The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Back in the SEC, Fisher ready to take on league

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher finished National Signing Day with the No. 16 recruiting class in the country.

It has been 11 years since Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher has taken the field with an SEC school.
Still, despite a decade-plus absence from the league, Fisher knows the task that lies ahead of him trying to navigate the SEC en route to a championship.
“That’s where I grew up in,” Fisher said at SEC Media Days Monday afternoon in Atlanta. “I lived it for 13 years. I understand what it’s like.”
Fisher also knows there’s no off weeks in the SEC, calling the conference slate a “gauntlet.”
“Every week is for the national championship because the teams you play have the capabilities of playing there,” Fisher said. “The regular season schedule of that league is second to none … You think I just played that big game, and you look up and that’s a big game.”
While Fisher took center stage on a sizzling July Atlanta afternoon on Monday, being front and center down the street at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a chilly December Atlanta afternoon could finally propel the Aggies to where they aim to be – national contenders.
“Whoever can survive that gauntlet of games and come out of there, you know is going to compete,” Fisher said. “And whoever wins the SEC has a chance to win the national championship.”
He’s right. The SEC-champion has played in 11 of the last 12 national title games, with eight of them bringing home a trophy.
Fisher said the timetable of bringing one back to College Station is now, noting how he has seen teams make runs at one in a head coach’s first year.
Fisher was an assistant at Auburn in 1993 when the Tigers went undefeated in Terry Bowden’s first season following a 5-6 campaign (although the Tigers were on NCAA probation and ineligible for postseason play). His 2013 title at Florida State was claimed over a different Auburn squad that rebounded from a 3-9 season in current head coach Gus Malzahn’s first year on The Plains.
“You want to win immediately and that’s your place,” Fisher said, “but is that realistic? I don’t know. Could it be? Yes. Could it not be? Yes.”
Fisher’s players are bought in to a quick ascension. Junior running back Trayveon Williams said he has set aside personal goals and is focused on winning.
“We need a 10-plus win season, a bowl-game win, the SEC West and the SEC,” Williams said at Media Days. “Those personal goals will come, but I just want to win.”
Senior defensive tackle Kingsley Keke said he knows the championship-pedigree Fisher holds, but what is the key to getting over eight-win seasons?
“Finishing,” Keke simply put it. “Everybody wants to win a championship, but you have to worry about the little things.”
Many have asked Fisher this offseason why he would leave his proven position at Florida State for A&M. He’s pointed towards his prior relationship with A&M athletic director Scott Woodward and everything that embodies A&M as a university, but his competitive nature could also be a factor.
“People say if you’re a competitor, why would you run from it?” Fisher said. “Why don’t you go find out? That’s what we’re going to do.”

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