If Jimbo Fisher leaving FSU for Texas A&M surprises you, then you don’t know Texas A&M very well. Way back on November 8th, when speculation first began that Fisher was going to be the Aggies’ top candidate to replace Kevin Sumlin, I wrote about why the possibility shouldn’t be discounted, as most observers were doing.
That, however, was a simple comparison of the programs’ ledgers. While most college football fans and media – even in the SEC – continue to underestimate the heft and resources of Texas A&M, they continue to underestimate the Aggie spirit to an even greater degree.
It was the Aggies’ spirit as much as the Aggies’ money which led Fisher to College Station. Remember, other schools came at Fisher in previous off-seasons with more money only to be rebuffed, so there was more in play here than just dollars.
For each of the past seven years, I have attended a home football game at Texas A&M. I did not set out to do this when I first visited in 2011, but I fell in love with the place and its people. All that time in College Station, and the interest I’ve taken in following the Aggies since then, has given me – I dare say – a greater understanding of Texas A&M and its people than anyone else covering college football outside of the Lonestar State.
While I can explain to you in black-and-white why the Texas A&M job would appeal to Fisher, you can’t truly understand the move without understanding Aggies.
Aggies get the job done. Aggies are good leaders. Just as importantly, Aggies are good followers.
Aggies are organized. Aggies believe in the collective over the individual. Aggies have a passion for their school which is difficult to explain and goes well beyond sports – it resembles nationalism more than fandom.
Aggies don’t like being told what they can’t do or shouldn’t try. Aggies don’t feel it’s their role to take a back seat to anybody.
It is this same spirit that fueled the school’s move to the SEC despite all the naysayers – inside and outside of Texas.
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