Welcome to our summer series called 99 things. Today is 99 days until the beginning of the college football season. Each day we will be talking about one topic we are excited about for the upcoming season. This is not a list meaning the number one item is not the object we are most excited about. You will see in this series we are excited about different games, teams, players, storylines or traditions. Today’s topic is relevant due to the recent interviews both Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher gave this week.
There is no denying Nick Saban is arguably the greatest college football coach of all-time. Only a few coaches even measure up to his success. Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, and Tom Osbourne are a few you could make cases for as the greatest coach. NIL has been polarizing across the college football landscape due to the usage by different programs. Just last summer the Alabama coach praised Bryce Young for obtaining a seven figure deal before he even started a game. Saban recently accused Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M of “buying players” as the Aggies had the top recruiting class in the 2022 cycle.
The best part of this storyline are Fisher’s comments. Fisher responded saying “Some people think they’re God. Well, go dig into his past or ask anyone who’s coached with him, find out what he does and how he does it.” Fisher also called Saban a “narcissist” who believes he “walks on water.” This was my reaction hearing that comment. As an outsider, it is refreshing to see someone fire back at Saban because rarely does anyone call him out. Fisher did not just call him out though, he went for the throat. Fisher was adamant the Aggies had not broken any rules or laws. Some unconfirmed message boards speculated the Texas A&M incoming class landed about $30 million in NIL deals.
One of the most interesting parts of this story is Fisher and Saban coached together back in 2003 at LSU. Fisher was the defensive coordinator for the LSU Tigers when they won the national title over Oklahoma. Saban and Fisher had been cordial when at coaching clinics, league meetings, and other appearances but that appears to have changed. Saban attempted to call Fisher but he would not take the call.
Saban later tried to walk back his comments which felt like a dog walking away with its tail between its legs. He said he should not have singled out any players or coaches and he believes NIL should be legal. He also called out Deion Sanders which felt out of left field since Sanders has not done anything to the Alabama program. Saban did point out he did not think the current trajectory was good for the game and federal legislation is needed to help fix the problem.
If watching these two coaches throw haymakers at each other does not get you hyped up for college football, I am not sure what will. The Aggies travel to Alabama on October 8th and this came could not come sooner. Make it the 3:30 EST CBS game and let’s go. Give me a camera and a mic on the two coaches as they meet at mid field. What I would give to be a fly on the wall when they talk at midfield. As a reminder, the Aggies beat Alabama 41-38 on a last second touchdown from Zach Calzada which adds extra intrigue to this matchup. The Crimson Tide will be looking for revenge on top of these comments by the two head coaches. We do not have a spread for the game yet, but give me Bama.
We still have SEC media days later this summer and we need reporters to ask the follow up questions on this storyline. Another Fisher rant about Saban is necessary so we can hear about any questionable tactics Alabama has used. Saban has known to be outspoken and get heated as we all saw on national television. We can only hope to get additional memes and quotes from this fiasco.