Hell, circle it in blood. This has immediately escalated into the most bitter rivalry of 2022—if not ever.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban launche an attack. Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher, saying A&M “bought every player on their team. Fisher responded with scorched-earth fury SEC. In a hastily arranged press conference.

They violated the Mutually Assured Destruction credo that has long existed in a sport where everyone is likely cheating: coaches could all take down each other, which helped enforce a collective silence because the retaliatory strikes could be devastating to whoever launches first.

Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban’s Is an SEC Shock Wave.

Last year, Fisher (left) became the first former Saban assistant to beat the Alabama coach.

I’ve been covering college football for 32 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this. The comments—especially those from Fisher—were the stuff of a WWE script. College coaches tend to talk a lot off the record about who is breaking rules, or in vague generalities on the recor. here were two national championship coaches very publicly Going There on each other.

They violated the Mutually credo that has long existed in a sport where everyone is likely coaches could all take down each other, which helped enforce a collective silence because the SEC.

Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban’s Jaw-Dropping Public Spat Is an SEC Shock Wave

Retaliatory strikes could be devastating to whoever launches first.

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Wednesday night, Saban directly went after A&M for exploiting the current name, image and likeness landscape to offer recruiting inducements to players, which is against NCAA SEC rulesand Texas state law, per Fisher. And then in response morning, Fisher all but dared the greatest coach in college football history to take it outside and settle this with their fists.Fisher and Saban will have to share airspace and meeting space as soon as May 31, when the Southeastern Conference spring meetings take place in Destin, Fla. Fisher was asked about that and shrugged off the potential . If they build a temporary octagon at the Sandestin Hilton, Fisher is ready to step in.

“I don’t mind confrontation,” he said. “Lived with it my whole life. Kind of like it, personally.”

You know who hates it? SEC Greg Sankey, who has worked hard to maintain the unified public front established by predecessor Mike Slive. A lot of that was just for show more than reality, but the league put a high priority on it. Professional decorum and esprit de corps were expected, at least when people were watching.

Now Sankey has a full-fledged war on his hands, the likes of which we’ve never seen.

While this scores incredibly high on the Titillating Entertainment Scale, it also dumps several tons of coal into the SEC’s out-of-control, by-any-means-necessary football furnace.

Consider what dropped in Sankey’s lap in a matter of hours: Saban went off without specifics or evidence, to which Fisher insisted, and that Texas A&M is playing by the rules. But then Fisher did much the same to Saban, suggesting that there are some shady dealings with Saban and who worke for him knows it.

The problem with that assertion is this: Fisher is one of those who worked for Saban. Instead of casting vague (but forceful) , he could offer something more concrete. Frankly, I’d be surprised if the NCAA isn’t on the phone with him before this column is even published to ask for a sit-down to discuss that very subject.

Many SEC schools have worked hard to raise their academic.

Attract students from outside their , for pricy tuition costs. The place is embroiled in a front-porch feud. By the way, those presidents will be in Destin, too, and it would stand to reason. Some answers about how the SEC is going to emerge from this fussin’ and fightin’ with some semblance of dignity.)

Ultimately, this is the most football-centric area of college athletics. A boiling point over the new era of player compensation. It’s a tumultuous time.

Saban is arguably the smartest, most strategic and most calculating man in his profession.

A&M was first.” Nick Saban doesn’t like being second. This is a matter of competitive disadvantage.