As a constant top program in the sport of College Football, the Alabama Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban find themselves with targets on their backs. On Wednesday, former Saban assistant and Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher was asked by the Houston Chronicle how they are going to compete with Alabama, Fisher responded “We’re going to beat his ass when he’s there, don’t worry.” This quote was originally supposed to raise the blood pressure of the nearly 70-year-old head coach. Instead, Saban jokingly took the subject matter in terms of beating him in golf. Saban turned over some new fans on Friday with his joke. Coach Fisher did the one thing other coaches in the SEC and even the nation was not supposed to do, stir up the hornet’s nest.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Laughs Off Jimbo Fisher Comments
Fisher Openly Challenged Saban Without Much Success Himself
The Aggies are riding high off their success of finishing the 2020 season ranked fourth in the nation. Texas A&M finished the season 9-1 with their only loss being to Alabama with a 52-24 loss. Saban is 23-0 versus his former assistants as a head coach including a 4-0 record over Fisher. The closest game that Fisher has been over Saban was in 2017 in his last season at Florida State as the Seminoles lost 24-7 (17 points) in Atlanta. Under coach Fisher, the Aggies have lost to Alabama 45-23 (by 22 points) in 2018, 47-28 (by 19 points) in 2019, 52-24 (by 28 points) in 2020. Alabama currently has an eight-game win streak over the Aggies and there is no end in sight. Fisher showed excitement for his team this upcoming season but he seems to have bit off more than he can chew.
Other Saban Assistants Likely to Defeat Their Mentor
There will likely come a time when Saban will have less steam and consistency as a championship-caliber head coach. When that comes, it will likely not be Fisher that hands Saban his first loss versus his former assistant. Two other coaches in the SEC stand out more than Fisher. Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin and Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart are the coaches that are the most likely former Saban assistants to defeat him in a head-to-head matchup. Outside of the SEC, there is first-year Texas Longhorns Steve Sarkisian who can defeat Alabama in a playoff scenario.
Last season, the Rebels scared the Tide by playing a highly explosive offense. The Tide’s defense allowed 647 total yards from Ole Miss’s offense, the most in program history. Alabama defeated Ole Miss with a 63-48 score in the first matchup of Kiffin versus Saban. Outside of the 2020 matchup, the previous matchups versus George were for the SEC Championship or the National Title. They were won within minutes of the end of the game or in overtime. This past season, Alabama defeated Georgia and coach Smart with a 41-27 score. The Bulldogs are looking to get back into the College Football Playoff but for that to happen, they will likely go through Alabama and coach Saban first.