Setting the Stage for October 8th: Fisher vs. Saban

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After Texas A&M’s win over Alabama in 2021, the rivalry between the two schools is really starting to evolve. The Aggies’ generational recruiting class this year surprised the college football world and especially Nick Saban; he felt that Texas A&M ‘bought every player’ with NIL. Head coach Jimbo Fisher took offense to these comments, and he called out Saban as a ‘narcissist’ who is treated as the ‘czar of football.’ Now, this turmoil creates a special sense of hype for Texas A&M’s trip to Alabama on October 8th. Here’s more about the upcoming clash between the Aggies and Crimson Tide.

Who is Right?

Obviously, it’s difficult to understand how Texas A&M has the best recruiting class of all time after an 8-4 season. However, Saban also had the No.1 recruiting class at Alabama after he went 7-6 during his first year. From that perspective, it’s tough to assume that either coach is wrong. Simply put, Alabama was just NIL before NIL.

In college football, recruiting is the main tactic that often pushes teams toward the top of the mountain. Both Fisher and Saban are among the best in that field, as is evident by their combined eight national championships. It’s quite clear that they used financial motives to recruit players to their respective universities. Thus, it seems quite ironic that they would accuse each other of their alike recruiting strategies. 

Is there Beef?

In Fisher’s comments, he made it apparent that there was a reason he never went back to work under Saban following their tenure at LSU. While it seems that their relationship could be over, this back-and-forth has become a recurring thing between coaches in recent years. It is unlikely that there will be any public confrontation when the two coaches meet in Tuscaloosa in October.  

Players Getting Motivated?

Some players from both teams including Leon O’Neal Jr., Evan Stewart, Traeshon Holden, Khyree Jackson, etc., took to Twitter to defend their coaches. Usually, players are aware of these discussions, and they can get motivated to play these hyped-up games. Unfortunately, Alabama will be experienced and talented on both sides of the ball in 2022. The Aggies’ players also need to get energized to have a fighting chance on October 8th.

A lot of starters on last year’s Texas A&M squad in 2021 are no longer on the team. For this reason, players will need to develop an understanding of the competitiveness of the Alabama game, and those true freshmen can make a big impact from the start. Alabama will be looking for blood all year, and the Aggies have to be ready to take every blow. Texas A&M hasn’t won in Tuscaloosa for over a decade, so change needs to happen soon.    

Concluding Thoughts

Jimbo Fisher backed up his comments in 2021 when he said he would beat Nick Saban. Now, Saban came for Fisher, and Alabama will definitely be motivated for revenge. Expect the Texas A&M vs. Alabama matchup to be one of the biggest games of the 2022 season, and the result will dictate who wins this round. Regardless, this rivalry battle will be entertaining for years to come. Get your popcorn ready… five months in advance.