It’s no surprise that the top 10 is made up exclusively of SEC and Big Ten teams outside of Notre Dame. And even for schools 11-16, Clemson and Florida State are the only schools from other conferences to make the list. Fair or not, in today’s college football climate, the perception is that it’s the SEC, the Big Ten, and then everyone else.
Here’s what 247 Sports’ Brian Crawford had to say about A&M:
“In 2022, Texas A&M signed the highest-rated recruiting class of all-time per 247Sports and have dumped hundreds of millions into renovations at Kyle Field and new facilities. Everything is in place to win a national championship in College Station, but Fisher must improve on last season’s disappointing 5-7 performance first. There was a strong narrative out there that Texas A&M would get beat up in the West after joining the SEC in 2012 against the likes of Alabama and LSU, but Johnny Manziel’s arrival and — later — Jimbo Fisher’s early success proved otherwise. Handling scrutiny in the pressure-cooker that is the SEC is a major part of this job with lots of eyes on this position.”
Nothing they said there is inaccurate. From a resources perspective, A&M plays second fiddle to nobody. They’re located in perhaps the biggest recruiting hotbed there is (between Houston and Dallas), have the biggest stadium in the SEC, the biggest indoor facility in the country and are in the process of building even more facilities to put themselves back at the tippy top in that category. And Jimbo Fisher is certainly paid like this is a top job (his salary is tied for 5th nationally, and is one of 10 coaches who makes $9 million or more per season).
With Josh Huepel's extension, there are now TEN college football coaches who make $9 million+ per year.— Robert Behrens (@rcb05) January 24, 2023
-N. Saban: $11.7m
-K. Smart: $11.15m
-D. Swinney: $10.5m
-L. Riley: $10m
-R. Day: $9.5m
-J. Fisher: $9.5m
-B. Kelly: $9.5m
-M. Tucker: $9.5m
-J. Huepel: $9m
-L. Kiffin: $9m
Sadly, the thing that keeps A&M from being higher on this list is the most important thing: on-field results. Every team ahead of them (and all but two teams behind them) have either won a national championship this century or at least made the College Football Playoff. It’s no secret that A&M seems to have everything you need to create an elite college football program.
Now it’s time for Jimbo Fisher to take advantage of all of those resources.