AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since 2019, Jimbo Fisher is back on the road for the traditional springtime barnstorming tour of Texas. On Thursday, he made a stop in Austin to visit in-person with the Capital City A&M club for their annual Coach’s Night.
“It feels great to just get out and interact with people,” Fisher said. “I’ve had a couple speaking engagements since we’ve kinda opened things back up. It kinda felt weird looking at a room full of people, talking and doing that. But it feels really good. There’s nothing like personal [interaction]. We’re about Zoomed out. Zoom was fun on some things, but the personal interaction is tremendous, and you miss it.”
But with the return of what is jokingly called “talking season” also comes the return of bulletin board material — either intentional or accidental.
At a similar event on Wednesday, when asked what it will take to topple Alabama other than Nick Saban retiring, Fisher didn’t mince his words.
“We’re gonna beat his a** when he’s there, don’t worry,” Fisher joked, according to the Houston Chronicle.
When given a chance to clarify his thoughts, Fisher didn’t back back down.
“Bulletin board material, when you’re at that level, you play like you play,” Fisher said. “They’re in our division, we have to play them, we have to win a game versus them, we have to win multiple games versus them and build our program. They’re the standard to which everybody’s shooting at, and that’s where we wanna go. Bulletin board material is way overrated in my opinion. That’s the way we think, they think and we’re always gonna think that way.”
Recent history aside, Fisher has plenty of reason to believe he is building a program that can eventually take down the Crimson Tide. The Aggies are coming off a 9-1 season, with the only loss coming to Alabama, the eventual national champions.
They capped off the year with 41-27 win over North Carolina in the Orange Bowl and a No. 4 ranking in the final polls. It was their highest ranking since 1939.
“It was very rewarding to the players, and seeing that when you start to get to that rare air, the amount of work and the things you have to do to get to that top echelon of teams and work your tail off to be able to get there,” Fisher said. “I was very happy for the players, but it’s still three spots short of where we wanna be.”
Despite losing four-year starting quarterback Kellen Mond to the NFL Draft and having a competition for his replacement, expectations for A&M are as high as they’ve been since Fisher arrived in College Station.
“It’s what you’re here for,” Fisher said of the hype surrounding his team. “You want to create momentum behind you program. You want to have excellence, and you want to have excellence expected of you, so you’re putting yourself in that position to do that. Now, what you got to do is quit worrying about expectations and create day-to-day habits and practice habits and do ordinary things better than anybody else so you can function in those big times.