Somewhere, I bet Butch Jones scrolled through his phone and nodded approvingly when he read the following headline.

“Texas A&M awards Jimbo Fisher trophy for hypothetical future national championship.”

If one didn’t know any better, one would have probably assumed that it was a typo and that Jones was meant to be the subject of the headline. After all, what Texas A&M did on Wednesday night was totally a page out of his playbook. You know, the one that says if you award yourself enough made-up titles, eventually fans will forget that you haven’t won any real titles yet.

That school of thought was part of the reason why the unemployed Jones probably had time to read that story. As for the rest of us internet consumers — including Aggies fans — we probably all had the same reaction.

If I'm an A&M fan, I don't want that plaque anywhere near any real trophy or award. Come to think of it, I actually know the perfect place for it. Butch Jones still has that trash can, right?


Why did Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp feel the need to present Fisher with a plaque that read “Texas A&M University 20– NCAA Division I Football National Championship”? All Sharp had to do was get up on stage and brag about A&M hiring one of 4 active FBS coaches with a national championship.

Instead, he did this:

Give Fisher credit for the way he handled the awkward memento to his start in College Station. Fisher said that “he hopes to fill in a couple.” He laughed it off and played it like some silly, half-serious joke that shows how sky-high expectations are for him. Ten years ago, a moment like that would have just been the kicker at the bottom of a story from the local paper.

But this is 2018, and now A&M is already the punchline for the internet.

We should probably expect to see this image after every Texas A&M loss:

Whether A&M’s future championship plaque becomes the new crying Jordan of the Twitterverse remains to be seen. If the Aggies struggle, it could becomes what Jones’ trash can was to Tennessee in 2017. That’s how cringe-worthy it was.

Maybe instead of fantasizing about national championships, the Aggies should set the bar at winning a division title first. It’s not like they had a winning record in the SEC West since 2012. Shoot, the Aggies barely have a winning record in the SEC (25-23) since joining the conference in 2012.

Heading into its seventh season in the conference, one would think that Texas A&M realized by now that a future national championship plaque is so not SEC. This is the conference where real championship trophies are appreciated, or if you’re Nick Saban, they’re celebrated for an hour and then put on a mantle with the rest of them. The poor national runner-up trophies just get smashed altogether.

The four SEC programs that combined for 10 national titles since 2003 all have the one thing that Texas A&M is so desperate to attain. That’s why the Aggies started claiming national titles shortly after they joined the SEC. Because nothing screams “college football power” like claiming national titles from nearly a century ago.

I mean, even UCF can point and laugh at the Aggies for this. At least the Knights recorded a perfect season and beat a top-10 SEC team before claiming their national title. The only top-10 SEC team the Aggies beat in the past 3 years was, of course, Tennessee … which went 4-4 to close the 2016 season and definitely wasn’t a real top-10 team. Jones’ squad was the “champions of life,” though.

I fear that before Fisher ever coaches a game in College Station, his program is already any easy target. In the past 2 weeks alone, he watched assistant coach Tim Brewster (I call him “Scrappy Doo”) get dunked on twice for bragging about fake accomplishments on Twitter. Now Fisher has to roll with the fact that Sharp embarrassed his program by bragging about another fake accomplishment.

This all just feels so forced and unnecessary for a program like Texas A&M. It doesn’t need to stir the pot like this to gain attention or fan support. Like we saw in Athens last year, the Aggies have all the resources to be a heavyweight if they kick things up a notch on the field. Kyle Field is already going to be filled and boosters are already fired up about the beginning of the Fisher era. Just let that do the talking.

Fisher doesn’t need a fake plaque to know what expectations are, either. He has 75 million reasons to accomplish that one goal in College Station.

If I’m an A&M fan, I don’t want that plaque anywhere near any real trophy or award. Come to think of it, I actually know the perfect place for it.

Butch still has that trash can, right?