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November 21, 2012

Jimbo Fisher

JIMBO FISHER:  Coming off a road victory versus Maryland, which was a very important victory for us, allowed us to clinch the Atlantic Division.  Very proud of our guys for being able to do that and have an opportunity to play in the championship game.  Handled business very well with having that being a very important game with the big rivalry behind, I thought our kids handled the distractions and not looking ahead to Florida because understanding the importance of the Maryland game very well.  Very proud of them.
Had a great week of preparation so far, looking forward to playing an outstanding Florida team, who is, like I say, one of the top teams in the country.  They do an unbelievably great job on defense; Coach Muschamp does a super job with them overall; special teams are very well; offense, have play makers.  Driskel will be back in the game, can run and throw the football and do all the things that he does, but it's also Brissett; if he plays he's an outstanding player, too.
So it's a match‑up of two teams in the top ten, the way it should be, that Florida and Florida State are having a significance in the national limelight and what's going on in the game, but more importantly it's a great rivalry, one of the great rivalries in college football, and I'm very blessed to be a part of it, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to playing on Saturday.
Questions, please.

Q.  This is one of four ACC/SEC match‑ups this weekend.  Do you think about that at all in that, hey, this is a great chance for the ACC to make some sort of statement as to how‑‑
JIMBO FISHER:  No.  I don't mean any disrespect to our league, but it is great for our league if we're successful, but we're playing a rivalry game.  It's a big game against Florida and we know them very well and they know us.  It's just about that game.  If it does, and it helps our league, I'm all for it.  I'm not against that.  But that's not a focus as far as what I'm concerned, but I want to do well for our league, I want to represent our league because I think we have a great league and how we play.
But the big thing we have to focus on, just playing well against Florida and if that part of it works out, that's part of it.

Q.  The other issue is that if you can win and some other results favorable to happen to you this weekend, do you feel like this could propel you into the BCS‑‑ into that mix?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think one thing we found out in college football, anything is possible.  That's the one thing that's predictable.  The month of November is always crazy; like I said, it's like March Madness, there's always games coming and going, and I think it's the greatest month in all of sports because it's amazing what happens in college football during the month of November.
But we don't sit and dwell on that.  Our goal is to do what we do and control what we can control and that's play well against Florida who's a great opponent, and if everything else falls in place, then it does.  But I think that's one of the great things that makes college football what it is, that you never know what's going to happen, and it's amazing to me how we all sit in astonishment, like can you believe this is happening.  Well, if you look at it, it happens every year.  It happens every year in college football.  That's what makes it so great.

Q.  Just kind of piggy‑backing off your statement right there, anything is possible, I mean, if Notre Dame loses to USC and for whatever reason you guys lose to Florida, Florida backs into the national title game.  Do you think that's fair, or what's your thoughts on that?
JIMBO FISHER:  You know, I mean, it's obvious that's not for me to decide.  It happened last year with Alabama.  You're talking about a team that didn't play in its own conference championship game and was able to get in, so that's the rules and that's not Florida's fault if they're fortunate enough for those things to happen.  They're just playing football, also.
Like I say, we have to look at some things, I think, as a sport, but that's the way the rules are and they want the best teams, and if that's what happens, I hope it doesn't happen because that means we lose to them, so we need to take care of our business.  But that's my main concern, but that's what's out there.

Q.  I wanted to get your take on Maryland moving to the Big Ten.
JIMBO FISHER:  I've never even thought about it.  We've had so much on our mind after getting back from that game and getting on to Florida, I really don't.  I mean, anytime somebody leaves your conference it's not a good thing, and they were one of the original founding members.  It is alarming when no one knew or knew anything about it, but Maryland has to do what's best for Maryland, and that's their business.  I have no idea why or why not, but we have to focus on what we've got, and we will have to look at‑‑ I'm sure everyone is aware of what's going on, and our powers that be at Florida State will deal with that.

Q.  I was going to ask, do you think that because they found a way despite the $50 million exit fee to leave that it could open the door for other programs to reconsider that option?
JIMBO FISHER:  I have no idea.  I mean, I honestly‑‑ and I don't mean‑‑ I don't know enough about the situation or if they have to pay or they don't pay or I have not enough information.  I haven't looked at it because of my focus on this game to even be able to comment on it.  I'm sorry.

Q.  I wanted to go back to something you said in your opening comment.  I think it's the first time since 2000 both you and Florida are ranked in the top ten in this game.  Do you think that adds something extra to the match‑up this year?
JIMBO FISHER:  Oh, I think there's no doubt because when you both are having outstanding seasons like we both are, it definitely does because it has more national ramifications, and when you do it‑‑ but our own personal deal, no, as far as‑‑ because we take pride in playing against Florida just like they take pride in playing against us.  But I think from a fan standpoint and everything that goes on, and it's hopefully back to where it should be where it's like this every year, but that's‑‑ it is a good thing.  I'm not against that, I promise.

Q.  And just last year everybody was talking about the state of football in Florida being down with teams not finishing in the top 25, and here you guys are a year later both in the top 10.  Did you expect that to happen so quickly, both you guys back up at the top?
JIMBO FISHER:  Honestly, yes.  Because I think you have great programs, you have great availability of players, and I think both groups have gotten good players there, and they've got a great staff, and I feel we've got a great staff.  Just a matter of getting back on the field and playing, and like I say, things are never as good as they seem, they're never as bad as they seem, and there's reasons that would happen, but we knew we would be back, and I'm sure they did.  It doesn't surprise me one bit they're back.

Q.  I wanted to get your impressions on Mike Gillislee and how important it'll be to contain him on Saturday.
JIMBO FISHER:  Well, I mean, I think Mike had an outstanding year.  He's fixing to break 1,000 yards, been very dependable, great inside runner with good burst and wiggle and can make you miss, throwing, catching the ball.  I think he's had a tremendous year and he's an excellent player for them, and it is very important because they like to run the football, and you have to be able to stop the run to be a great defense.  He'll be a‑‑ containing him will be a key factor on Saturday.

Q.  I'm just curious, I'm looking at polls, and usually the AP and the coaches track fairly close.  You guys are a huge difference, 5 in the coaches, 10 in the AP.  Why do you think there's such a difference in perception among the coaches and the writers?
JIMBO FISHER:  You're one of the writers.  Ask them.

Q.  I'm not on the voting panel, I've got to say.
JIMBO FISHER:  No, I mean, I have no idea.  You know, it goes back to what their individual opinions are.  Everybody has got one, and who's to say who's right.  But that's just the way it is sometimes.  I have no idea.

Q.  In some rivalries home field makes a huge difference, some it doesn't.  In this rivalry from your experience is having the home field a big advantage, little advantage or no advantage?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think it's a big advantage, I do.  I know we were fortunate enough to win at their place last year, but that is a very tough place to play, and I know this place is a very tough place to play and being a game of this capacity and what's going on.  And if you look at the history of it, it's been a‑‑ home field has had a significant‑‑ there was a little run there in the mid 2000s I think at times in different places, but I think over the history of it, usually ‑‑ I'd rather be at home, I promise you that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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