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Did you forget that the Aggies have players other than true freshmen? People like McKinley Jackson, Shemar Turner, Fadil Diggs, Jahzion Harris, Tunmise Adeleye, Isaiah Raikes, and Elijah Jeudy were highly coveted recruits who now have one or more years of college conditioning and some playing experience. They alone could man a stout rotation even if there were no freshmen at all.
Exactly what happened to A&M in the LSU game when a strip was disallowed even though there was no whistle. Why is there a rule that play can be stopped before a whistle is sounded? I don't see the value other than to allow bad refs to insulate themselves from replay.
LSU got Kelley by offering him a boatload of money, not because of any kind of magical prestige, and even those sums were not enough to lure their first few choices. It is reported that Jimbo Fisher turned down $13 million per year the privilege of avoiding LSU, its politics, and its NCAA turmoil.
One wonders whether Saturday Down South writers will refer to Kelley's contract amount every time his name is mentioned, as they have done with Jimbo for four years. Or is this yet another example of prejudice in favor of pre-1990 SEC schools? The pattern has been consistent, whether A&M was 8-4 after a disappointing cascade of injuries or 9-1 and on the precipice of the playoff. Some think Jimbo is overrated, and just as many think Kelley is overrated (not to mention Lincoln Riley or Mel Tucker). It would just be nice if there could be at least a superficial show of fairness and even treatment.
A 40 year old man slapping a 14 year old is despicable. Period.
Of course, we are all fascinated by whether a coach's salary is worth it to a sportswriter or fan, but the real question is whether Jimbo's salary is worth it to A&M. For one thing, his salary is dwarfed, quite literally, by the money that will be poured into facility upgrades over the next ten years, not to mention assistant salaries. For another, the additional excitement translates into ticket prices and sales, as well as merchandise sales. Moreover, A&M is thrilled by the additional publicity and excitement its football team is bringing to the university as a whole. And finally, the real complaint seems not to be about A&M's spending decisions, but about the fact that A&M has more money to spend than just about any other university. In that light, the author is right about one thing: LSU has no chance of outbidding A&M for Jimbo Fisher. None.
It's hard to take your analysis seriously when you say (three times) that Haynes King was injured in the first game. He was injured in the second game, against Colorado. Basic factual errors cast doubt on whether you actually watch the games or have any idea what really happened. Maybe you ought to consider an alternative career as an SEC referee.
Fisher's "ten-year, $75 million contract is likely to end up as an all-time great bargain for the Aggies." Texas Monthly, August 19, 2021. Given what he has already accomplished, it is borderline embarassing that he is only the third (by payments in 2021) or fourth (by contract) highest paid coach in the SEC. He needs, deserves, and at the end of the season will get a raise and extension. SDS will get a new number to cite EVERY SINGLE TIME his name is mentioned, as if their last actual thought on the subject occurred in 2017.
Is there something in the SDS employment contracts requiring that Jimbo Fisher's name cannot be used without including the numeral 75 million? His $7.5 million per year is no more than third in the SEC this year (and fourth if you compare it with Orgeron's actual contract, although he agreed to be paid less than the contract amount this coming year). His guarantee was comparable to what he already had at FSU, a nine-year contract beginning in January 2017 and running to 2025. Many A&M former students believe that he should already have gotten a raise and extension, and one at the end of this year seems very likely. Perhaps you might consider mentioning the contracts of Nick Saban, Dan Mullen, and Ed Orgeron every time their names are used.
Two points that many may not appreciate. 1. In Texas handshake agreements may be legally enforceable. In 1985 Pennzoil had a handshake agreement to acquire Getty Oil. Texaco made a better offer and took the deal away. The Texas jury awarded Pennzoil $10.53 billion in damages against Texaco for interference with a legally binding contract. A&M's Board of Regents may choose not to sue the SEC, but it will not be because they can't. They can and will unless they choose not to exercise their rights under Texas law. 2. It is understandable that sports writers and sports fans do not understand this, but A&M's decision to join the SEC had little to do with athletics. For 50 years A&M has been building itself up from a small, all-male military school into a major university. Joining the SEC was, first and foremost, about helping A&M build a positive brand for the university as a whole that distinguished it from UT Austin. For A&M, this issue is much bigger than sports, and the final decision will likely not be based on sports considerations.
Orgeron made nearly $9 million in 2020, almost $1.5 million more than Fisher. He is reported to have taken a voluntary pay cut to $6 million for 2021--we'll see if that sticks. Fisher, of course, won a national title a Florida State, and that is why his salary is properly compared to other coaches with similar success.
A&M's coach is the fourth highest paid coach in the SEC. If A&M sold its soul, what did Alabama, LSU, and Florida sell? The constant references to Fisher's salary as if it were much higher than the competition have become emblamatic of SDS's distain for actual facts in search of click bait.
Could we maybe start seeing articles about Texas A&M without including the number $75 million as if his annual salary were leaps and bounds above the rest. The SDS fixation on Jimbo Fisher's salary is ludicrous given that he is now the fourth highest paid coach . . . in the SEC.
You left Anias Smith and DeMarvin Leal out of the starting lineups? And you expect anyone to imagine you know what you're talking about?
Either the ACC will get 2 teams into the playoff, or the SEC will. Assuming the Aggies beat Tennessee (and after last weekend I'm taking nothing for granted), the last playoff spot will come down to the Aggies versus a 2-loss Clemson, or the Aggies versus a Notre Dame team that would be looking at playing Clemson for a third time. Either way, I like the Aggies chances. (No, Iowa State, Cincinnati, USC, and Coastal Carolina have no realistic chance, unless the playoff committee is completely replaced with a totally new group that evaluates teams differently than to date.) And I might add, if the Aggies have to settle for eight wins against SEC opponents, including Florida, Auburn, and LSU, with a Cotton Bowl or an Orange Bowl invite, I'd call that a pretty darn good year. With even better years to come.
"Gone are the days when you can rely on a defense to win you a 14-7 game." Did Texas A&M not just this past weekend rely on its defense to win a 20-7 game, with the extra touchdown coming from a pick 6 by the defense? You should consider thinking about sentences before you write them.
13 teams? Seriously? Run out of fingers and lost track?
I do not understand the obsession with Jimbo Fisher's contract. He is the fifth highest paid college football coach. You constantly snark that Jimbo Fisher is paid an outrageous amount, not generally because of his performance, but simply because "in the real world, there’s no way you’d guarantee somebody $75 million to coach a college football team." But in the real world, Nick Saban is being paid $1.5 million per year more to coach a college football team. Jimbo Fisher's salary is not outrageous and is barely unusual among top Power 5 programs, and it seems to be paying off for A&M in every way that can be measured.