Jimbo Fisher is good at what he does. After all, he learned from the best. Two of the best, actually. Fisher was mentored by both Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden. He learned process and planning from Nick Saban. He learned how to engage a community and build a family from Bobby Bowden.
So that’s why I was surprised when the Boston Herald wrote an article about this being Jimbo Fisher’s first rebuilding experience. It’s simply not true. Fisher started the re-building process when he got to FSU back in 2007 as an offensive coordinator. He took over for Jeff Bowden, who many would argue did not have a thorough or complete offensive system in place. Fisher then installed his system, on a full-time basis, to the entire program when he was named head coach. It was at that point that he had full control over recruiting and each and every detail of the program. It was at that point that he re-built the FSU program.
In 2009, FSU nearly hit rock bottom. They only managed to beat Jacksonville State by a 10 point margin, they lost to USF at home, and lost to UF by 27 points. I should also point out that FSU also lost to UM in its opener, which means that FSU was effectively the fourth best team in the state that year. Fourth best didn’t cut it then, which is precisely the reason Fisher was named head coach: to re-build the program.
Now, as spring practice begins, Jimbo is merely filling in the gaps–not completely rebuilding the program. The system is in place, and has been in place for years. The framework is a blend of what he learned from Saban and Bowden, but also his own unique touches. At this point, the foundation of this program is as solid as it gets. Now it’s a matter of getting the program water-tight: fill in the gaps, plug the holes. In other words, all the puzzle pieces are there. The talent is on the field, the coaches are seasoned and experienced, and the system is in place.
So, no. This is not a rebuilding year. This is not even a rebuild of the program. And even if it was, it’s not Jimbo’s first rebuilding experience. Jimbo has been rebuilding and modernizing the FSU football program since the day he got here.