Jimbo Fisher explains what sets football’s elite programs apart from the rest of the pack

The College Football Playoff has been around since 2014, which also happens to coincide with a handful of college football programs investing heavily in resources and personnel for their off the field staff.

Since the playoff was introduced, Alabama is the only team that has made it in all three seasons. 2014 featured Alabama as the 1 seed, Oregon as the 2 seed, and Florida State and Ohio State as the respective 3 and 4 seeds. 2015 saw Clemson #1, Alabama #2, Michigan State #3 and Oklahoma as #4. This year we see Alabama again at #1, Clemson at #2 against #3 Ohio State, and Washington at #4.

As you read that, a few teams are mentioned more than once, and there’s a reason behind that. A number of those programs listed above, including Clemson (who has made appearances in back-to-back years now), and Ohio State (who has appeared in two of the three playoffs – winning the first one in 2014 after knocking of the Tide) have invested heavily in their off the field staff, and facilities

Those are things that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher pointed out during his presser yesterday as a key trait that sets college football’s elite programs away from everyone else.

When Jimbo was asked about what he learned from his time under Saban during their time at LSU together in terms of resources and staffing, and if it’s something he bargains for in a contract, Jimbo shook his head as if the reporter had stumbled upon something.

“Let me tell you something. That is the key. You can say all you want, but you have to have the off the field stuff and behind the scenes things.”

“What’s different in the NFL? If you really look at the NFL, how many teams can really win a Super Bowl? Six or eight of them? When you really get down to it. Organization, structure, culture, and you create that with the resources that you have.”

Fisher admits that having good players is also a key component, but a commitment to resources and staffing is absolutely paramount to being an elite program.

“I could give you a list of about 70 things that matter, and it’s critical. If you want to be in the elite groups, you have to do those things. There is no doubt. I don’t think any of you realize, and I mean this in any disregard, but I don’t think any of you really realize how the truly elite programs, how much farther ahead they can be. Resources matter.”

“It’s a tremendous advantage and you’ve got to commit to doing it, because there’s a reason they’re doing the things that they do,” Fisher explained. “We’re trying to get into that mold too, and we’re getting closer in a lot of ways.”

“It’s one of the most critical things in sports, and I think many people have no idea about it.”

Hear more from Fisher in the clip.