FSU's Jimbo Fisher: Scheduling, commissioner key to reforms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- On the eve of a potential shift in the ACC's scheduling, Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher advocated for uniform schedules across the Power 5 leagues and a college football commissioner.

"I'd like to play for a championship where everyone has the same rules," he said. "... You don't think we need a commissioner and a set of rules to make things even? We're the only sport in America that doesn't have the same set of rules for everybody that plays."

On Friday, ACC athletic directors will discuss altering the league's scheduling model. The conference currently plays eight conference games, and beginning in 2017, all ACC teams will be required to play a nonconference Power 5 opponent. Athletic directors could change to a nine-game conference schedule or increase the number of nonconference Power 5 opponents to two, labeled the eight-and-two model.

Florida State plays Florida annually at the end of the regular season and routinely schedules a Power 5 school early in the year. Fisher said he is not in favor of a nine-game conference schedule, but he ultimately wants every Power 5 conference to have a standard scheduling model.

The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 all play nine conference games. The SEC plays eight conference games and a mandatory nonleague Power 5 team, similar to the ACC. The Big 12 brings its conference championship game back in 2017.

"Everybody goes to their own neighborhood and makes their own little rules. I'm for uniform everything across the board no matter what it is: eight-and-two, nine-and-one, 38-and-38," Fisher said. "Why can't we uniformly play the same number of games, play the same conference championship, play the same number of Power 5s?

"... It's called common sense."

Fisher was also adamant about the necessity for Power 5 leagues to continue scheduling FCS opponents. He said the elimination of scheduling FCS programs will have a trickle-down effect on budgets that will ultimately lead to high school players giving up football.

The Big Ten prohibits members from playing an FCS school, a rule that went into effect this season. No other league has that mandate.

"I'll make a statement and if people don't like it, fans [don't like it]: If you don't play an FCS ... how do they make their budget? By playing a big school. How's the Division IIs make their budget? Playing an FCS," Fisher said. "When you start taking these budgets away, where are all the high school football players going to go? Why are they going to play football when all these teams drop football? You're killing the sport for ego."

Fisher played at Division II Salem College before transferring to Division III Samford, where he was named Division III player of the year. Salem no longer plays football, and Samford has since moved up to FCS.

"It's not about playing FCS; it's about the game of football and filtering it all the way down so there's scholarships in Division II."