Jimbo vs. Sumlin? Texas A&M's offense is in for some drastic changes

Who will emerge as the top new coach in the SEC? (2:04)

ESPN's Booger McFarland joins Paul Finebaum to talk about why Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and Florida's Dan Mullen are coaches to watch this upcoming season. (2:04)

For the past six seasons, Texas A&M's offense has been synonymous with the trendy terms oft-used to describe the most popular methods of attack in college football.

Up tempo. Wide open. Aggressive. Those were hallmarks of Kevin Sumlin's teams more often than not.

With the arrival of new coach Jimbo Fisher, things likely will change -- drastically. If Fisher's past as Florida State's head coach is any indication, the Aggies will be the complete opposite in many ways. Watching Texas A&M in 2018 might be a way of turning back the clock, as Fisher uses more traditional elements that have become scarce in an ever-evolving game.

Though there's still six months left until the Aggies hit the field, and thus, plenty of time and room for adjustment, there are several characteristics of Fisher's pro-style offense that likely will remain, assuming he feels confident in the personnel on hand.

A statistical analysis of Fisher's last six years at FSU compared to Sumlin's six at Texas A&M reveal that these are the biggest differences and most likely areas for change in College Station this fall:

1. The tempo will be slower

Goodbye, hurry-up offense. The Aggies more often than not went fast in the Sumlin era, preferring to snap the ball as quickly as possible in hopes of tiring out opposing defenses or exploiting mismatches.

According to TruMedia, the Aggies have averaged 22.3 seconds of possession per play since 2012, making them the seventh-fastest team in the Power 5 conferences.

Meanwhile, at Florida State, Fisher and the Seminoles moved at a more deliberate pace, averaging 27.5 seconds of possession per play. That ranked them 52nd out of 65 teams in the Power 5.

Over the 78 games in the Sumlin era, the Aggies averaged 74.4 offensive snaps per game. In Fisher's past 81 games -- which cover that same six-year span -- the Seminoles snapped it 67.2 times per game. The Aggies had 243 drives that took one minute or less to Florida State's 192.

While the pace was different for each team, the production was similar, at least in terms of getting into the end zone. Both teams scored exactly 345 offensive touchdowns in the past six years. Florida State, however, was better in the kicking game, making 132 field goals to A&M's 93 and thus, averaged more points per drive. The Seminoles averaged 2.71 points per drive to Texas A&M's 2.56.

Fisher's offense got more bang for its buck when it had the football: The Seminoles scored a touchdown or field goal on 46.2 percent of their drives, and the Aggies scored on 41.8 percent of their possessions.

2. They'll go for it on fourth down less often

Aggies fans who like to yell "go for it" in fourth-down situations might be best served saving their breath, because Fisher won't be listening.

No coach in the FBS has gone for it on fourth down fewer times since 2012 than Fisher. In those six years, the Seminoles went for it only 40 times. That's 19 fewer attempts than the next fewest in that span (59, by LSU) and 30 fewer than Bill Snyder at Kansas State, who attempted the fourth-down conversion 70 times in that span.

The Aggies were by no means ultra-aggressive in that regard (they rank 89th nationally and 42nd among Power 5 teams with 101 attempts) but they still attempted to go for it more than twice as often as the Seminoles did.

3. Tight ends will be used often

A seemingly annual ritual for Sumlin during offseason news briefings was commentary on how the Aggies aimed to use the tight end more in the upcoming season, but in reality, it never quite happened. Whether it was playcalling, personnel or other circumstances, tight ends rarely got involved in College Station.

Look for that to change in the Fisher era.

Among Power 5 teams, Florida State had the third-most offensive snaps (4,018) with at least one tight end in the formation in the past six years. Texas A&M, meanwhile, had the fifth fewest, with only 1,305 snaps that included a tight end.

If you're a fan of formations with two tight ends, good news: Fisher does a lot of that, too. The Seminoles took 844 snaps (11th most in the Power 5) with at least two tight ends in the past six seasons, to just 164 by the Aggies in that span.

And they're not just for show, either. In Fisher's offense, the tight end gets the ball. In the past six years, tight ends combined for 181 receptions, an average of 30 catches per season. Texas A&M's tight ends caught the ball only 32 times total in the past six years.

A byproduct of the tight end usage means another scheme change for the A&M offense: fewer formations with four wide receivers. A favorite among one-back or air raid offensive coaches -- which was the coaching tree from which Sumlin learned -- the Aggies used at least four wide receivers on 3,879 snaps in the Sumlin era, the third most in the Power 5. That's more than three times as often as Fisher used four wideouts at FSU in that span (1,064 snaps, 39th in the Power 5).

Fisher often preferred three-receiver sets (the Seminoles used three wideouts on 2,476 snaps to A&M's 1,637 in the past six seasons).

Furthermore, Fisher likes formations with two or fewer receivers as well. He has run such formations 1,887 times since 2012 (fifth most in the Power 5) while the Aggies have done it just 269 times (57th).

4. Two-running back sets aplenty

Look for a lot more formations that include two running backs.

In the past six years at Florida State, the Seminoles ran 1,831 offensive plays with at least two running backs on the field, which is the third most in the Power 5 in that span. That's almost three times as often as the Aggies used a two-back set (671 plays) under Sumlin.

Some of those two-back sets for Florida State were ones that included a true fullback, which Fisher regularly kept on the roster and used. Sumlin preferred lining up a tight end as an H-back in such instances to serve in such a role.

5. The QB likely won't run the ball often

The types of quarterbacks the Aggies have had has dictated this as much as anything, but the quarterback run game was a key part of Texas A&M's attack in recent years.

Whether it was the dynamic talents of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel -- who led the SEC in rushing in 2012 -- or more recent players like Trevor Knight and Kellen Mond, the Aggies regularly let their quarterbacks run the football.

Texas A&M's quarterbacks ran the ball 822 times over the past six seasons, an average of 10.5 carries per game.

Fisher's quarterbacks ran the ball much more rarely, attempting only 255 runs in that time frame (an average of 3.1 carries per game). Of those 255 attempts, 145 of them belonged to Jameis Winston. That means that in four of the past six seasons, quarterbacks attempted only two rushes per game.

Of the Aggies' 822 attempts, 345 of them belonged to Manziel in his two seasons, so the drop-off wasn't much: A&M quarterbacks averaged 9.1 carries per game in the post-Manziel era.

The zone-read is something that was regularly seen at A&M but likely won't be seen under Fisher. The Aggies ran the zone-read on 989 offensive snaps over the past six seasons (18th most in the Power 5), while Fisher's Seminoles did it only 255 times (57th in the Power 5).