The Texas A&M Aggies are watching the coaching carousel spin.
By Matt Zemek
LSU has shown an interest in Jimbo Fisher, who was a Nick Saban assistant at LSU when the Tigers won the national title in 2003. Though Fisher has been showered with money at Texas A&M, LSU’s athletic director is Scott Woodward, the man who hired him at A&M before moving to the AD chair in Baton Rouge. That fact keeps LSU in play for Fisher, even though he has publicly said he wants to stay at A&M. Given how much money and resources Fisher has in College Station, plus the fact that he just landed an elite recruit to bolster his future classes, it’s very unlikely he would leave. Nevertheless, coaching carousel plot twists can be crazy.
Add to this reality the fact that Fisher is coming off a head-to-head loss versus Lane Kiffin. Ole Miss’ defense, not its offense, was the star of the show this past weekend against A&M. The injury Zach Calzada suffered against Auburn seems to have halted his progress and evolution as a quarterback. That’s not entirely Fisher’s fault, but it remains that A&M’s season has fallen short because of a miserable September in which Fisher wasn’t able to find answers. If A&M had at least beaten Mississippi State at home, it would still have a chance to win the SEC West. Now, that dream has seemingly died. Would that failure be enough to convince Fisher that he needs to move to LSU to win SEC and national championships? Maybe, but the smart money still says that Fisher will stay at Texas A&M and enjoy all the money which has come his way.
As Texas A&M prepares for Prairie View A&M, the Aggies know that LSU – Fisher’s former employer – looms on Nov. 27 in what will be a much-discussed finale for this SEC West season.
1 – Run the ball
LSU’s run defense has become dramatically better over the past two weeks against Alabama and Arkansas. Texas A&M, if it wants to be ready to handle LSU, needs to show it can run the ball. This Prairie View game needs to be a time when the Aggies get back to basics and show they can mash the ball. A&M will need to establish the run against LSU. Preparing for the Tigers means cultivating a nastier run game here.
2 – No defensive disguises
Mike Elko needs to keep his defense very vanilla against Prairie View. Don’t give LSU any looks at some elaborate pre-snap disguises. Save the complexity for next week.
3 – Buy Zach Calzada time
This is a game in which Zach Calzada doesn’t need to do much of anything. He isn’t 100-percent healthy. Fisher and his staff need to do whatever they can to minimize Calzada’s workload. He shouldn’t take a single hit in this game. Preserve his body for LSU, when his skills will be needed. Calzada should not be needed in this game.