Jimbo Fisher on Texas A&M's upcoming three-game SEC road trip: 'I think they set that up or knew I was coming'
Under Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M always seemed to get off to a fast start. While the record may not exactly show it this season in College Station, thanks in part to playing both Alabama and Clemson early in the season, Jimbo Fisher is off to a fast start in his first season with the Aggies with a 4-2 overall record and a 2-1 SEC mark.
While he was able to start fast, what haunted Sumlin was how his A&M teams finished each season. That’s a big reason why Fisher is now the head coach in College Station — he was accustom to leading Florida State great finishes in Tallahassee.
To do the same in his first season in College Station, Fisher will have to manage the most grueling road stretch of the season for the Aggies. Starting with the trip to South Carolina (3-2 on the season, 2-2 in the SEC) this weekend, then traveling to Mississippi State after the bye week and finishing at Auburn to open November.
During his Monday appearance on the Paul Finebaum show, Fisher was asked to share his thoughts on Texas A&M’s upcoming tough three-game road stretch.
“I think they set that up or knew I was coming or set that up or something,” Fisher joked. “You go on the road to South Carolina, you on the road to Mississippi State that’s a great team, you go on the road to Auburn. That’s very very difficult, but you know that’s part of it.
“We’ve got an off week in there, like you say. This is a huge weekend for us here, and hopefully, we can recoup and get better on the things we got to do at the midterm report, then try and go on the road those next two games, and finish up here at Kyle Field.”
The key to this stretch could be starting with a win in Columbia, which is led by Fisher’s former colleague Will Muschamp. The two coaches were the coordinators for Nick Saban’s LSU team that won the national championship in 2003.
Here’s what Fisher had to say on the show about facing his friend, which interestingly enough, the Aggie coach says he doesn’t particularly enjoy doing in the SEC.
“Will is a great coach. He’s one of the best defensive minds in college football – always has been,” Fisher said on the show. “Does a great job as a head coach. He was at Florida when we went against each other. Had some outstanding teams. Of course, all the practices we used to go at it. Will, he’s a good friend and Will does a great job. South Carolina did a tremendous job last year, and they could have a good year this year. He’s a really good football coach.
“Honestly, I’ll be honest with you, I hate playing my friends. I really do, I mean, you got to go do it, you battle them. At the end of the day, if you lose you know how your family feels. If you win, you still know how their family feels. It is tough, like going against Mark (Stoops) this weekend. It was a great competition. You respect him as a competitor, but man this business is tough enough without having to play against people you like and are good friends with you.”
Fisher noted this won’t be the first time he’s matched coaching whits with Muschamp, as the two went head-to-head on four separate occasions as Florida State and Florida coaches. Those matchups were won by Fisher 3 to 1.