Unlike Jimbo Fisher, Mike Norvell would never leave FSU for Texas A&M, right? | Commentary
Florida State football Mike Norvell would never leave Florida State for Texas A&M.
Not in a million, zillion years.
Well … would he?
The reason I ask is because back in 2017, I wrote a column saying that Jimbo Fisher would never leave Florida State for a “lesser” job at Texas A&M. Even though there were media reports in early November of 2017 that Fisher might be one of A&M’s prime targets, I regrettably dismissed the reports and thought it was ludicrous that Fisher would bail on FSU after one bad season to jump into the meat-grinder known as the SEC.
Now six years later, Fisher has been fired by Texas A&M and Norvell’s name has been mentioned as a possible target for the free-spending Aggies. With Florida State three wins away from the College Football Playoff, it’s certainly not a surprise that Norvell, who grew up in Texas, would be a potential candidate for the A&M job — or any other marquee job, for that matter.
“There’s not any real point to talking about it,” Norvell replied when asked about the Texas A&M rumor at his Monday media conference. “It’s funny how sometimes those things get out there and people want to try and use that in recruiting. … But I can’t control those things. Obviously, we’re so excited about what we’re building and where we are going.”
What Norvell should have told reporters is this: “Don’t you guys know the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? You think I’m going to make the same mistake that Jimbo made?”
No doubt, Norvell would be insane to leave Florida State but, then again, I thought Jimbo was insane to leave Florida State.
As it turns out, Jimbo wasn’t crazy; he was just greedy. And, in all honesty, it’s hard to second-guess his decision when you consider he is getting paid $77 million NOT to work over the next eight years as a result of the obscene contract buyout the Aggies gifted him in 2021 when they idiotically gave him a raise to $9 million a year and extended his original 10-year, $75 million contract four years through the 2031 season. That’s right, Jimbo’s $77 million buyout is worth more than the original $75 million contract he signed at Texas A&M.
Now you know why Jimbo bailed on Florida State so quickly back in 2017 when he left his undecorated Christmas tree on the curb as he high-tailed it out of Tallahassee. He and his agent Jimmy Sexton must have known they had a bunch of suckers. After all, who in their right mind would give a 10-year fully guaranteed contract to a coach whose FSU program was taking on water and was 5-6 at the time?
Still — despite all of the money — I believed then and I believe now that Florida State is a much better job than Texas A&M. Yes, the Aggies may have richer boosters and are in a wealthier conference, but it’s not like FSU is some poor downtrodden orphan like Oliver Twist begging for more gruel.
The Seminoles have plenty of money and more than enough resources. Norvell recently got a raise and contract extension that pays him about $8 million annually, and if he wins the ACC and advances into the College Football Playoff, he’ll likely get another raise that will put him in the $9-10 million stratosphere that the top SEC coaches make.
In hindsight, if Jimbo had it to do all over again, I’m betting he would have stayed at FSU and dedicated himself to rebuilding the program. If he had, his one bad season in Tallahassee might have been a blip on the radar and his Seminole legacy would not have been ruined.
Let’s not forget, Fisher was still dominating recruiting in our state at the time of his departure. His final four recruiting classes at FSU were ranked No. 4, No. 3, No. 3 and No. 6. And it’s certainly no secret that it’s much easier to win conference and national titles in the ACC than the SEC, which is going to be even more brutal next year when Texas and Oklahoma become members.
Hopefully, Norvell understands that there’s a reason Texas A&M hasn’t won a national title since 1939 and hasn’t won a conference championship in a quarter-century (1998) when the Aggies were still in the Big 12. Meanwhile, the Seminoles have won 15 ACC titles and three national championships since joining the ACC in 1992.
Jimbo Fisher left Florida State because he thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence
Mike Novell is undoubtedly smart enough to realize that the only thing greener at Texas A&M is the buyout money once you get fired.
Email me moc.lenitnesodnalro@ihcnaibm ta. Hit me up on X (formerly Twitter) @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and 969TheGame.com/listen