Florida State's Jimbo Fisher: A New Sheriff in Tallahassee

LoudMouf Sports Correspondent IApril 1, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 22:  Florida State Seminoles Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher speaks with his quarterback Christian Ponder #7 during their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

For all of the LSU faithful out there, you know how much this guy means to a team.

Jimbo Fisher is one of the best minds in not just college football, but the entire sport. In his short tenure as the head coach of Florida State, Fisher has brought back the intensity that Bobby Bowden possessed in the '80's and '90's along with a few things of his own.

Unlike Bowden, Fisher believes that you can only be an effective coach if you are on the field with your players at practice and in the games. There is no more "Bowden Tower" watch at practices. Fisher is also a fan of having his hands on everything on the team, something else Bowden didn't prioritize. If you are Seminole fan you have noticed that there is something brewing in the state capital, and it's something that may take the college football world by storm.

Jimbo Fisher was an offensive coordinator under national championship coach Nick Saban. If you saw how quickly Saban turned around the Crimson Tide team, then you should expect a faster transition with the Seminoles. FSU is more talented and experienced than Alabama was when Saban first arrived. The Seminoles should have a pretty good year this year.

While, in four years, Fisher has turned a nonexistent offense into one of the nation's best, the issue remains with their defense that consistently blew games and took FSU out of an ACC championship bid.

Mark Stoops, former Arizona defensive coordinator, was brought in to address this issue and bring more of a pro-style defense to the Seminoles rather than the old all-man scheme of former FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. Stoops runs a predominantly zone, 4-3 based defense and the buzz around practice is that Fisher and Stoops has already greatly improved the defense.

They swarm, hit hard and for the first time in many years, have missed less assignments in practice. Stoops wanted to allow players to slowly adjust to his defensive philosophy, but Fisher ordered him to throw everything at them in a sink or swim method. Those who learn and take the time to study their playbooks will see the field, those who struggle will not. Fisher's audacious decision has propelled the emergence of a defense that might top the ACC in just its first year in this scheme.

Fisher has been known to do an excellent job coaching up quarterbacks. One of his most notable jobs was the development of JaMarcus Russell. If anyone saw Russell during his freshman year at LSU, you would agree he improved substantially. Yet Fisher has another signal caller, who through his tutelage, has gone from a two-star out of Colleyville, Texas to one of the nations best quarterbacks—Christian Ponder. Fisher, along with many people who have been around Fisher his whole career, say that Ponder is the best and brightest quarterback (and maybe even player) he has ever coached.

His brains in the classroom and on the field far exceed his football ability, but that's not knocking his athletic abilities at all. He is quick and fast with a strong enough arm to make the NFL style throws in Fisher's pro-style offense. Ponder also has the brains to make reads and decode a defense by the time they take two or three steps.

Fisher doesn't just stop at QBs. He demands the same intensity and football smarts from all of his players on both sides of the ball. 

The FSU head coach surrounds himself with accountable people with great minds who make him look good. Coaches like Rick Trickett, James Coley, Greg Hudson, Mark Stoops, Odell Haggins, Eddie Gran, Lawrence Dawsey, D.J. Eliot, and Dameyune Craig are very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise.

The staff is all on the same page, and more importantly all have a passion for the game and winning. The only thing that matters though is the true test, a national championship.

If Fisher's work with the offense and Christian Ponder is any indication of what's to come, then the ACC and teams in contention for the national championship should beware of FSU.