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CESSNA: Jimbo Fisher is banking on Texas A&M's future

CESSNA: Jimbo Fisher is banking on Texas A&M's future

Texas A M Missouri Football

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher walks the sideline during the fourth quarter against Missouri on Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

Jimbo Fisher is one of college football’s best play-callers. He’s also pretty good at sizing up the job market, which is why he’s staying at Texas A&M and has absolutely no interest in being LSU’s next coach.

LSU is a great job, but Fisher believes he’ll help make A&M the better job. LSU has been the more successful program. It’s not even close, which is why many national media pegged Fisher as LSU’s next head coach to replace Ed Orgeron who reached an agreement to leave after finishing out this season. Orgeron and LSU won the 2019 national championship.

A&M hasn’t won a national championship in the last 81 seasons. The Aggies have gone 22 seasons since winning a conference title and odds are it’ll soon be at 23 and counting. LSU has won three national championships in 18 seasons and Fisher helped LSU win the title in 2003 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. But as one of five active coaches who has won a national championship, Fisher knows A&M is the much better job. He’s 43 games into making A&M a championship program.

“I love being here,” Fisher said Monday at his weekly press conference. “This is the job I want. I’ve got a great contract. I have an unbelievable chancellor. I have an unbelievable president. I have an unbelievable [athletic director]. We’re building something, we’re recruiting great players. I really believe we’re in the process of building something great. I plan on being here and fulfilling this contract and doing everything I can. My family has roots here. I got ranches here, I hunt here. I love everything about this place.

“And I say that, because listen, there’s nothing going on [with LSU]. There’s nothing happening there.”

One of the national pundits, citing sources, said Fisher might want to move because his wife, Courtney Fisher, didn’t like living in College Station.

“And for the record, I love it too,” Courtney Fisher tweeted on Monday.

So, so much for that.

Fisher loves the way the Aggie community has embraced him and his family. Aggies gave donations of approximately $110,000 last week to Fisher’s charity, Kidz1stFund which fights Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder that affects thousands of children annually including his son Ethan.

“I love everything about the people here,” Fisher said. “The administration here and everybody in charge here and the people running the organization. I don’t know how else I can say it [that I’m staying here].”

It was easy for the national media to connect the dots that led them to thinking Fisher would consider LSU. Fisher was recruited from Florida State by current LSU AD Scott Woodward. Florida State has floundered since losing Fisher, while the he’s gone 31-12 at A&M. Fisher originally signed a 10-year, $75-million contract, but received an extension before this season through the 2031 season. His salary will increase to $9 million on Jan. 1 and $9.15 million on Jan. 1, 2023. After that his salary will increase by $100,000 each year.

LSU probably could have offered Fisher even more money, but money wouldn’t make it the better job.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to anybody else,” Fisher said. “I coached [at LSU]. It was a great place. We won a national championship. It’s a wonderful place. [But] I love being at A&M and I plan on being here and fulfilling my whole contract. I love everything about this place.”

Fisher’s challenge will be to build a program that gets the best of LSU. Alabama remains the Southeastern Conference’s gold standard, but with Oklahoma and Texas set to join the conference no later than 2025, there’s a chance the Aggies soon might not be playing Alabama annually. Many predict the SEC will have four “pods” of four teams with one popular version having A&M and LSU paired with Ole Miss and Mississippi State. In that scenario, Texas would be A&M’s permanent rival. The bottom line is much will be riding on the annual matchup between the Aggies and Tigers. The road to Alabama might go through College Station or Baton Rouge. Fisher has now picked his side twice.

“I don’t know what else I can say,” Fisher said when asked Monday if he’d take a call from Woodward, adding that Woodward has called and texted since Woodward left A&M, but he doesn’t need to call and talk to Fisher about a job.

“I am at A&M.”

Green grabs honors

A&M junior All-American guard Kenyon Green was the SEC offensive lineman of the week for helping the Aggies rush for 283 yards in a 35-14 victory over Missouri. It was Green’s second time this season to grab the honor.

Tennessee fined

Tennessee was fined $250,000 for its fans throwing debris on the field during the team’s loss to Ole Miss.

The final minute of play was delayed when fans threw water bottles, mustard containers and even a golf ball on the field.

“The disruption of Saturday night’s game is unacceptable and cannot be repeated on any SEC campus,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Today’s actions are consistent with the oversight assigned by the membership to the SEC office, including the financial penalty and review of alcohol availability. We will use this opportunity to reemphasize to each SEC member the importance of providing a safe environment even with the intensity of competition that occurs every week. We will also reengage our membership in further review of the alcohol availability policy to consider additional measures for the sale and management of alcohol while providing the appropriate environment for collegiate competition.”

If the SEC wants to prevent what happened Saturday, it needs stiffer penalties. If the next school to do that would lose a football scholarship or two, you’d see that stop.

Robert Cessna’s email address is robert.cessna@theeagle.com

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