!!
I’m not here to defend D.J. but it’s crystal clear to me that Jimbo is not giving D.J. any guidance or feedback on what’s going wrong.
App State basically broke the code on how to attack this defense – Just run the ball. We got lucky against Miami because they got behind and thought they had to throw the ball. We got lucky against Arkansas with the fumble we returned for the touchdown. This defense did a tremendous job against Alabama with 4 turnovers and against South Carolina with 2.
Other than that teams have run all over this defense. The last three games against Ole Miss, Florida, and Auburn have really exploited it.
Here’s some rushing stats from those games:
Running Backs – 280 yards
Quarterback – 108 yards
Running Backs – 180 yards
Quarterback – 93 yards
Running Backs – 242 yards
Quarterback – 66 yards
The last three opponents who aren’t adept at passing the ball rushed for at least 273 yards against this Aggie defense. Ole Miss racked up 388 yards and lowly Auburn who can’t pass to save their soul gained 302 yards on the ground. I get there’s injuries and youth but these are one dimensional teams just running it down our throats.
Just running at will and nothing is being done to stop it.
For some inexplicable reason the 3-man front made a regular appearance against Auburn. I can’t figure out why. I put this on Jimbo more than I put it on Durkin. Just like Jimbo gets in a rut with play calls Durkin is clearly in a rut calling his defense. Jimbo as the Head Coach aka El Jefe needs to tell Durkin he needs to pull out all the stops to slow down the run. No more 3-man fronts and work with the Front 7 guys on how to scheme to slow down the run.
We’ll worry about the pass when the opponent feels they can’t run on us. It’s really that simple.
I know it was a 13-10 game so it was technically close. If you watched that game you know it shouldn’t have been that close. Sometimes you must make your own fortune and the Aggies did nothing against Auburn to make our own fortune.
That’s why we lost by 3 points. We put ourselves in that position due to inept coaching.
Jimbo is becoming shorter and more defensive in press conferences. That’s what people do when they have no answerers to what they’re seeing.
Jimbo was asked a question in Monday’s press conference about disarray with the team and recruiting. His response was this – “We’re not in disarray in recruiting. We’re not in disarray in our team.”
I got news for Jimbo – Both are absolutely in disarray. We had a massive de-commit last week with Anthony Hill and since David Hicks we haven’t had a commit for 2023 and we have PLENTY of spots. We don’t have a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver committed. We have ZERO offensive momentum and the defensive guys are starting to listen and look.
We’re dead last in the SEC and we had a receiver not play against Auburn because of arm sleeves.
I don’t know Jimbo’s definition of disarray but I will say we’re not in a good state. If he truly believes everything is fine we’re in big trouble. Hopefully he’s just giving coach speak to the media.
I hope behind closed doors he’s being honest to those he reports to with a plan to fix the issues. I hope those he reports to are asking tough questions he needs to answer.
Things aren’t good, Jimbo.
Here’s What’s Going to Happen:
We’re going to beat UMass convincingly. Weigman is finally going to break out getting time to throw and to open guys downfield. He’ll throw for close to 400 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. We’ll get another 100 yards on the ground with a score. Mix in a couple field goals and we’ll score 41 points.
Defensively we’ll keep UMass under 17 so we’ll win by 24 points. Not sure we cover the 33 points or whatever it is but we’ll win in convincing fashion.
Jimbo and Durkin will think they have everything on track. They won’t change a thing for LSU.
LSU will roll into town and wipe the floor with us. They’ll rush for close to 400 yards and put another 150 through the air. Defensively they’ll attack our offensive tackles freeing up Harold Perkins to make a mockery of everything else we’ll want to do on offense.
It’ll look like we’re playing Auburn all over again with punt after punt after punt.
I’m expecting a 35-10 beatdown. It won’t be pretty.
Jimbo will look stunned and confused with his glasses staring at his Trapper Keeper. Durkin will be slinked off on the sideline.
The misery that is the 2022 Aggie Football season will end with absolutely ZERO momentum and a host of questions that can’t be answered for another 9 months. Questions can only be answered on the field against opponents. If 2022 taught us anything it’s that. Practice doesn’t matter. Performance with live bullets matters.
While most of the teams in college football will get an extra month of practice our young guys will get an extra month to explore the portal. 4-8 with a single SEC win will do that to a team.
All thanks to a stubborn head coach who couldn’t see what was happening to his team or refused to see what was happening and adjust.
My Greatest Concern with Jimbo:
There’s lots of talk over Jimbo hiring an offensive coordinator. That’s obvious but I’m not sure what it’s really going to do.
Jimbo became Offensive Coordinator at LSU in 2000. He’s been on the sideline with his trusted Trapper Keeper for 23 seasons now. Can he stand on the sidelines without his woobie and manage the whole game?
That’s a massive question we have no clue the results because he’s never done it. He honestly doesn’t appear to have any desire to do it.
Does he really want to hire an Offensive Coordinator or is he doing it because it’s being forced on him? If it’s being forced on him then it’s pointless. It’s just doing something to do something and it’s not really going to take hold.
It sounds good in theory and it should keep us from going 4-8 in future seasons but I don’t think it’s going to help us win an SEC West title which should be the goal.
I don’t think Jimbo can be a true head coach. I think he’d already be there if he wanted to. We certainly wouldn’t be 4-8 if he can truly see the issues with this 2022 Aggie team.
His offensive staff is full of his closest friends that won’t challenge him. He already did musical chairs with them and the results got worse from previous years. He hired an offensive line coach that’s been a massive failure. That’s on Jimbo because he hired him.
I think Jimbo has been a glorified offensive coordinator for the last 13 seasons since he took over as Head Coach at Florida State. He’s never adapted his offensive and college football passed him by.
