Jimbo Fisher’s struggles at Texas A&M raise questions, overshadow beef with Alabama’s Nick Saban – CBS Sports

Jimbo Fisher's struggles at Texas A&M raise questions, overshadow beef with Alabama's Nick Saban - CBS Sports

The Beef might as well be plant-based this week. That’s another way of saying that the feud between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher that lit up talk show season this summer is about as meaty as Beyond Burger.

The two trainers made peace… as much peace as can be made between gritted teeth.

“It’s over,” Fisher said this week. “He and I are in great shape. We’ve moved on.”

We may be able to judge that by alabamathe margin of victory Saturday. If Saban decides to put a number on the Aggies (24-point underdogs, according to Caesars Sportsbook) he apparently can do it. Texas A&M is arguing after an 18-point loss to Mississippi State that followed grief to Appalachian State a few weeks ago.

That alone distracts from what was initially expected to be the game of the year due to the simmering hostility alone. Add Jimbo as the first Saban assistant to beat the champ last season, and you’ve got a date.

Except the plots changed faster than up to date offense. Texas A&M ranks near the bottom nationally in games per game (56.2). That’s part of the problem for a coach who was known as an offensive mastermind and quarterback developer.

Fisher was neither recently. He is too found a place on the hot seat — or whatever you call underachieving in Year 5 with nine years remaining on his extended 10-year monster contract.

The Aggies are out of the national championship hunt and on the verge of being eliminated from the SEC race. There is pressure on Fisher to produce. There’s also pressure on Texas A&M’s quarterbacks and managers to decide where the line is up front they produce — redeem money.

There are some who will tell you that this is no pressure at all. As one FBS coach told CBS Sports, “There are no in-betweens at Texas A&M. If they can have enough money in the bank. [to pay the coach]someone can write the check [to fire him].”

Given that 10-year guaranteed contract, those boosters and managers have a lot to do with this situation. They are the ones who all entered. That’s what Texas A&M usually does. Indeed, that’s what high-time college football is doing these days. It just becomes a measure of risk tolerance and the number of zeros in the contract.

Already in the last month, we have seen a great experiment fail Arizona State. NebraskaThe native son of can’t miss…missed, forcing the Cornhuskers to start another restart. Wisconsin fired a coach with a .720 winning rate.

Will Fisher become the victim of Bloody Sunday? Very unlikely.

Still, it’s worth wondering how much patience is left after that Mississippi State loss. Fisher has yet to find a consistent quarterback. Starter Haynes King was benched after a slow start. Backup Max Johnson is now injured and day-to-day for Alabama.

It’s complicated. Fisher inherited the Aggies’ career passing leader, Kellen Mond, when he arrived in 2018. Backup Zach Calzada beat Alabama last year and is now on the bench at Chestnut brown

Fisher left the door open to the reality of five-star freshman Connor Weigman playing Saturday.

“What do you want me to do, call Nick and tell him?” Fisher said when pushed on the issue.

The answer is part of Fisher’s trump card to critics. He can/must sell the future. That all-time No. 1 recruiting class from this past cycle is a piece to be played. The future isn’t now, it’s in 2023 and 2024 when that class is supposed to mature and contribute. With that in mind, this year always had the look of an eight-win season — a transition year … if Aggie Nation can swallow enough.

It could also reflect what Fisher is these days: a master recruiter who has lost his offensive touch. That’s not necessarily something he should be ashamed of. There have been coaches who have won championships as CEOs who buy the groceries and let the assistants cook the meal.

Meanwhile, Fisher probably owes Bryce Young a “thank you” note. Overshadowing this week’s game is the condition of Young’s shoulder. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Alabama starting quarterback is day-to-day with an AC joint shoulder sprain suffered last Saturday against Arkansas.

We got here before mentioning that both teams can start backup quarterbacks. Both coaches will exploit their revelations to begin with. Will it make any difference?

Regardless, the May events it’s definitely old news. When they were both available at SEC Media Days, we asked Fisher how he might make amends with a partner and former boss he called a “narcissist.”

“You’re not from West Virginiaright?” Fisher asked. (Fisher and Saban are both natives of the Mountain State.)

Jimbo then went on to describe how West Virginians can be at each other’s throats one minute and be friends 5 minutes later. Interesting take. This week, it’s relegated to the anecdote-old dustbin.

The issues are bigger in the rivalry and the league. Georgia looks vulnerable. Lane Kiffin’s Be a young lady looks like a legitimate contender in the SEC West. Tennessee is best since 2016.

But a revenge motive sells better than WrestleMania. Also quarterback uncertainty.

One program is above. The other really wants to be there. Throw in millions of dollars, stir with impatience and serve hot.

Is that meaty enough for you?

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