A recent tweet from Paul Finebaum (citing Dan Wolken) made the rounds a few days ago, claiming that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher would be “certainly” interested in the Georgia head coaching job if it became available.
"I think he certainly would be interested" @DanWolken on Jimbo Fisher as a fit for a potential opening at Georgia.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) November 2, 2015
As with any information of job vacancies, speculation became rampant as to what the tweet meant, if Fisher truly was interested in other jobs, if he would use it as leverage for a better deal, etc., etc. Many fans even dismissed the idea completely as without merit. As with many topics, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Those who believe Fisher will be another Bobby Bowden who stays at FSU for the rest of his coaching career will most likely be disappointed. Coaches like that are exceedingly rare in the current landscape of college football, and the situations inherited by the last two FSU head coaches are completely different from one another.
Think of all the top-ranked head coaches in college football today: Guys like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Miles, those guys. Every single one of them left a fairly established program for various reasons. Whether it was personal issues (Meyer), NFL opportunities (Saban), or other college opportunities (Miles) they all did the same thing and were all coaching different college programs just a few years later or less. Out of all the respected coaches I can think of, Gary Patterson is the only one who has stayed at his initial program for an extended amount of time.
Fisher is not fundamentally different in this respect. He has never shied away from admitting that other jobs have intrigued him and any of the reasons listed above could apply to him. Without going too much into potential time frames, don’t expect Fisher to still be in Tallahassee in 10-plus years.
Now, to the current situation: It is highly unlikely that any of the current job openings (Southern California, Miami, South Carolina) will pull Fisher away from Tallahassee. The latter two programs are complete downgrades from FSU in regards to finances and program strength, while USC would simply not be a desirable job for Fisher, considering his southern ties. Seminole fans can rest easy for now.
As for the future, there are only two schools who could conceivably have a good chance at convincing him to leave Florida State — LSU and Alabama. LSU was where Fisher made a name for himself as an offensive coordinator under then head coach Nick Saban, and Alabama is where that same coach is currently employed. Both teams are currently in tight competition for the College Football Playoff and neither have shown signs of moving on from their current head coaches.
Potential jobs like the Georgia one might actually interest Fisher, but that is not the same as a guaranteed change. It’s not exactly a huge step up from FSU and it would be odd for him to leave a team poised to compete for a national championship as early as next year. Perhaps in a few years, the job might seem much more appetizing, but Florida State is willing to match any theoretical offer the Bulldogs could give.
Part of the reality with coaching searches is that they vary immensely year-by-year. Hence why any claim in this article has been qualified by words like “currently” or “for now”, because it’s impossible to know the opportunities and transactions that will emerge in the future. Jimbo Fisher changing jobs now seems very unlikely — but nothing in the near future is guaranteed.