College Football

Before Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher and FSU Lost to Five Unranked Teams in Three Years

Florida State v Forida
Jimbo Fisher will coach Florida State in the BCS Championship game on January 6th, and in an odd twist, he might be the first coach to get two pay raises in the span of five weeks. How’s that possible? Well, earlier this month, Florida State gave Fisher a raise. He had been making $2.75 million a year. His new deal will pump him up to $4.1 million according to the Palm Beach Post.

This is where it gets interesting. Art Briles of Baylor? His new deal in Baylor puts him at $4 million a year. Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M? He hasn’t played for a BCS title game yet, but he’s now making $5 million a year. And Nick Saban, because Texas went after him, got a raise to $7 million a year.

Let’s say Fisher wins the BCS title.

Then he’s getting another raise, either from FSU or Texas. I don’t see how he could win a title and leave his star QB for Austin, but everyone else seems to think it is possible. (The Seminoles have a lot of players who could leave early for the draft, or return and make a run at a repeat.)

Jameis Winston is amazing

Then again, I’m a bit surprised that everyone thinks Texas would go after Fisher. Can we remember what he did before Jameis Winston became the starter?

Prior to this September, Fisher was known as a great recruiter and as an up-and-coming coach who still had plenty to prove. Look past the 31-10 record in three years in Tallahassee. Look deeper:

Record vs. the Top 10: 1-4, with the lone triumph being a 49-37 shootout win over Clemson at home in 2012.
Fisher had five losses while the Seminoles were ranked and the opponent wasn’t: NC State and UNC in 2010; Wake Forest and Virginia in 2011; NC State in 2012.

Yes, Fisher went 7-1 vs. Miami and Florida over the last four years, but looking deeper: In only four of those meetings were the Hurricanes or Gators ranked. He wasn’t beating the 80s Hurricanes or the Urban Meyer Gators.

Jameis Winston and Jimbo Fisher's son have a handshake

This isn’t to say I’m anti-Fisher. But yes, I was surprised when his name came up for the Tennessee job last year. And frankly, I’m surprised to hear Texas wants him.

It’s impressive that in only his 4th season as a head coach, he’s playing for the title. One could argue he had better talent on the roster last year, when the Seminoles had 11 players drafted (three in the 1st round!) but gagged against NC State and then lost to the Gators. But when you’ve got the best QB in the country who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in 2015, yeah, I guess people love you.

Related: Jameis Winston Might Save Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, and Trent Dilfer Thinks He’s Going to Be the No. 1 Pick in the Draft When He Leaves
Related: Jameis Winston and Jimbo Fisher’s Son Have a Special Handshake
Related: Tennessee, Do You Want Underachieving Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher?

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