1. Shake up Florida: Both the state and the program down the road in Gainesville. In other words, it’s always about the recruiting.
Fisher’s first and most important step is to try to take at least some portion of the state back from Florida. The Gators are getting the state’s best talent, followed by fast-rising Miami. If you want a reason why the program slipped in Bobby Bowden’s later years, all you have to do is look at the rise of the Gators.
FSU strangely mirrored Notre Dame this season. Same record (6-6). Same team -- heavy on offense, vulnerable on defense. Both programs had recruited well, if not great. That’s not good enough, at all.
2. Reach out to the Bowden family: The Bowdens, except Ann, have been strangely silent this week. I called Terry and Jeff yesterday at North Alabama and the secretary said she didn’t know where they were. Haven’t seen anything from Tommy either.
There is a feeling that the Bowdens are upset, and they have a right to be. It tooks like Bobby was unceremoniously run out. Jimbo has to make peace with the family if that’s the right term. He and Terry are extremely close. You don’t want bitter feelings lingering over a program in transition.
Bobby? Nicest guy in the world. He will never throw the FSU administration under the bus because he is the classiest person alive.
3. Clean out the lockerroom: That’s another way of saying there are going to be wholesale changes in the coaching staff. Jimbo has to get the best defensive coordinator available. Mickey Andrews has stepped down.
Linebackers coach Chuck Amato is probably gone too, but not by retirement. He had to dispel a rumor in October that he had been in a fight with Fisher.
4. Get in front of a microphone, quick: Monday and Tuesday were all about Bobby. Nole Nation wants to hear the long-term plan from the new coach. Should happen any minute.
5. Don’t be the guy to follow the guy: There’s an old adage that says never follow a coaching legend. Too late for Jimbo. The moment he became head coach, Fisher was in danger of becoming Bill Guthridge and Ron Zook, coaches who replaced legends – and basically failed.
He knows that. It’s a risk you take. The difference here is that there has been a lengthy transition. Fisher has been the de facto coach for a while. It was his team on game days. Now it’s his program.