Q: If Jimbo Fisher leaves Florida State, why would he do that, and who would be the best fits for FSU?
A: Winning coaches take on new assignments for much the same reason that climbers scale steep mountains. They find the challenge intoxicating.
Many coaches are thrill-seekers and egotists, whose greatest joy is to build programs and become a conquering heroes on campuses. Certainly, not all head coaches are job hoppers, but there’s something about being hotly pursued that can ignite a coach’s inner-savior complex, compelling him to answer the call.
Fisher already has a perfectly great gig in Tallahassee. One of the best in college football, in fact. Pays well, recruiting territory is fertile and, even with Clemson, the ACC Atlantic has far fewer landmines than, say, the SEC West or Pac-12 South.
So, why would Fisher even contemplate leaving such a quality job? Because he’s already been to the mountaintop as a Seminole, winning a national championship and three straight ACC titles. Anything less going forward and he’s a slacker who’s not maximizing his resources. However, duplicate your Florida State run at, oh, LSU or USC and your legacy as one of the game’s premier leaders grows exponentially. Copping a title makes you a winner. Doing it at two schools makes you a legend. The Saban factor.
Fisher ought to stay put, because he has a great thing going in Tallahassee. Why mess with success, right? Coaches, though, are different breeds than the average human, which helps make them so successful. Sometimes, it’s just not enough to win on one campus. The temptation to spread the brand elsewhere, be that Los Angeles or Baton Rouge, can at times be very attractive to a driven coach.
If Fisher voluntarily severs ties with Florida State to seek out new pastures, where would that leave the Seminoles? Again, one of the top jobs in the country, so AD Stan Wilcox would have plenty of great choices. His best options, assuming there was mutual interest, would be to do what’s necessary to get Mike Gundy out of Stillwater or Chip Kelly out of Philly. Their offensive ingenuity coupled with the talent FSU attracts would be a special mix.