Home Week 6 College Football Preview: aTm Out of Order

Week 6 College Football Preview: aTm Out of Order

by Craig

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher is off to a rough 2022.

Many felt that this was the year for the Aggies to break through and possibly join Georgia and Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, Fisher didn’t get the memo.

The Aggies are a disappointing 3–2 and are currently battling Iowa for the “cover your eyes, our offense stinks” award. A&M was upset in Week 2 at home against Group of 5 darling Appalachian State. The Mountaineers dominated a game that, on paper, they had no business being in:

After the game, the Aggies changed quarterbacks and replaced Haynes King with LSU transfer Max Johnson. The southpaw gave the Aggies a little life as they rebounded with a 17–9 win over Miami.

Unfortunately, the Saturday scaries returned last weekend in Stark Vegas. Mississippi State knocked Johnson out of the game and routed the Aggies, 42–24. It was another embarrassing loss for Texas A&M that has left many wondering if Fisher is the right man for the job.

Fisher is one of five active FBS head coaches who has won a national championship and is scheduled to earn $94.95 million between now and 2031. A look into the years since Fisher’s 2013 national championship shows what went wrong.

Recruiting


This is one area where Fisher has excelled at both FSU and Texas A&M. The Fund, Texas A&M’s NIL Collective, helped Fisher bring in the top class in 2022, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. This led to some controversy in the offseason.

A message board poster named “Sliced Bread” stated that the Aggies paid more than $30 million to land the top class. There was no standing or basis, but Fisher was forced to answer for it.

The controversy continued this summer when Alabama head coach Nick Saban claimed that “A&M bought every player on his team.” This led to a spat between Saban and Fisher that was spicy during the summer but has cooled considerably since the start of the season.

Regardless, Fisher has excelled at bringing talent to his teams in Tallahassee and College Station. It’s what he has done with that talent that has raised further eyebrows.

Record


Fisher was brought into College Station to upgrade the Aggies from a perpetual eight- and nine-win team under predecessor Kevin Sumlin. Through 53 games, Fisher and Sumlin’s records are nearly identical.

Barring some miracle this season, this will be the sixth straight season that a Fisher-coached team won’t reach double-digit wins.

Offensive Genius?

For all of the talent that Fisher has amassed, his offenses have been good but never great — at least not at Texas A&M. In fact, his best offense was in his first year with most of Sumlin’s players.

After a decent 2020 season, the offense has fallen off the table. The Aggies rank outside the top 100 nationally in scoring and total offense. They’ve been nearly unwatchable on offense this year.

Assuming The Fund doesn’t pass the hat to buy out Fisher, changes have to be made this season. It’s a fun-and-gun world in college football. Tennessee has mastered Art Briles’ offense and Sonny Dykes has kicked TCU into the next gear with his version of the Air Raid.

College football is a wide-open and fast-paced game. Fisher has failed to adapt and evolve his offense to keep up.

Look at his old boss Saban, who has evolved. The Crimson Tide currently have the fifth-best offense in college football.

Fisher will have to make some tough choices in the offseason. It starts with bringing in a new perspective to jumpstart the Aggie offense. Here are two names.

Garret Riley
Lincoln’s little brother. He has been with Sonny Dykes for the last three years at SMU and now TCU. TCU has the second-best offense in college football this season. The Horned Frogs dropped a bomb last Saturday on Oklahoma, amassing nearly 700 yards in a 55-24 rout of the Sooners.

Zach Kittley
Kittley is on the college football fast-track. The 31-year-old has an electric offense.

Two years ago, he was leading FCS Houston Baptist’s offense. Now he is Joey Maguire’s right-hand man in Lubbock.

The 2022 season is a lost cause. Saban will try to score a 100 on the Aggies this weekend.

It’s time for Fisher to live up to his paychecks and see if he can’t modernize the Aggie offense. Or at least get to 10 wins…

Stat of the Week

Wisconsin shocked college football when it fired Paul Chryst on Sunday. Chryst was 67-26 as head coach at Wisconsin and won nine games last year.

The Badger administration must feel that nine or 10 wins aren’t good enough. This is starting to sound like a Big Ten program in Lincoln. College football is a cut-throat business and result-orientated, but some of these administrators need a reality check.

Week 6 Picks

NOTE: Game previews, lines courtesy of ESPN. All times ET.

