There wasn’t much resistance to Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide last season, especially in the SEC West Division. Alabama rolled through the 2020 campaign unbeaten, and mostly unchallenged, for its sixth national championship under Saban.
The usual suspects in the SEC West had their fair share of issues. LSU, coming off an undefeated national title season of its own, was 5-5, and Auburn was 6-4 and ended up firing head coach Gus Malzahn at the end of the year.
Texas A&M had a great season by winning nine of 10 games, including an impressive victory over North Carolina in the Orange Bowl. The Aggies’ only loss came to Alabama — by 28 points.
But that has not diminished the confidence of Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, who made a bold proclamation to supporters regarding Alabama at the Houston TD Club this week.
In audio obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Fisher responded to a question from a fan asking what it would take – other than Saban retiring – for anyone to beat Saban and Alabama by saying: “We’re going to beat his ass even when he’s there.”
Brent Zwerneman, who covers the Aggies for the Chronicle, also added that Fisher went on to share how much respect he has for the Alabama coach: “I don’t want him to retire. They’ve got a great team & I respect him. We’ve known each other forever…”
Alabama has won eight straight meetings against Texas A&M. The Aggies last win over the Crimson Tide occurred in 2012, A&M’s first season in the SEC, when eventual Heisman winner Johnny Manziel guided the Aggies to a 29-24 upset in Tuscaloosa.
If Texas A&M is to knock off Alabama in 2021, someone other than Kellen Mond at quarterback will be leading the charge. Mond, a four-year starter for the Aggies, was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the NFL Draft last week.
Fisher said he is not worried about the quarterback situation following the team’s run through spring practice.
“Everybody’s worried about the quarterback,” Fisher told reporters after Texas A&M’s Maroon & White Game. “That’s the last thing I’m worried about. I’m not worried about the quarterback. I’m worried about the pieces around him.”
The Aggies appear to be choosing between sophomores Zach Calzada and Haynes King in the race to find Mond’s replacement. Calzada was the No. 20 pro-style quarterback and No. 487 overall prospect in the 2019 247Sports Composite, while King entered a class later as the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and No. 131 overall player.
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Texas A&M begins the season Sept. 4 at home against Kent State and welcomes Alabama to town on Oct. 9.