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The Missing Component for Texas A&M

The Missing Component for Texas A&M

The Missing Component for Texas A&M

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Texas A&M football program has been recruiting top 10 classes nearly every cycle since joining the SEC. They have had a Heisman trophy winner in Johnny Manziel. Sent three NFL players to the league who appear to be on pace to be first ballot Hall of Famers in Von Miller, Myles Garrett and Mike Evans since the 2011 NFL draft. These players are far from the the only NFL players who have had success from College Station. The college football world has been waiting for the other shoe to drop for the Aggies for a long time now. When will Texas A&M do something with their nearly unlimited money, elite facilitates and top notch recruiting classes?

Since 1999, Texas A&M has managed to win 10 or more games only once (2012). They have made just one New Years Six Game (2020 season Orange Bowl). A&M has had just two seasons in which they lost fewer than four times (2012, 2020). The Aggies have not won a division title, or a conference though they claim a Big 12 Championship from 2010 when they finished in a 3 way tie for the Big 12 South. They managed to upset Oklahoma, but lost four games anyways. Not too different from 2021, where they managed to upset Alabama but lost four times anyways. They perhaps saved themselves from a fifth with their withdrawal from the Gator Bowl. Which would have pit them against Wake Forest, the ACC runner-up. Texas A&M doesn’t even want to be with Texas in their SEC pod if that system comes to fruition (a claim their AD denies of course he would) Shoot, they tried to stop Oklahoma and Texas from even joining the conference!

A&M has the athletes, they have the money and they have the facilities. They won the arms race, they won conference realignment. Why aren't they winning on the football field? The answer is simple: CULTURE. They do not have a winning culture or tradition, and they do not understand how to form one. To be fair this is something easier said than done. Texas A&M however has yet to learn that you cannot just throw money around and expect meaningful change. Aggie fans are quick to point at Texas and laugh at their recent futility, which is the worst stretch in Texas football history. However, in the meantime Texas A&M is seeing new heights and their results line up almost exactly. The greatest decade in Texas A&M history, is the worst stretch for Texas.

The problem with Texas A&M philosophically is they are simply copying big brother's throw money at everything and it'll all be fixed approach. But culture is built organically, with patience and putting character and direction before talent. Look at Clemson, a program that historically has been middling, but hired one Dabo Swinney and gave him the keys. The Tigers failed they looked average or worse but eventually the building blocks of the foundation pushed through.

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Clemson began by making their players and coaches accountable, asking them to be "All In". Clemson players had to carry themselves a certain way and invest into each other. The results slowly began to show when Clemson defeated LSU in the Peach Bowl, took down Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. Clemson then began to have expectations, and would lose to inferior opponents at times and struggle to take that next step, before they eventually did losing to an unranked team became known as "Clemsoning".

Texas A&M is not even heading towards the "Clemsoning" era of their football program. Teams that play the Aggies is expect to win in front of the 12th man or in their own stands. Texas A&M does not strike fear into their opponents. No win against Texas A&M even if its done by Mississippi State is news worthy, because its just Texas A&M. 

Texas A&M has tried to take the route of throwing money at everything, one they have done for a long time. Like when they broke the bank at the time for Jackie Sherrill in 1982. Sure they won a few Southwest titles but ultimately did not compete for national titles. They tried to replicate that process by breaking the bank for Jimbo Fisher with a $75 million deal.

Sure, the former Seminole head coach had an overall great tenure at FSU and won a national title, but completely destroyed the program from in the inside on his way out of town. Fisher had largely been propped up by Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston, without him Fisher loses on average four times per season. The most important coaches on his staff Mike Elko left for the Duke head coaching job, his offensive line coach Josh Henson left for USC, and his strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt went back to Oklahoma.

Texas A&M has to start with building the culture use the money to enhance your product from there, but until this lesson is learned they will continue to lose 4-5 games per year. Every team has talented players. That number one class does nothing on its own without player development and culture. Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies will need to find a way to put the first things first. Things have to change in College Station, doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]