South Carolina Football: Gamecock opponent has coach on major hot seat

Jimbo Fisher brought in SEC football legend (and pariah) Bobby Petrino to call plays in College Station in 2023. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Tennessean
Jimbo Fisher brought in SEC football legend (and pariah) Bobby Petrino to call plays in College Station in 2023. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Tennessean /

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his team will be traveling to Columbia, Missouri this weekend to take on the 6-1 Missouri Tigers. The following weekend, the Gamecocks will make the only SEC road trip that is an even longer flight when they head to College Station for a matchup with Texas A&M.

The Mayor’s Cup and Bonham Trophy are up for grabs over the next two weeks for the South Carolina football program, but USC’s two opponents in those games could not have differing views of the men in charge of their programs.

Missouri has been largely mediocre during Eli Drinkwitz’s tenure in CoMo, but the 2023 version of the Tigers is a much better team, and they have an opportunity to challenge for ten wins for the first time since 2014. The fan base is as excited as they have been since Drinkwitz got the job before the 2020 season.

Texas A&M, on the other hand, feels as if they are paying head coach Jimbo Fisher significantly more money for the same results they got from Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies had one of the most disappointing teams in college football last season, and with a top-5 national roster, A&M is virtually out of contention for the SEC title already in 2023.

Because of that, the fans and administration in College Station have almost had it with Fisher. It also doesn’t help that the culture surrounding the program seems less than stellar. Despite being one of college football’s highest-paid coaches who has still has multiple years left on his contract, Jimbo Fisher is firmly on the hot seat.

The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported this week that he has been told that the Texas A&M Athletics Department and Aggie boosters are prepared to raise the money necessary for Fisher’s absurd $77 Million buyout “if he can’t get this thing going.”

The Aggies have not been a bad team under Fisher (other than in 2022), but with how much Fisher is paid and how well A&M has recruited, anything short of real SEC and national contention is a failure. Fisher has not led the Aggies to that type of success, so his hot seat is a deserved one.

After back-to-back losses to Alabama and Tennessee (two good teams), fans are frustrated because one could argue that Texas A&M should have won one or both of the contests. The Aggies faithful are frustrated that their favorite team couldn’t pull out the victories despite multiple opportunities to do so.

That has been a theme in the Fisher era as Texas A&M has lost seven one-score games in the last season and a half. Generally, close losses, especially close losses when more talented than an opponent, indicate a problem with coaching.

As it stands, A&M will be favored in most of their games the rest of the season, including (most likely) against a struggling South Carolina football team next weekend. However, it would take a remarkable finish for Fisher’s seat to cool down, and based on recent history in College Station, that won’t happen.

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