We have already given you a list of candidates who will likely be up for the job at LSU and ones who probably won’t be, but one name that stands above all others: Jimbo Fisher. The former LSU offensive coordinator and current Florida State coach is the perfect candidate for the job, and you’d have to imagine that all Fisher has to do is ask, and the job is his.
But is he interested? He shouldn’t be -- the LSU job is unquestionably one of the best in the country, but is also shrouded with plenty of doubt.
Here are five reasons Fisher should pass on the LSU gig and stay at Florida State.
LSU's administration is a mess
Lost in all the Les Miles hot seat talk of the last few months, is that Miles’ boss, AD Joe Alleva hasn’t been on much better footing over that same stretch. Alleva was already under heat for bungling Miles’ firing last year and with the relative failures of both the football and basketball programs in recent years, there are a lot of people in Baton Rouge unhappy with the state of the athletic department. There are many that wonder how long Alleva will be around, even if he is the one who will hire the school’s next football coach.
Does Fisher really want to enter a situation where the man who hires him might not be around to see him coach a game? Does he really to come to a place where he isn’t sure who his boss might be in another year? Especially when he has relative stability at Florida State, where his AD Stan Wilcox is under contract through 2020, and where -- as best anyone can tell -- there are no issues between the coach and his boss?
Recruiting WON’T be better at LSU than it is at Florida State
One of the reasons LSU one of the handful of best jobs in the country is recruiting. Louisiana produces a boatload of NFL talent and unlike other SEC schools like South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, there aren’t in-state rivals to compete for top players.
But for Fisher, who does have in-state competition from Miami and Florida, he has proven to be one of the single most dynamic recruiters in all of college football over the last few years. Florida State has 41 active players in the NFL, including a record 18 players selected in the 2013 and 2014 drafts. More impressively, Fisher has hauled in Top 3 classes in four of the last six years, and Top 5 classes in five of the last six years according to 24/7. No one other than Alabama is recruiting at a higher level that Florida State is.
So while the recruiting is an allure for most coaches, it isn’t an end-all, be-all for Fisher. He’s doing just fine in Tallahassee.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
It’s easier to win in the ACC than SEC
The SEC, specifically the SEC West, is an absolute gauntlet. Arkansas is getting better every year. Texas A&M may have their best team in decades. After crushing Georgia last week, Ole Miss proved that despite their 2-2 record, they are probably one of the 15 most talented teams in the country. And of course, there’s always Alabama. Add in an annual game with Florida and a potential SEC Championship Game, and that’s a brutal gauntlet to get through.
Now compare it to the ACC. Sure, the ACC is getting better, but with Louisville losing their entire defense after this season, it’s hard to see them with long-term staying power, and schools like Miami and Virginia Tech are still years away. Ultimately for Florida State, their whole season comes down to one game: Clemson. The winner of that game has won the ACC five straight times, and if you win the ACC in this day and age, it almost guarantees you a spot in the college football playoff.
So if you were Fisher, which path is more preferable? The one that features landmine after landmine, and upwards of 7-8 ranked teams on the schedule every season? Or the one where most years (excluding this one), you can get into the playoff winning one game?
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
Does he really want to be in Nick Saban's shadow?
Les Miles’ biggest problem at LSU was that he simply wasn’t Nick Saban. As the guy who replaced Saban at LSU and then had to face him every year in the same division, Miles was always compared to him. Nothing he ever did was good enough. Heck, doesn’t it say everything you need to know, that Miles actually had a better win percentage than Saban at LSU… and was still fired?
No matter who coaches at LSU, the comparisons will always be there. Especially as long as Saban is in Tuscaloosa.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
He can build a legacy at Florida State
Florida State takes care of their own. Over the last 40 years, they’ve had a grand total of two head football coaches, while USC, for comparison’s sake, has had three head coaches in the last four years.
And while Miles was constantly compared to Saban at LSU, it doesn’t seem like Fisher is often compared to the man who preceded him, Bobby Bowden. As successful as Bowden was, Fisher is building a legacy of his own, which already includes three ACC titles and a national championship. It seems like if he stays there another few years, he’ll accumulate several more ACC titles, and potentially another national championship or two.
Ultimately that might be the single biggest trump card. Does he want to stay at a place that seems, at least on the surface to appreciate him? Or head to a place which just fired a head coach which averaged 10 wins a season for over a decade?
While the LSU job is undoubtedly appealing, and unquestionably one of the two or three best in the sport, the smart thing for Fisher to do would be to stay exactly where he is.