Nick Saban wasn't afraid to take a swing at Texas A&M's No. 1 recruiting class Wednesday night as a business event in Birmingham. In just under 10 minutes, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher swung back even harder.
And no, it won't be the last of blows between these two anytime soon.
"Some people think they're God," Fisher said Thursday morning at an impromptu press conference. "Go dig into how ‘God’ did his deal, you may find out about a guy who has a lot of things that you don't want to know."
While discussing how to build a foundation in football, Saban told the world his thoughts on A&M's recruiting class. He didn't hold back on how a program that never finished among the top teams in terms of recruiting was able to claim the highest-ranking one year into the Name, Image and Likeness era.
“We were second in recruiting last year — A&M was first,” Saban said via AL.com. “A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn’t buy one player.”
Fisher, who worked for Saban nearly two decades ago at LSU, received a phone call hours later from the seven-time national champion to discuss his comments. Fisher wasn’t interested.
That phone still is likely ringing inside his office somewhere.
"We're done," Fisher said of his relationship with Saban. "He showed you who he is...the greatest ever huh? When you have the advantages, it's easy."
Last season, Fisher became the first former assistant to defeat Saban in a 41-38 victory in front of 103,000 fans at Kyle Field. The Aggies would finish 8-4 on the season and 4-4 in conference play while the Crimson Tide would go on to face Georgia in the national title game.
The win, however, ignited a spark on the recruiting trail. A&M began adding in premier prospects such as defensive line Walter Nolen (SI99's No. 2), edge rushers Shemar Stewart (No. 7) and Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (No. 10) along with receiver Evan Stewart (No. 12).
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The Aggies cemented themselves as a player in the recruiting trail along with Alabama and Georgia in the SEC. A second win for Fisher over Saban.
The "Czar" of football didn't take too kindly to finishing second twice. According to Fisher, his true colors were revealed in a seven-minute analogy inside the walls of a ballroom of a complex.
"You coach with people like Bobby Bowden and learn how to do things," Fisher said. "You coach with other people and learn how not to do things. There's a reason why I didn't go back to work for him."
As Fisher approached the microphone, there was a quiver in his voice. One of pain. One of anger. One of betrayal. Before Smart, Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and others became stars under Saban's direction, there Fisher at his hip.
That's nothing more than a faint memory now. New moments will be made on the gridiron in Saturdays this fall, one from opposing sidelines filled with an immense hype of a must-see spectacle.
The Aggies will head to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 8. Circle the calendar for the showdown in Titletown.
One best believe is that Fisher already has it marked up.
"It will be fun won't it? ... I don't mind confrontation," Fisher said. "I've lived with it my whole life. I kind of like it myself. Backing away from it wasn't how I was raised."
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