🎟 Tennessee (-3) 🆚 LSU
📍 Tiger Stadium
⏰ 12 p.m.
📺 ESPN
💰 #RockyTop

The Volunteers have the nation’s top-rated offense. The Tigers escaped The Plains last week thanks to Auburn falling asleep. The gates and beer sales open at 9 a.m. on Saturday. That should make for a fun crowd, but the Vols will remain undefeated for their matchup against the Tide next week.

🎟 Texas (-6) 🆚 Oklahoma
📍 Cotton Bowl
⏰ 12 p.m.
📺 FOX
💰 #HookEM

Quinn Ewers is set to make his return for the Red River Rivalry. It’s hard to believe, but this will be the only Big 12 game on Saturday that won’t have at least one ranked team playing. TCU broke Oklahoma’s offense last week and the Sooners will be without starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Texas can’t screw this one up; can it?

🎟 TCU (-5) 🆚 Kansas
📍 David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium
⏰ 12 p.m.
📺 Fox Sports 1
💰#GoFrogs

Kansas will have its third straight sellout of the 2022 season. Head coach Lance Leipold is going to be a very rich man this offseason. Dykes has the Horned Frogs flying on offense. TCU scored early and often in its win over Oklahoma last weekend. This should be an old-fashion high-scoring affair, but in the end, the Frogs are too much for the Jayhawks.

🎟 Arkansas 🆚 Mississippi State (-5.5)
📍 Davis Wade Stadium
⏰ 12 p.m.
📺 SEC Network
💰 #HailState

How many screens will we need to watch the noon slate of games? Mississippi State put a hurt on Fisher and the Aggies last week. Arkansas challenged the Crimson Tide in the third quarter, but a porous defense let them down in the other three. Will Rogers will continue to thrive against a weak Razorback secondary.

🎟 Utah (-3.5) 🆚 UCLA
📍 Rose Bowl
⏰ 3:30 p.m.
📺 FOX
💰 #GoUtes

UCLA welcomes a second top Pac-12 team to the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The Bruins jumped all over Washington last week to hand the Huskies the first loss of the season. Utah has bounced back nicely after a Week 1 loss to Florida at the Swamp. Look for Kyle Whittingham’s bunch to establish control of this game and the division in the mid-afternoon window.

🎟 Ohio State (-25) 🆚 Michigan State
📍 Spartan Stadium
⏰ 4 p.m.
📺 ABC
💰 O-H-I-O #GoBucks

Mel Tucker and the Spartan defense have had a forgettable and lackluster 2022. This is a bad recipe for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes. No upset special this time in East Lansing — just lots of Ohio State touchdowns.

🎟 Washington State 🆚 USC (-11) 
📍 Los Angeles Coliseum
⏰ 7:30 p.m.
📺 FOX
💰 #GoCougs

Jake Dickert has done a fantastic job and brought stability to an uneasy situation in the Palouse. Lincoln Riley has the offense humming in Los Angeles. USC finds a way to win, but Wazzu keeps it close to cover.

🎟 Iowa 🆚 Illinois (-3.5)
📍 Memorial Stadium
⏰ 7:30 p.m.
📺 Big Ten Network
💰 #Borderline Erotic #GoIllini

Head coach Brett Bielema is rolling with the Fighting Illini. They went to Camp Randall last week and dominated the Badgers and forced Paul Chryst into the unemployment line. The Iowa offense continues to be all tricks and no treat for the Hawkeye fans. Bielema gets another big win — this time against his alma mater — and sets the Illini up to be in the conversation for to be the top team in the Big Ten West.

🎟 BYU 🆚 Notre Dame (-3)
📍 Allegiant Stadium
⏰ 7:30 p.m.
📺 NBC
💰 #GoIrish

Can we call this a second Holy War? Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman’s first year is off to a rough start. Things looked better two weeks ago in the Fighting Irish’s win over North Carolina. Look for BYU to keep this one close for a half and the Irish to pull away after halftime.

🎟 Texas A&M 🆚 Alabama(-24.5)
📍 Bryant-Denny Stadium
⏰ 8 p.m.
📺 CBS
💰#RollTide

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off that ol’ Lone Ranger. And you don’t mess around with Saban.

Last week ATS: 3–5
Overall: 17–29–2
Grab your 🍿 and enjoy the games!

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