BamaInsider - Jimbo Fisher says he doesn't regret earlier comments on Nick Saban, Alabama
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Jimbo Fisher says he doesn't regret earlier comments on Nick Saban, Alabama

HOOVER, Ala. — Jimbo Fisher kicked off “talking season” a bit earlier this year when he told the Houston Touchdown Club that Texas A&M would beat Nick Saban’s ass while he’s still with Alabama.

During his appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, the Aggies head coach didn’t shy away from the comment, stating that he doesn’t regret saying it despite the amount of attention it received.

“No, I don’t have any regrets,” Fisher said. “That’s what we’re here for isn’t it? Isn’t that why we’re here? That’s what makes this league this league. That’s what we expect to do at Texas A&M.”

Expectations are one thing, reality’s another.

Fisher, who served as Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU from 2000-04, is 0-4 against his old boss, losing to Alabama while in charge of Florida State in 2017 before dropping all three of his matchups against the Tide at Texas A&M. Alabama has outscored him a combined 168-82 in those matchups.

To be fair, Fisher’s inability to get the best of his former boss isn’t unique. Saban is 23-0 all-time against his former assistants.

Fisher made sure to point out that he and Saban are friends. He still shares a healthy respect for his fellow West Virginia native, and his comments weren’t meant as a slight. It isn’t personal, but that doesn’t mean he wants to usurp his old boss any less.

“He’s the standard and they’re the standard to what you have to play to,” Fisher said. “It’s like when I was at Florida State, to go take over the ACC and go win a national championship. That’s our standard here. We have to play at that standard, and they have set that standard. It’s what great teams do.

"You’ve got other teams who want to match it, want to accept that challenge to go play at that level and play them and be able to compete with them and be able to compete with them and beat them. We have to play them each and every year. We’re looking forward to playing them and at the same time have the utmost respect and understand me sitting here and saying that we want to beat them doesn’t beat them.”

Fisher went on to say that the key to beating Alabama is developing the skills and practice habits to play at the Tide’s standard on a weekly basis. He said that his team will treat all its opponents this season as if they were Alabama.

“You play at that standard all the time, so when you play big games,” Fisher said. “That’s why we had so much success at Florida State in the rivalry games, bowl games, national championship game. There’s a standard you play to and your opponent has nothing to do with how you play. … [Alabama] set a high standard, and we have to play to that standard each and every week so when we play them, it’s like playing another game.

“We have respect for them. I have the utmost respect Nick and his program and everything he’s done. That’s what we’re here for, why we’re here and what we expect to be able to do.”

Alabama will travel to Texas A&M on Oct. 9.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Photo | Getty Images
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Photo | Getty Images