The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Fisher embracing Texas-sized expectations

250 days ago
Brandon Zimmerman

ATLANTA -- Jimbo Fisher stepped up to the podium at SEC Media Days on Monday and looked out over a room full of reporters and cameras.

"Howdy," Fisher said.

Greeted with silence from the room, Fisher quipped: "If y'all don't know, you're supposed to say 'howdy' back. That's a Texas A&M thing."

Texas A&M's new head coach is certainly embracing the Texas culture he inherited in College Station. He's also very welcoming of the expectations. Fisher was hired to win conference and national championships, and he's not shying away from that.

"I think your timetable is as quick as you can put things in place and everyone buys into what you're trying to do," said Fisher, who won a national title in year four at Florida State. "You have a timetable, your timetable is now. You want to win immediately and that's your place, but is that realistic? I don't know. Could it be? Yes. Could it not be? Yes. It's all about the process of putting things in place. Because you want to build a program the right way up and get kids to understand and buy in."

We won't have to wait long to find out Fisher's first team in College Station is capable of. Texas A&M will host three-time College Football Playoff participant Clemson in its second game of the season. The Aggies then visit defending national champion Alabama in their fourth.

"It gets your attention," Fisher said of the schedule. "I think when you have those kinds of games in the early part of the season, it makes the summer that much better."

Fisher's summer has already been filled with motivation. Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp presented Fisher with a dateless national championship plaque this offseason. The message was clear: Championships are expected.

"I thought it was kind of nice," Fisher said. "I liked it. He had the same commitment that we did."

Texas A&M hasn't won an outright conference title since it captured the 1998 Big 12 championship. Now, they're in the SEC, a league Fisher has already spent 13 seasons in as an assistant.

"This is a conference I cut my teeth on," Fisher said. "So I understand a lot about it."