NCAA FB

Fisher staying above the BCS fray

Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Florida State Seminoles
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on the BCS standings: 'These things always seem to work...
Share This Story

Greg Couch

Greg Couch has been a national columnist at AOL Fanhouse and The Sporting News and an award-winning columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. He was featured twice in "Best American Sports Writing" and was recognized by the US Tennis Writers Association for best column writing and match coverage. He covers tennis on his personal blog. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.

Sometimes in a dirty world, the only way to fight back is dirty. That’s why there’s something respectable about the way Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has decided not to fight at all.

This is about the BCS, which, in its final year, is lining up perfectly to stick it to one last deserving team: This time, it’s Florida State. The Seminoles dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 in the BCS standings this week after their blowout over North Carolina State didn’t look as good to voters at Oregon’s blowout over ranked UCLA.

The Ducks are No. 2 now. And there’s no room for No. 3 in the national title game.

So what did Fisher do when his team dropped from a coveted spot to a runner-up spot after a big win? Nothing. And did he at least vote his own team No. 1 in the coaches' poll, which makes up one third of the BCS standings?

“Nope,’’ he said.

We’ve seen coaches lobby shamelessly for their teams in the past. And it’s just ugly. It also might possibly be the smart way to go. Someone has to be an advocate for you.

But it’s refreshing to see Fisher do this, to have a little dignity.

Of course, it’s not crunch time yet. And if you wonder if he might just not be telling the truth about his vote, note that last week one coach voted Florida State No. 1, and this week, none did.

Fisher wouldn’t say where he voted his team, and wouldn’t say for sure who he voted No. 1, though he did strongly imply he voted for Alabama.

But the truth is that Fisher could have put 100 points on North Carolina State as a statement for Florida State, and also to build numbers for the Heisman chances of redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston.

Fisher said he couldn’t see himself doing that, that it would tear at the integrity of the game. He took out plenty of starters and gave the backups a chance. Florida State, which had 35 points in the first quarter, finished with 49.

The season is now coming down to a straight-up battle: Oregon vs. Florida State for the spot in the title game against Alabama. And Winston vs. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota for the Heisman.

Florida State has become the most exciting story in college football, built around the unexpected play of Winston.

So what did Fisher tell his team after it fell in the rankings following a blowout win?

“ `Don’t worry about it,’ ’’ Fisher said. “ `We’ll worry about that when the year’s over. Play to the standard you want to play to, play to that and above and try to grow.’ Those things take care of themselves.’’

What if they don’t? The BCS formula put Nebraska in the title game after it had been embarrassed by Colorado. So the next year, the BCS formula was changed.

But that didn’t do anything for the deserving team that was left out that year: Oregon.

Fisher used the line every coach uses, about not worrying about things you can’t control. That’s a good message to send to his players, but I asked him:

Doesn’t a coach have some difficulty in not doing some things that it can control? Voting his team No. 1? Lobbying for it? Coaching for style points?

“I think that’s where you have to come back to the eye test,’’ he said. “People will watch teams and are able to evaluate teams. These things always seem to work out. . . .

"You can’t worry about that. We have to play great football. That’s our job.’’

It probably wouldn’t do any good, anyway. Florida State might move back to No. 2, based on its strength of schedule, after it plays Miami on Saturday. (Expect a blowout win.)

But then Oregon comes back against Stanford and Oregon State and the Pac-12 title game. It figures to jump back to No. 2 for good.

The storyline in big-time college sports is almost always about money and greed and entitlement now. It has become dangerous when you take someone at his word.

But I choose to believe here: Fisher is above it.

Tagged: Florida State, Oregon, Florida

More Stories From Greg Couch

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash