CHARLOTTE, N.C. ó As Clemson coach Dabo Swinney left Fridayís news conference before the ACC title game, he brought up the other massive story in the league.
"So Jimbo took that job, huh?"
Yes, Dabo. Yes, he did.
Jimbo Fisher resigned from Florida State to become the next coach at Texas A&M. The move resonated throughout the ACC, even as No. 7 Miami prepared to play No. 1 Clemson tonight with a College Football Playoff berth at stake.
"I know that he did an unbelievable job at Florida State," Swinney said. "Itís been a great competitive journey. Iíve known him forever. When I was at Alabama, he was at Auburn. If thatís what heís doing, evidently he feels like thatís the right move for him and his family and the right time to do so."
Fisher compiled a 48-16 ACC record in his eight seasons. That includes three consecutive conference championships (2012-14), an Atlantic Division title in 2010 and a national championship in the 2013 season.
ACC commissioner John Swofford said Fisherís departure is "tough to see" because continuity helps successful programs stay that way.
But heís not worried about the Seminoles finding a replacement. Likely candidates include Oregonís Willie Taggart, Virginia Techís Justin Fuente and USFís Charlie Strong.
"I think Florida State is one of the absolutely best coaching jobs in college football," Swofford said. "I donít think thereís any question that (athletic director) Stan Wilcox and President (John) Thrasher will attract a high-quality coach. Itís such an established program and has everything there to compete for ACC and national championships. I would hope and expect that to continue."
With Fisher gone and UCFís Scott Frost seemingly headed for Nebraska, the longest-tenured coach in the state will be Ö Miamiís Mark Richt.
Monday is the two-year anniversary of Richtís hire.
"Things change in a hurry," said Richt, 57, a longtime assistant at FSU (1990-2000) before getting his first head coaching job at Georgia (2001-15).
But maybe they donít change that much after all.
Fisherís third game at A&M will be against Louisiana-Monroe, the team the Seminoles face without him today as they try to become bowl-eligible.
His second game? Against Swinneyís Tigers.
"I canít get rid of him," Swinney joked. "(Heíll) still be a thorn in our side."
Contact Matt Baker at [email protected] Follow @MBakerTBTimes.