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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Fisher has life back on track with Aggies

by Wally Hall | September 23, 2021 at 2:31 a.m.

Jimbo Fisher was not run out of Florida State.

However, no one made him a counter-offer to not go to Texas A&M where he signed a 10-year $75 million contract.

In fact, things were shaky between Fisher and the athletic department after a 5-6 record in 2017, his only losing season with the Seminoles, but things did seem to be trending the wrong way, including academically.

Under his watch, FSU had the worst Academic Progress Report among all Power 5 schools.

It is always hard to follow a legend, and that's what Bobby Bowden was, although he hand-picked Fisher as his replacement.

When Fisher took the Aggies job on Dec. 1, 2017, his record at Florida State was 83-23 overall and 48-16 in ACC play. He had won the ACC three times.

At one time, he was the most respected man in the state when it was learned he and his soon to be ex-wife set up a foundation to help children who suffer from Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disease their son Ethan suffers from.

A much publicized messy divorce when his ex was accused of infidelity with a former University of Florida player hurt his standing with some.

What happened in conference play was probably the final straw.

After going undefeated in league play in 2013 and 2014 the Seminoles were in order, 6-2, 5-3 and 3-5.

He had missed on recruiting a blue-chip quarterback since Jameis Winston. His assistants were whispering that Fisher had lost his stinger after winning the national championship.

If he had lost his drive, he seems to have found it in College Station,.

In his fourth season at Texas A&M, he is 29-10 overall and 17-8 in SEC play. Three of those losses were to Alabama. Like everyone else, he has found the SEC West to be difficult.

The other losses were to Auburn twice, Mississippi State, LSU and Georgia.

This is the season he has been building for. His first five recruiting classes ranked No. 13, No. 17, No. 4, No. 6 and No. 8.

These are all his players, and is his style, they are very good on defense. The offense has been OK, but the Aggies lost their starting quarterback in the second game.

His personal life seems to be on track as he remarried last year, and his ex-wife still runs their Kidz1stFund.

Unlike Steve Sarkisian at Texas, Fisher has spent much of the week praising Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks.

He knows this is the biggest challenge his team has faced, and they will be ready, as will the Hogs.

. . .

One can only wonder if Florida State regrets not trying to keep Fisher, even if it meant a lot of talks about a lot of subjects.

Since Fisher left, the Seminoles are 16-23.

The only coach to have a winning record is Odell Haggins who was 4-2 as an interim head coach.

Willie Taggert replaced Fisher and was given less than two seasons, basically one recruiting class, and was fired during the 2019 season with a 9-12 overall record.

A much-celebrated search ended in Memphis where Mike Norvell was the head coach at Memphis.

It seemed like a great fit. Norvell was 38-15 overall and coming off a 12-1 season.

In his first season at Florida State, the Seminoles were 3-6.

This season he's off to a 0-3 start with losses to Notre Dame, Jacksonville State (a FCS program in Jacksonville, Ala.) and Wake Forest.

Of course there are some grumblings about having made a mistake, and it needs to be fixed.

What Florida State should do is take a deep breath, relax and give it some time.

Which is exactly what it should of done when it let Jimbo Fisher get away.

Print Headline: Fisher has life back on track with Aggies

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