Jimbo Fisher, what are you doing?
Texas A&M is reeling and depleted, a shell of the team that opened the season with grand hopes and grander expectations.
So why bench one of the few productive players left? For wearing sleeves?
Word surfaced late Saturday night after the 13-10 loss at Auburn that clinched a losing campaign that receiver Moose Muhammad III was held out for his choice of outerwear.
The source? Well, Moose himself.
“I want to clear the air,” he tweeted. “I was benched for wearing arm sleeves – something that my teammates and opponents wear frequently for protection. I apologize to my teammates and fans and looking forward to getting back on the field.”
Are you serious, Jimbo? This is what you’re worried about now? Sleeves?
How about considering – perhaps for a second – the arms, hands, talent and experience of the guy who puts on the uniform instead of uniform accessories?
The Aggies generated just 215 yards of offense against the Tigers. Much of that came late. A&M was already without Devon Achane, lost Max Wright during the game and is wafer-thin on the offense line.
Muhammad, with 30 catches for 441 yards and three touchdowns on his resume, could’ve helped constantly-under-attack freshman quarterback Conner Weigman. He sure wouldn’t have hurt.
Fisher called the decision to sideline Muhammad, who didn't leave the sidelines after being on the field for the opening kickoff, an “internal matter,” without going into specifics. Maybe there’s more to it.
But as of now, the optics look terrible. Just like the 3-7 Aggies this season.
Fisher has presided over the first No. 1 recruiting class in program history and the program’s first losing season since 2008. That’s his 2022.
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Talk about highs and lows.
So what does a losing season mean in the big picture? It’s hard to tell, but its not necessarily the death knell that many predict.
The celebrated showdown in Austin this weekend featured schools that have experienced such indignity often. Texas owns five losing seasons since the last time Texas A&M was sub-.500. TCU, four. In fact, both the Horns and Frogs were 5-7 just last year.
But this is Jimbo’s fifth year in Aggieland. That’s the issue. A BIG one.
Fisher was asked point blank in the Auburn aftermath if a new offensive voice is needed on the staff.
“We just got to call it better, coach it better and do it better,” he replied. “And if we bring somebody in, whatever happens, it doesn’t matter.”
What? Of course, it matters. Coaches matter. An offensive coordinator with fresh concepts and an updated scheme may save YOUR job, Jimbo.
He did submit that, “We’ll evaluate everything.” That evaluation won’t include a month of bowl practices, so get a jump-start on 2023. Find that new OC. Take a magnifying glass to the roster, evaluate honestly who’s right for the program and clean out who’s not.
If anything, an exasperated Fisher has worn his emotions on his sleeves after each loss in a lost season.
But just don’t wear any for football.
You can find Art Garcia on Twitter @ArtGarcia92.
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