Panic Station? Texas A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher Considering All Options Ahead Of No. 13 Miami

KZNE-AM The Zone Radio in College Station on Monday sounded like a self-help line in the wake of former No. 6 Texas A&M's humiliating, 17-14 loss to 18-point underdog Appalachian State of the Sun Belt on Saturday at Kyle Field.

And now No. 13 Miami (2-0) is coming to town for a 9 p.m. eastern kickoff Saturday on ESPN to play the Aggies (1-1), who have nosedived to No. 24.

But A&M fans and area radio show hosts have moved beyond just how bad the Aggies' offense is. Currently, it is 13th out of 14 teams in the Southeastern Conference in scoring (22.5 points a game) and yards a game (338.5) and 12th in rushing (96.5 yards a game).


Perhaps worst of all is the fact that the Aggies can't even keep the ball. They had eight possessions against Appalachian State, which went old school with time of possession to the tune of 41 minutes and 29 seconds to 18 minutes and 31 seconds. Texas A&M is last in the SEC in plays run with 105.

Texas A&M Play Calling Now In Question

The question hitting Texas A&M's $9 million-a-year coach Jimbo Fisher now is why is he still calling plays? It was the second one at his press conference this week -- right after the one about his offense perhaps being too complicated.


"In time, I would, yeah," Fisher said about giving up the play calling, a task he's handled since the early 1990s as Auburn's quarterback coach. "Possibly could. You always evaluate those things. We evaluate everything we do. But yes, possibly yes."

Wow! The coach formerly known as an offensive guru is considering letting co-offensive coordinators Darrell Dickey and James Coley call plays or assist in that endeavor as soon as Saturday.

"It's a conglomerate play calling, too," Fisher said. "We're getting information from everybody -- thoughts and ideas that we put down. Those sheets we do going into the game. It's a collective group decision based on our offensive staff and what we do and how we do things."

When your quarterback, Haynes King, only throws for 97 yards on 13-of-20 passing, it makes one reconsider how things are done.

Fisher was asked about swallowing his ego with regard to the play calling in light of the loss to Appalachian State.

"My ego would not (get in the way)," he said. "Winning takes over everything, I promise you that. I'm always for whatever it takes to win."

Changes Being Considered For The Aggies

And Miami is stout on defense. It would be fifth in the SEC at the moment as it is No. 33 in the nation with 286 yards allowed a game. Defense is about the only thing working for the Aggies, at least statistically. They are No. 3 in the SEC and 21st overall with 256 allowed a game behind first-year coordinator D.J. Durkin, who came over from Ole Miss.

Fisher is also considering replacing King, who is eighth in the SEC and 49th nationally in efficiency at 152.2 on 33-of-51 passing for 461 yards with two interceptions and three touchdowns. He is also having trouble holding onto the football. Sophomore Max Johnson, a transfer from LSU who started 12 games last year, is an option. So is true freshman Conner Weigman.

Fisher wanted to put Johnson or Weigman in last week, but there was a problem.

"We never had the ball," he said. "We have to play better around (King). We'll evaluate what we have to do."

Gut Check Time For Jimbo Fisher, Aggies

In the meantime, Fisher is being evaluated more than ever. And remember, the athletic director who made Fisher the highest paid college football coach in the nation before the 2018 season at $75 million over 10 years, is no longer there. Scott Woodward became LSU's athletic director in the spring of 2019. Ross Bjork now is A&M's athletic director.

Woodward fired Kevin Sumlin before hiring Fisher. Right now, Fisher is no better than Sumlin, who was 36-14 in his first 50 games with a win over No. 1 Alabama, no SEC titles and no losses to Appalachian State, or anyone like it. Fisher is 35-15 as A&M's coach with a win over No. 1 Alabama, no SEC titles and one big loss to Appalachian State.

"We're very disappointed," Fisher said. "Have to get back out there right now fundamentally. We've got a very good Miami team coming in here that's going to get our attention very, very quickly, and does right now. We have to go play well."

Texas A&M is a five-point favorite by Draft Kings, but the Aggies would be hard to take there.

With a loss to Miami, A&M will be looking at the strong possibility of five straight losses to start the season at 1-5. After Miami, the Aggies play No. 10 Arkansas (2-0) in Arlington, Texas, then go on the road to play an impressive Mississippi State (2-0) team so far before playing at No. 2 Alabama (2-0).

Jimbo Fisher could be relinquishing more than his play-calling duties before this season ends.





Written by
Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.