Success brings questions about coach Jimbo Fisher's future
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State's Jimbo Fisher says he would rather be talked about than not, even if it is about his coaching future.
Fisher was frequently asked about his interest in LSU the past two months after Les Miles was fired. Those questions were put to rest Saturday after Ed Orgeron had the interim title removed.
This has been the second straight season Fisher's name has been mentioned about openings. He doesn't think it will be the last.
''When you're successful, people do that,'' Fisher said after his No. 12 Seminoles defeated No. 15 Florida 31-13 on Saturday. ''When I was at LSU, Coach (Nick) Saban had it every year. Every year I was ever around him he was going to 32 different jobs. It was 10 times worse as far as jobs and things.''
Besides Saban, Fisher mentioned another one of his former bosses when it comes to dealing with coaching rumors. Fisher is quick to point out that Bobby Bowden had to deal with such questions during his first 10 years coaching Florida State.
The difference though between LSU and other openings was Fisher's history with the school. He was the offensive coordinator there for seven seasons before coming to Florida State.
Fisher said the only time he brings up his future with the team is when he was asked directly by players or recruits. He also added that there weren't too many questions about whether he was remaining at Florida State.
''I'm straight honest with them. They can read my body language. They can read me. If they ask, I tell them. They know,'' he said. ''There's a trust factor, and I trust them, and hopefully they trust me.''
Defensive end DeMarcus Walker and running back Dalvin Cook said they didn't ask Fisher about such things.
Fisher and his team watched a documentary about Bowden the night before facing Florida. After the win over the Gators, Fisher accomplished something in seven years that took Bowden 34 - beat Miami and Florida the same season five times.
Florida State President John Thrasher said last week he was confident Fisher would stay. There is a possibility Fisher's contract could be renegotiated again. The current deal, signed in 2015, pays Fisher more than $5 million a season and runs through 2022. The buyout clause, though, drops from $5 million to $3 million on Jan. 1.
Thrasher said Florida State would not get into a bidding war with other schools over Fisher, but there might be room for a slight raise.
''If there's something he wants, we'll look for it,'' he said.
Florida State (9-3) was ranked fourth in the preseason and was expected to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff. But a 42-point loss at No. 16 Louisville on Sept. 17 and subsequent defeats to North Carolina and No. 3 Clemson knocked the Seminoles out of the discussion.
FSU, however, has been playing its best football of the season since the loss to the Tigers on Oct. 29. Bolstered by the play of Cook and a pass rush that leads the nation in sacks, the Seminoles have won four straight.
With Louisville losing two straight, FSU possibly could find itself in the Orange Bowl if Clemson beats Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game and the Seminoles are the second-highest ranked conference team in the CFP standings.
''I think we have a bright future. I really do,'' Fisher said. ''I'm anxious for the bowl season. I want to finish this season off the right way.''
Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout contributed to this report.
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