Did Nick Saban leave a voicemail?
That's the lingering question I'd like answered after last week's Saban-Jimbo Fisher spat.
Fisher said last Thursday that he ignored Saban's attempts to connect with him, presumably to apologize, after the Alabama head coach accused Texas A&M of buying its entire recruiting class with collective-funded deals. Fisher denied such deal-brokering during a 10-minute roast of Saban.
Saban publicly apologized during a radio segment, saying he was wrong to single out Texas A&M.
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Allow me to offer a few possibilities:
Option 1: Hello. It's me. I was wondering if after all these years we could borrow some big oil money. They say time is supposed to heal me, but I'm still bitter after that Kyle Field spanking. Hello, Jimbo, can you hear me? I'm sitting here thinking of Baton Rouge and what we used to be. I've forgotten how it felt before athletes could make money.
Option 2: Hey, Jimbo. I'm sorry, a'ight? I shouldn't have said you bought every recruit in your signing class, even if that's what I heard from Sliced Bread. I know it's been almost a decade since you won a national championship. Shoot, you haven't even won a division crown since 2014. You deserve to celebrate this offseason success before your next 8-4 season. I'll send you a postcard from California in January. I hear it's lovely that time of year.
Option 3: Jimbo, it's Nick here. You might otherwise know me as the God of College Football. Perhaps you think that's a bit narcissistic, but, well, I've won seven times as many national championships as you, so deal with it. But even God needs a day of rest, and these NIL and transfer rules have me feeling a bit exhausted. So, sorry. I overreacted the other night. But now I must smite you.
Option 4: A- A- A- Aflac! Excuse me, Jimbo. Sorry, had to sneeze. And sorry about the whole recruit-buying accusation. To make up for it, I'd like to offer some advice. Remember after our game last fall in College Station, when I nearly got trampled by a joyous fan? That caused me to check on my insurance policy. Thanks to Aflac, if you get hurt and miss work, it don't hurt, to miss work.
Option 5: Jimbo, sorry if I came off whiny the other night, but fact is, your Aggies ran through us like doo-doo through a tin horn last year with some three-star quarterback named Zach Calzada. I just can't stand the thought of facing you with a five-star quarterback. So, just promise you'll start Max Johnson and not Conner Weigman, a'ight?
Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher feud, the epilogue
Fisher's fiery rebuttal deserved the chef's kiss, and he could offer his blistering rebuke with his chest puffed out thanks to Texas A&M beating Alabama 41-38 last season.
But, long term, Fisher's epic takedown might equate to cutting off his nose to spite his face.
For one, I can't understand why Fisher is so determined to downplay Texas A&M as a destination for name, image and likeness deals. It would seem shrewder to insist that Texas A&M is breaking no rules but nonetheless offers the ideal platform for athletes to profit off their fame.
Also, by attacking Saban and commanding the spotlight, Fisher increased pressure on his Aggies. Being king of the offseason won't be worth much if Fisher can't back up his tough talk once the games begin.
Fisher deserves credit for signing an impressive recruiting class, but championship trophies aren't awarded in February. The Aggies don't know who their quarterback will be, their entire defensive line from last year's vaunted defense departed, and they also must replace offensive playmakers Isaiah Spiller and Jalen Wydermyer.
Fisher joins Saban, Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney and Mack Brown as the five active coaches who have won a national championship. To be clear, I think Fisher and A&M are a solid marriage.
Yet, 48 games into Fisher's Aggies tenure, he's 34-14.
The record of Kevin Sumlin, Fisher's predecessor, 48 games into his A&M tenure?
Nine or 10 wins from Texas A&M this season is a fair expectation.
But how are nine or 10 Aggies wins going to look while a so-called narcissist - who touts the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, the nation's best defensive player and five high-impact transfers - celebrates his eighth national championship?
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Imagining a Nick Saban voicemail apology to Jimbo Fisher amid feud