Jimbo Fisher will conduct his first spring game at Texas A&M on Saturday. How he fares as the Aggies head coach will be one of the sport’s most fascinating storylines over the next few years.
Having covered the Florida Gators for years, and seen Fisher-coached Florida State teams up close, let me give you the Gators perspective on Fisher: We’re glad he’s gone.
Yes, he’s still in the SEC, but Florida and Texas A&M don’t play again until 2022 unless they meet for the SEC title.
Fisher led Florida State’s program for eight years. He dominated the Gators. Fisher was 7-1 against Florida, outscoring the Gators 235-114. That breaks down to an average score of 29-14.
It didn’t feel that close.
The Seminoles scored at least 21 points in those eight games, against a UF defense that was usually elite.
FSU also held Florida’s perpetually-struggling offense in check, holding the Gators to seven points or less four times.
Here are the two reasons why most Florida fans expect Fisher to succeed in College Station.
Fisher simply doesn’t miss at the sport’s most important position.
He helped develop Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, Jameis Winston, Deondre Francois and James Blackman. That’s five quality players in an eight-year run.
He won 10 games the year after Winston left as the No. 1 pick with mediocre transfer Everett Golson. Fisher will consistently produce one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks. That alone will quickly make Texas A&M the biggest threat to Nick Saban’s dynasty at Alabama.
Fisher stocked FSU’s roster with talent at every position. He consistently out-recruited Florida, bringing in a higher-ranked class each year from 2014-17 according to 247Sports.com’s rankings. Fisher’s last seven recruiting classes at FSU were ranked in the top six in the country six times. Five of those six classes were ranked in the top four.
Fisher might need time to acclimate to recruiting in Texas, but it’s hard to imagine with Texas A&M’s resources that he won’t be a massive recruiting upgrade over former coach Kevin Sumlin. Under Sumlin, Texas A&M finished outside the top 10 from 2015-17.
Fisher was able to consistently field a better quarterback and overall roster than Florida in his eight years with the Seminoles. That’s how you build a 7-1 record.
Fisher checked out early on FSU last season with his eyes on College Station. That’s why Fisher’s last season at FSU went south at 5-6 prior to him leaving. He deserves criticism for that, but Texas A&M fans shouldn’t be concerned. Fisher hasn’t lost his touch. With a renewed energy and focus, expect Fisher to win big at Texas A&M.
At least, that’s what the Gators believe after watching him kick our butts for nearly a decade.
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