Would Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher be better off in the NFL?


If Jimbo Fisher were to leave Florida State for the NFL, would he be met with success? Or would he be another great college coach that couldn’t make it in the big leagues?

Most college football coaches have a hard time adjusting to and being successful in the NFL. Big names such as Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, and others have all flamed out spectacularly on the professional level, but could Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher buck that trend?

Related: Top 15 Head Coaches Without a National Championship

The most successful franchises in the NFL are the teams that build through the draft. For evidence of this, just take a look at New England, Seattle, San Francisco (under Jim Harbaugh), Pittsburgh, etc. What does that mean?

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It means an NFL coach must be adept at assessing talent. If that’s the case, then Fisher is already looking good. Since he was hired in 2010, the Seminoles ranked in the top-10 in recruiting each year, and finished in the top-five on three times.

Fisher has shown that he is adept at developing NFL talent as well, since 2010, Florida State has seen 39 ‘Noles drafted, and with their 11 picks in 2015, Florida State broke the record for most picks from a school in a three-year stretch.

Winning is obviously important, Fisher has an impressive 58-11 career record since taking over the job at Florida State, and one of those wins was in the BCS National Championship Game. Last year saw Fisher’s team make comeback after comeback that proved Fisher is adept at making in-game adjustments, another important quality to have in the NFL.

While all the above criteria are well and good, the most important factor is the situation Fisher finds himself in. None of the notable college coaches who failed in the NFL had great circumstances surrounding their organization. Petrino and Spurrier, for instance, inherited pretty bad teams at Atlanta and Washington, respectively.

Meanwhile, other coaches, such as Jimmy Johnson, Pete Carroll (with the Seahawks, not the Patriots or Jets), and Chip Kelly, have found success in the NFL, not only because they are good with talent, game planning etc., but because they found themselves in good situations.

Johnson had an owner willing to spend big to bring in free agents, adding to the already talented roster of the Cowboys. Kelly had a good roster to work with, as well as a patient and dedicated owner, and the same can be said for Carroll.

Fisher has all the tools to be a successful head coach in the NFL. If he found the right situation for himself, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him having a long and productive career at the next level. That is, of course, assuming he would ever leave the garnet and gold.

Then again, the litany of off-the-field incidents involving his players could leave him wanting a fresh start in the NFL. I think he would be closer to the Kelly than Carroll should he leave for the NFL and that’s good enough to compete for division titles on a yearly basis and double-digit win seasons.

Next: Top 10 College Coaches Who Would Succeed in NFL

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