Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher addresses Nick Saban feud, College Football Playoff expansion

ATLANTA –– The rain subsided as Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher took the main stage. It stopping served as a symbol of the drama between Alabama football coach Nick Saban and Fisher coming to a truce.

The fast-talking, efficient-speaking Fisher answered questions about their verbal spat and more as the last coach at SEC Media Days 2022 on Thursday.

Here are the four takeaways from Fisher.

The Jimbo Fisher-Nick Saban feud is over. For now.

One of the biggest stories at SEC Media Days was Fisher and Saban’s war of words in May, but Fisher did not add fuel to the dying fire. He did not answer whether he had any regrets on the feud but is moving past it with his longtime friend.

“Listen, we’re great,” Fisher said. “Two competitive guys that go at it. We all learn from things we do in our business. Two competitive guys on a topic that is very – everywhere, as they say.

“I have great respect for Nick. Unfortunately, our thing went public. Sometimes that happens in this world.”

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Fisher agreed with Saban that they have had arguments before like in staff rooms and admitted his respect for Saban and his program. Their competitive fire will reignite when they meet on Oct. 8 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher shown on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher shown on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Needed change to NIL rules

Fisher agreed with other coaches regarding the pitfalls of NIL, such as incentivizing a high school athlete or transfer player to come to a school. He called for uniformity in all NIL rules.

“The NIL, the uncertainty of NIL and the difference in the rules per state, what you can do and how you can do it, affects recruiting,” Fisher said. “Listen, at the end of the day we can coach all we want; you got to have good players. You got to be able to get that uniformity together and create some kind of balance that everybody has the same rules about what you can and cannot do.”

College Football Playoff expansion

Scheduling and conference realignment has become a hot topic with Oklahoma and Texas set to join the SEC. Fisher embraces the change of institutions joining other leagues despite losing traditional rivalries. Amidst the change, he hopes to see the College Football Playoff expand.

“The College Football Playoff has got to expand because of how big the conference would become,” Fisher said. “The bigger the conference becomes, I think the harder it is to find a true champion sometimes. As (conferences) grow, I think the playoff has to expand to get (a) true college football champion in my opinion.

Three Texas A&M rivalries Fisher wants

When the conference and its schedule changes, Fisher wants Texas A&M to continue its rivalry with LSU and renew another with Texas.

“You want Texas,” Fisher said. “When Texas comes into the league, when that schedule comes in, definitely because of that rivalry. I think LSU is a great rivalry. But that’s probably our two biggest.”

Fisher selected Arkansas and Mississippi State as the third preferred annual opponent but hopes the third team can rotate with other rivals.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Jimbo Fisher talks Nick Saban feud, College Football Playoff, NIL


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