Jimbo Fisher became the first coach that coached under Nick Saban to beat Saban as a head coach when Texas A&M beat Alabama last fall. The Crimson Tide ultimately got the last laugh, winning the SEC and finishing No. 2 in the country, but it was a huge deal for the Aggies and Fisher to pull off the upset.
Alabama does not want history to repeat itself in 2022 and the matchup comes with even more motivation this fall than in normal years.
During the offseason, Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban got into it over NIL.
At least, individually. They never addressed one another in person.
Fisher and Saban are no longer friends after the former ended his relationship with the latter in an impromptu press conference in May. The beef is very real and it stems from a very spicy rant in which Saban called out Texas A&M for buying every one of its commits in the Class of 2022 recruiting class.
In the fallout of the drama, former players called out Saban over Alabama’s recruiting practices and Fisher stood on a soapbox to give a wild diatribe in which he completely contradicted himself and sounded very defensive. Meanwhile, Texas A&M’s athletic director went crying to the Southeastern Conference over “sportsmanship,” which sparked an quasi-apology from Saban for calling people out by name, and a hilariously irrelevant punishment from the SEC.
Fisher remains very adamant that his team has done nothing wrong— which is absolutely true. He has not violated any of the NCAA’s bylaws or protocols on Name, Image and Likeness. Steve Spurrier, who is well aware of how recruiting was handled prior to NIL, even came out and said that he didn’t understand the hullabaloo, because he doesn’t think Saban said anything that was false.
Nick Saban addressed his relationship with Jimbo Fisher at SEC Media Days on Tuesday.
Although Fisher declared that their former friendship is no longer, Saban continues to reiterate that he has no problem with his former assistant.
Nick Saban asked about Jimbo Fisher: "I have no issues, problems w/Jimbo. I always take criticism in a positive way .. is there anyway I can do anything better? I have no issues & problems (w/Jimbo)."
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 19, 2022
Meanwhile, his players are making their stance very clear. Will Anderson Jr., one of the nation’s top defensive players who was robbed of a Heisman Trophy ceremony invitation last fall, is going to anchor the Crimson Tide defense. He is an animal and could be the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
You don’t want to mess with Anderson. At 6-foot-4, 243 pounds, you certainly don’t want to anger him.
Well, it seems like Fisher angered him— and the rest of Alabama. Both by beating them last year and with his offseason diatribes.
When asked about the beef between his head coach and the head coach of A&M, Anderson issued a warning.
Will Anderson on Jimbo Fisher’s comments about Nick Saban: “I watched it, I saw. I don’t really get into social media stuff. When we play Texas A&M, everything will be addressed there.”
— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) July 19, 2022
The Crimson Tide will host the Aggies on October 8th. There is a good chance that College Gameday is in Tuscaloosa and the atmosphere will be electric.
If Anderson’s comments are any indication of how things might go, Texas A&M might want to stay in College Station.