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Can The Aggies Win A National Title Under Jimbo Fisher?

Texas A&M entered 2021 with high hopes, but came up short

Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher made it abundantly clear in October that he would not be leaving for LSU. He reiterated as much a month later by referencing the 2022 recruiting class. 

"We’re going to recruit a heck of a class," Fisher said. "We’re going to have special things here. We’re building special things. They’re investing in the program. They’re investing in everything we’ve got. We’re building a culture.

"I want to be at A&M. I plan on being at A&M. I ain’t going nowhere. I don’t want to go nowhere else. I love being right here. Is that clear enough?” 

Fisher kept his word. Notre Dame's Brian Kelly heads to the bayou, while Fisher remains in Aggieland as Texas A&M (8-4) heads into bowl season. 

He also made another promise during his introductory press conference back in 2018. That was to help A&M win a national title for the first time since 1939. 

Are the Aggies close to that goal after regressing from a 9-1 season in 2020? 

The stars seemed aligned for A&M fans to wonder if this was the year to jump past Alabama. Fisher, 56, also had his Florida State history on this season.

After a strong first season with the Seminoles, FSU took a step back in the following year and won the Orange Bowl in Year 3. And then the Seminoles won the national title in Fisher's fourth year.

The Aggies won nine total games in 2018, eight in 2019, and defeated North Carolina in the Orange Bowl back in January. It felt like déjà vu.

Maybe it could've happened with original starting QB Haynes King. Instead, King suffered a fractured leg in Week 2. Zach Calzada kept the offense afloat, but it never truly flourished. 

Fisher did become the first former assistant to beat Alabama's Nick Saban, and the first coach in A&M history to defeat the Tide at Kyle Field.

After a 27-24 loss at LSU, some Aggie seemed upset that Fisher was staying. Some tweeted that it was best for Fisher to be left in Baton Rouge and become LSU athletic director's Scott Woodward's problem. 

Maybe that's too harsh. A&M was limited offensively even without King commanding the huddle. The team once again did not have a wide receiver record more than 600 yards. They also replaced four starting offensive linemen from a season ago. 

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Fans trusted that Fisher would be an upgrade over former coach Kevin Sumlin. In some ways, he has. 

Sumlin finished top 10 in recruiting once during his six seasons in College Station. Fisher has finished the past three seasons inside the top 10, and has a chance to finish with the top class this season. 

It's the win count where the two mirror another. Sumlin finished with a 36-16 record through his first four seasons. Fisher, should he win A&M's bowl game, would be 35-14. 

Fisher agreed to a new deal worth $9 million over the next 10 years, keeping him in Aggieland through the 2031 season. A&M will have another season under its belt with a more established offensive line, potentially losing just guard Kenyon Green to the draft. 

The receiver room should be more productive. Freshmen Moose Muhammad III and Demond Demas could be true threats next year, one across the middle and one as a vertical option. 

The Aggies will add competition to two key positions with the additions of receiver Evan Stewart and quarterback Conner Weigman.

Stewart, the nation's No. 12 prospect, is best known for his route-running skills and versatility in offensive formations. Weigman, SI99's No. 32 prospect, is expected to compete right away for reps with both King and Calzada. 

The talent is there. So is the personnel. Barring a head coaching move, star recruiter and defensive coordinator Mike Elko should be back in 2022. 

The big picture for A&M looks promising under Fisher. Now comes to the toughest part of high hopes and goals for any program. 

Execution.


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