Texas A&M football: Lost season continues for Aggies
If it weren’t for bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.
For all the problems Texas A&M has dealt with in 2022, one they didn’t anticipate, the flu, put the Aggies at a decided disadvantage going into Saturday’s game against Florida at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M fought through it as best it could but a depleted Aggies team, especially on defense, couldn’t fight off the Gators and quarterback Anthony Richardson.
The 41-24 loss all but eliminated the Aggies from bowl eligibility and hit a new low for the program during coach Jimbo Fisher’s leadership. The Aggies now have to win all 3 remaining games just to break even at 6-6 and become bowl eligible.
With a visit to Auburn and home games against UMass and LSU still remaining, that seems a tall order. Unless there’s drastic improvement in a very short period of time, it simply won’t happen.
In the 5th season with Fisher, as some touted the Aggies as national title contenders – remember Desmond Howard predicting before the opening kickoff that the Aggies would win the national championship – an eventual losing season seemed unthinkable. It seemed there was no reasonable way this group of Aggies could lose more games than it would win.
Week 0 means it's time for the crew to make their CFP predictions ? pic.twitter.com/GiIDSGaZfD
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) August 27, 2022
Even when Fisher went all in with the 2022 recruiting class – the greatest ever rated in some corners – nobody could have foreseen the mess that has resulted. Five consecutive losses and counting, the most from a Texas A&M team since 1980. A real possibility now exists of the first losing season in Aggieland since 2009 with Mike Sherman.
At the point when it was thought Texas A&M would be reaching its pinnacle for Fisher, it is instead wallowing in the depths of despair. Only the UMass game seems a likely win at this point.
Next week, Texas A&M travels to face an Auburn team that is so off-track it fired its head coach mid-season. It looks like a daunting task to even beat that team, especially considering the Aggies haven’t won a conference road game since last October at Missouri.
Beating a ranked LSU team at Kyle Field to end the season is doubtful, at least given the résumés to this point. It’s certain the Aggies will be decided underdogs on their home field.
So instead of competing for SEC West honors, as preseason expectations suggested, the Aggies face a potential 4-8 finish. That would match the finishes of teams with Sherman in 2008 and Dennis Franchione in 2003 that have the worst record since the 1972 squad that went 3-8.
Wait till next year is getting old in College Station. Given the accolades bestowed upon the 2022 recruiting class, however, this age-old mantra may not be any more appropriate than now. Next year (2023) should be better. A year of growing pains should begin to yield dividends.
And then 2024 should be the year.
That’s if everything goes to plan. That’s if all those 5-stars stick around. That’s if those über-talented athletes remain patient and don’t jump ship to a more competitive program.
Because Fisher has mortgaged the house on these highly rated high-schoolers. It’s his last chance to make something of Texas A&M’s 10-year investment. And it should be. There’s really no excuse for a 4-, 5-, or even 6-win season in the 5th year of a tenure.
Fisher’s future will likely be decided off the field. He’s already failed at winning on the field, at least in 2022. What happens between the end of November and the start of the 2023 season will tell the tale. If Fisher can keep a lid on the transfer portal, he’ll have an opportunity next season to put the team on an upwards trend.
But in this day of instant gratification, that’s a big “if.”