Texas A&M just received the gift it desperately needs, all thanks to Ohio State

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When Texas A&M hired its new football coach, the next order of business for its board of regents was to figure out what to do with the guy who made that “decision.”

Because before Mike Elko was introduced to the good people in College Station as A&M’s latest new football coach, his boss was in trouble. Ohio State just saved the Aggies from another potentially embarrassing and awkward situation.

A&M athletic director Ross Bjork has been hired as the new AD in Columbus, Ohio. He will replace the retiring Gene Smith for that position, effective July 1.

According to sources, some powerful Aggies wanted Bjork to be anywhere but College Station.

A&M desperately needs to move as far away from the natural disaster that not only was the Jimbo Fisher era, but the entire process of firing him and finding his replacement.

That includes Bjork magically landing the same job at Ohio State. This type of move, an AD from a SEC school flush with money moving to Columbus, does not just “happen.”

However this happened, this is the biggest win the Aggies have had since women were allowed to enroll at the school as four-year, degree-earning students in 1963.

A&M needs this.

Despite the many advances and positives the Aggies have made in the world of sports in the last few years under Bjork, the moment he endorsed eating all $77 million of Jimbo Fisher’s contract is the day he should have called a head hunter and said, “Find me a job.”

Even if Bjork was under the direction by the university president and every single member of the board, it’s his name and face on an extension that came to define the entire football program under Fisher.

Bjork is the man who was hoodwinked by Jimbo’s agent into giving Fisher the dumbest contract in the history of college athletics.

Bjork can’t be blamed for A&M handing Fisher a 10-year, $75 million contract, in 2017. That was his predecessor, Scott Woodward.

Bjork must take all of those Aggies swords for thinking Fisher’s fully-guaranteed 10-year, $95 million extension he signed in 2021 was a good idea.

Because it wasn’t. That deal had to work all the way, or someone loses their job.

As bad as that was, the process of hiring Fisher’s replacement went down about a smooth as 16 oz. glass of rusty razor blades.

According to people familiar with the coaching search, the candidates were Arizona’s Jedd Fisch, UTSA’s Jeff Traylor and Duke’s Mike Elko. Kentucky’s Mike Stoops really wasn’t on the list.

But Stoops and Bjork knew each other from their days together at the University of Miami. It can never be said loudly enough how much relationships drive these moves.

According to a few sources, Stoops expressed some interest and suddenly he found his way at the top of the Aggies’ list, unbeknownst to a few board members.

When the board was informed of this “decision,” Bjork was “advised” (told?) to find a different candidate. That candidate was Elko, who reportedly was waiting on A&M before telling Michigan State if he would go to East Lansing.

Coaching searches are not always a phone call and a private plane flight. They’re often messy. Despite the money involved, these coaching searches can look like a country convenient store trying decide between calling it “Coke” or “Pop.”

It is not without precedent that a board tells its athletic director, “Nope. Give us someone else.”

Bjork’s problem is when you combine that coaching search with the financial fiasco that is the dust storm created by Jimbo’s Jumbo-Dumbo contract, the particles fall on every Aggie. There is dust everywhere, from the board members who endorsed it to the low-level grad assistant who just wants a job.

Unless A&M wins 10 games immediately, the Aggies will hear about Fisher’s contract for at least the next three to five years. Try as they may, paying off that contract has a trickle down on this new staff, and athletic department.

The Aggies had to do everything necessary to move away from that deal as quickly as possible, and Ohio State hiring away the man who approved that contract is the best development for their football program since Johnny Football beat Bama.