Texas A&M brought in Jimbo Fisher to get the Aggies competing for SEC and national titles.
He got a $75 million contract when he signed, and went 9-4 in his first season.
But don’t assume Fisher and Texas A&M will win at least 9 games every year moving forward. Oddsmakers seem to think that’s at least a year away.
Per BetOnline, Fisher’s team should be an also-ran this season, with an over/under posted at just 7.5 wins.
The Aggies must replace several key pieces on a defense that finished 21st in S&P+ last season. The replacements are young and inexperienced.
The offense looks more promising. Even before quarterback Nick Starkel transferred, this was Kellen Mond’s unit to run. Four starting offensive linemen return and there is talent at both the receiver and running back positions.
But 7.5 wins? Let’s look at that closely.
The Aggies should be heavy favorites in five games (Texas State, Lamar, Arkansas, Ole Miss and UTSA). So where are the three other wins? Texas A&M could hold serve at Kyle Field against the likes of South Carolina and Mississippi State. Auburn also visits College Station.
Then there are the major tests.
Death Valley East
If SEC West teams don’t face tough enough schedules, the Aggies have to play defending national champion Clemson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the road the second week of the season. BetOnline listed the Tigers 15-point favorites as of April 3. That’s a big number, especially considering Texas A&M nearly upset Clemson in College Station in 2018. But the Tigers are playing much better on offense now, and Clemson is not kind to visitors.
Ending a Weird Streak
Auburn is 3-0 in College Station since the Aggies joined the SEC. BetOnline listed Texas A&M as a 3.5-point home favorite, which probably means it would favor the Aggies by a half-point on a neutral field. There are too many unknowns to wager on this game now.
Ebbing the Tide
Much like in-state rival Auburn, Alabama has beaten Texas A&M at Kyle Field every time since the Aggies joined the conference. Alabama may – emphasis on may – not be playing their best football early in the season due to all the turnover on the coaching staff and on defense. But Nick Saban will figure it out by mid-October. BetOnline lists the Tide as 13-point favorites. I’d put my money on Alabama, especially to win outright.
Brutal Ending to Season
The schedule-makers did the Aggies no favors. Fisher’s team must travel to Georgia and LSU in back-to-back weeks. Texas A&M is a 13.5-point underdog at Georgia, according to BetOnline. Expect Georgia to win that game.
Fisher is still building. With the talent returning on offense, better play from Mond and contributions from the 247Sports Composite No. 3 recruiting class, the Aggies can win eight games. But Clemson, Alabama and Georgia represent three very likely losses. Texas A&M can only afford to lose one other game to LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State and South Carolina in order for the over to cash. Fisher built excitement in College Station last year, but there isn’t any value in this line due to the difficult schedule.