The list of awards releasing its finalists for year-end honors continues to grow with the folks at Liberty Mutual jumping into the hardware fray by announcing the 10 FBS coaches who remain in contention for Coach of the Year honors. But there’s one huge gaffe on Liberty Mutual’s part — Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was left out.
This has to be a mistake or a misprint, right? At any moment now, surely Liberty Mutual will issue a retraction of the announcement in conjunction with a corrected list of finalists that includes Fisher’s name.
Here are the finalists:
Art Briles, Baylor
David Cutcliffe, Duke
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Todd Graham, Arizona State
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Jim Mora, UCLA
Bill O’Brien, Penn State
Nick Saban, Alabama
Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Not to take anything away from the guys named above, but how is it that two coaches, Swinney and Cutcliffe, from the ACC were selected over Fisher when his Seminoles dismantled both Clemson (51-14) and Duke (45-7)?
Not to mention No.1 Florida State is the lone remaining undefeated team in FBS. And that Fisher has FSU set to take on No. 2 Auburn in the Noles’ first appearance in the BCS National Championship Game since playing in the first three from 1998 to 2000.
Remember, this FSU team and QB Jameis Winston, who is now the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, were largely unknown commodities heading into the season. It was Clemson, not FSU, that was the overwhelming favorite to win their division and the ACC title.
Swinney being on the list is equally as hard to comprehend as Fisher’s absence. His Clemson team went backwards in the polls from start to finish this season, and most importantly, the Tigers were lambasted at home by Fisher’s Seminoles en route to their ACC Atlantic Division title.
Fisher likely cares little about the snub and is undoubtedly focused solely on preparing for Auburn, but you have to wonder how he was overlooked for this award. If Florida State wins the national championship game in January, Fisher will have the last laugh when he hoists the crystal football over his head – which is something each one of these finalists would trade this award for if given the chance.