He caught lightening in a bottle in 2013 and in 2020.
He’s not a terrible coach as he can recruit but he’s in a time warp from 15 years ago I don’t think he really wants to get out of.
If he’s truly on board with becoming a different head coach then it’s worth a shot. If he’s just going to stand around and do nothing or meddle with an offensive coordinator then any staff changes is pointless.
I don’t think Jimbo truly wants to change who he is a head coach. He’s stubborn and stuck in his old ways.
Maybe I’m wrong. Actually, I hope I’m wrong but we’ll see.
What I Would Do:
I’m making this decision based on these four things. I have no more insight into any of these than you do but I’m basing my decision on these four items being true because I believe they are:
- Jimbo is fighting having to hire an OC and massive offensive staff changes.
- Jimbo doesn’t understand he himself has to make massive changes and become a true head coach.
- We lose to LSU
- We can get the coach I mention
If all four of those things are true I fire Jimbo the morning after the LSU game. If any of those 4 aren’t true then I give Jimbo one more year.
The remainder of what I write is based on those four factors being true. If any of those factors are false then I’m not advocating to fire Jimbo. Let’s be clear on that.
Sure, it’s going to cost us a ton of money but going 8-4 every year is going to cost us even more. We’ve seen that play out. I think it’s pretty obvious we have a perennial 8-4 coach in his current form. There will be a couple of peaks and valleys but I don’t think Jimbo is on the level with Saban, Smart, Kelly, Heupel, Leach, and Kiffin. That’s his competition.
He’s an NFL coach trapped in a college game he doesn’t understand anymore.
The ONLY thing saving him right now is the struggles in Austin and Norman so recruiting still looks decent. If that gets turned around in either of those places our recruiting is going to drop like a rock.
If we keep Jimbo and he’s not truly interested in embracing a different college game then he’s a dead man walking. Offensive coaches won’t want to come here nor will recruits. Everyone will know it’s not a matter of “If” he gets fired but a matter of “When”.
Same thing happened with Kevin Sumlin which is why he struggled to hire an offensive coordinator after Jake Spavital failed. Decent offensive coaches knew Sumlin was destined to get let go and didn’t want to take the job.
Unless we have the next offensive coordinator already locked down I don’t think it’s going to be easy to hire someone. Coaches like some level of stability and Jimbo is going to be clearly on the hot seat.
His contract should be moot on making the decision if we don’t feel he’s committed to being different. Pull the damn trigger and get it over with. This isn’t living out some more time with a dog that you love. This is a football coach that isn’t what we thought he was. Pull the trigger and move on.
I don’t like a coaching carousel as I do believe Jimbo has had a bad hand dealt to him this season. However, he’s proven to be a stubborn head coach with ZERO adaptability. He’s blaming everything but him as the head coach for our failures. He blames himself with words but his actions say otherwise.
Remember one of Jimbo’s favorite sayings is – “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
A head coach with some sense of reality pulls off 6-6 even with the issues we’ve faced this season.
At 6-6 or even 5-7 I’m not advocating to fire him. He’s certainly had a bad hand dealt to him this season but he’s also had his hand in MULTIPLE losses that shouldn’t have happened.
Remember this is the same guy that felt Haynes King was our best option for 2 games and we have a loss to App State to show for that decision. This is the same coach that for whatever reason didn’t have his team ready after a bye week and we went down 17-0 in the first five minutes at South Carolina. This is the same coach that held halftime leads at Kyle Field to Ole Miss and Florida only to squander them away. This is the same coach that couldn’t even attempt a field goal in his first 10 offensive possessions against an Auburn team with an interim head coach.
Decisions he made led to losses in every single one of those games. I won’t even get into his decision on the last play at Alabama.
It seems weird to say but there seems like a MASSIVE leap from 5-7 to 4-8. If he runs the same old tired offense and defense out there and gets wiped up by LSU and those other factors are true he needs to be gone. We will have seen enough.
He needs to wake up and act like he’s coaching for his job these last two games. We’re staring down SEVEN consecutive SEC losses. If he can’t see how he’s contributing to that there’s no point expecting different results in future seasons.
It sucks but it’s true. We need to correct a massive mistake.
I would go hire Mike Elko as head coach. Offer him a 5-year $40 million deal. I’m not sure what he’s making at Duke but I’d guess it’s 5 years for $25 million or in that ballpark. I believe his mother lives in that area of North Carolina but surely he’d want the keys to the Aggie gig considering what he’d be walking back into.
We send Durkin down the road and can keep our existing defensive staff for the most part. Defensive recruiting shouldn’t miss a beat.
Let Elko hire an exciting offensive staff along with an ace recruiting staff and we’ll be off to the races.
In case you haven’t noticed Elko is quietly 7-3 at Duke this year. Duke. They went 3-9 last season losing their final 8 games. There’s a good chance he goes 9-3 with losses against Kansas at full strength, an overtime loss to Georgia Tech on the road, and a 3-point loss to North Carolina who’s currently leading their division with no losses. Elko is 4 points from potentially going to the ACC Championship game with Duke.
That’s one hell of a turnaround.
Mike Elko is a football coach.
If Jimbo is fighting change don’t overcomplicate the decision and extend the misery. Pull the trigger and make the move. If he truly realizes the issues with wins and losses are at his feet and he’s willing to change then he can stay.
Based on what Jimbo has said after each loss his look in the mirror is different than everyone else’s. Sure, he says he blames himself but he clearly blames everything else. His actions in the last 7 games have told us that.
We got caught up in the coaching salary spike of 2021 and just need to own it. We made a bad decision and need to correct it sooner than later.