Jimbo Fisher claims Auburn's illegal use of OL downfield cost Alabama national title
During his Monday press conference, current FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher touched upon a number of topics.
One item on the agenda delved into the troubles college defenses have when stoping explosive offenses. Fisher’s theory: the widespread propensity of illegal men down field on run-pass options.
In fact, Fisher believes Auburn’s ability to do this in 2013 cost Alabama a shot at the national title. During the ’13 Iron Bowl, then-Auburn signal-caller Nick Marshall found a wide-open Sammie Coates for a game-tying touchdown with less than a minute remaining.
Later in the game, the famous ‘Kick 6’ resulted in Auburn winning the contest. Fisher believes this touchdown was illegal:
“The rules are bent for [the offenses]. It’s illegal. What you do now on offense is illegal. It should never be a part of football, and I’m an offensive guy. When you can have linemen go 3 yards down the field and it is a pass, something is wrong with that. It gives false key reads, and guys are running the ball. It cost Alabama a national championship.”
Fisher continued to bizarrely rail on Auburn, and also spoke about how the advent of running quarterbacks are changing the college game:
“When we played Auburn for the national championship, they had a lineman seven yards down the field on the pass to tie it up before the ‘kick 6’. It would’ve never been there. It should’ve been illegal. Last year when (Auburn) played Ole Miss, they had a guy six yards down the field.Quarterback runs in college football are always going to change the game of football,” Fisher explained. “Now, can you keep a quarterback healthy? Do you have enough of them?
It changes the whole dynamic of what you do on defense. … It used to be when a lineman was downfield when a pass was thrown, it is an illegal man down field. Now, they can be up to three yards down field. Now, you’re a safety and you read an unblocked guy. You’re supposed to read the unblocked lineman. And that is coming off the line and hitting that guy on the run. He’s three yards off the line.What’s your trigger to do? Come make a play. But now the quarterback can pull back and throw the football and it’s not illegal.”
Fisher’s FSU squad would eventually play, and beat, Auburn in the final BCS National Title Game to conclude the 2013 season. You have to question whether Fisher’s team would have beaten Alabama in the title game had that been the matchup. The Seminole coach probably shouldn’t be complaining about the rules helping Auburn, as it appears he believes the Tide would have beaten him in the title game.