Coming into this past weekend, Nick Saban had never been defeated by a team coached by one of his former assistants. That changed when Texas A&M upset No. 1 Alabama and Jimbo Fisher, once an offensive coordinator for Saban at LSU, broke the streak.
The list of former coordinates that couldn’t beat their mentor is long and vast. It includes Mark Dantonio, Will Muschamp, Lane Kiffin, Jeremy Pruitt, Kirby Smart, and Butch Jones, just to name a few.
Given the impact that ending the streak has, you might expect Fisher to have a major reaction to it. Turns out, Fisher wasn’t actually aware of the streak beforehand, but once he learned of it, he had a strong appreciation for what it means. He talked about it on The Paul Finebaum Show on Monday.
"I guess it's better to be the 1st than the 2nd or the 3rd. There's no doubt about that."
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 11, 2021
“I guess it’s better to be the first than the second or the third. There’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said. “Here’s the thing: when you do accomplish that, you know you’ve accomplished something significant because of how good he is at what he does. It was eventually gonna happen. Streaks don’t go on for forever and ever and ever.
“So I guess [beating Nick Saban] is a significant thing, but when you’re in the middle of a season, you don’t think about it. Maybe when you retire, you think about that.”
It was a huge win for reasons far beyond ending the Saban coaching tree streak. The win moved the Aggies to 4-2 and helped them get back on track with their season. It’s also going to be a big gold star that Jimbo supporters can point to in the future, even if the season doesn’t quite reach the heights they’re hoping for.
Of course, the downside to beating Nick Saban is that Nick Saban will remember that the next time Alabama and Texas A&M meet. And if Alabama ends up missing the College Football Playoff in part because of this loss, payback could be something…