January 1, 2014

Familiar face

ANAHEIM, Calif. | Jimbo Fisher's immediate future includes an important link to his past.

The Florida State next week will try to win his first national title and the opponent will be Auburn, a school that provided him the first major opportunity of his career. Fisher moved from Samford University to Auburn (along with Terry Bowden) prior to the 1993 season.

That six-season assignment gave him an important push in the right direction.

"It's kind of ironic -- I cut my teeth at Auburn in true Division I football," Fisher said. "(I) was just learning how to coach in Division, learning how to recruit. As I look back at it now, I didn't even know I didn't know. I was just going about it full force … like I was a freshman. Division I football is a different deal. We just but our nose down and worked."

That work yielded some remarkable dividends.

Auburn was sanctioned by the NCAA prior to the 1993 season, which knocked the program off television for one season and out of bowl consideration for two. Bowden arrived with fresh ideas and infectious energy, which was used throughout his first season with the Tigers.

They finished 11-0.

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