The last week in November brings traditions every year. Thanksgiving turkey, rivalry college football games, and of course multi-million dollar football programs waving silly money at potential new head coaches.
For the second year in a row, FSU’s boss, Jimbo Fisher, is being prominently linked to the LSU job. Only this time, unlike 12 months ago when the LSU administration comically backed out of firing Les Miles at halftime of the Texas A & M game, the Bayou Bengal brain trust actually followed through and fired him in October.
Up front, Fisher gave about an 80% reassurance for Seminole fans last week that he would still be in Tallahassee. That’s when he used the now all too familiar “I want to be here” approach to answering questions again about LSU or any other job. Obviously, those kind of replies are meant to shoo away the current questions and aren’t iron clad.
Back to LSU. For all of the talk over the last few weeks that interim coach Ed Orgeron would possibly get the job, LSU has shown no real improvement on offense when it matters, and ultimately, in the two most important games against Bama and Florida, they lost. Both at home.
Couple this with Orgeron’s disastrous time as head coach at Ole Miss, and he isn’t getting the job in Baton Rouge. While a quality defensive line coach and recruiter, he’s not worthy of what this job is.
Now back to Jimbo Fisher, who helped lead LSU’s resurgence on offense in the early 2000’s as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator on the Bayou. Fisher clearly re-established FSU into a national power in about three seasons. Further, his recruitment, development and the ultimate results with Jameis Winston at QB (Heisman Trophy, Unbeaten season for the title, etc. etc.) has Tiger fan salivating at what he could do with just one or two of the wealth of QB’s in the areas around Baton Rouge. He’s an ideal choice for them.
And clearly, Jimbo’s agent, Jimmy Sexton out of Memphis, is the power broker/king maker, especially when it comes to placing coaches at SEC schools. His list of current SEC head honchos is impressive, right now…Saban, Muschamp, McElwain, Smart, Freeze, etc.
So, everything is aligned and this weekend, when the regular season ends and the hires start happening, LSU has a tantalizing opening.
But here’s the crux of the decision: Jimbo makes a chunk at FSU and will likely get even more because of the latest “carousel” flirtations. He would also command, even greater money from LSU to leave Tallahassee, too. Great position to be in, obviously.
So, we at F.F.I. use this as a college football coaching common sense guide: “what does the decision really come down to?”
It’s not money for Jimbo. It’s not the chance to win a National Title (did that). It’s not fame and notoriety. Heck, Jimbo has a current 30 minute weekly behind the scenes infomercial for FSU football on Showtime and he’s THE star of it.
12 months after he could have been head coach at LSU, it’s still comes down to this: Does Jimbo Fisher want the challenge of winning the SEC West annually (against his mentor Saban) and winning titles at LSU/in the SEC vs. sitting pretty at a great program, Florida State, in a lesser competitive conference, the ACC, where he’s guaranteed to continue to kill in recruiting and win bunches on the field?
That’s it. No more complicated than that.
Now we wait with LSU and everyone else, to see if Fisher wants on or off the carousel.