While the two coaches deal with a public feud, Bowden joined The Paul Finebaum Show to elaborate on his memories of both men.
“I always reference Nick and Jimbo, because Nick grew up in Monongah, West Virginia — 30 minutes from Morgantown, where my Dad was the head coach. He was the quarterback on the greatest high school teams ever to happen to West Virginia. .. My Dad recruited him. .. But Jimbo was very much like Nick,” began Bowden. “He was raised 20 miles away. He is a competitor. Jimbo is a competitor. I look at those two guys — Jimbo won his first national championship at 49, Nick at 52. We’ll see where it goes from there.
“They’re both very smart. Nick is the hardest-working guy I know. Jimbo is the best, and the toughest competitor I’ve ever been around. Those are both incredible ingredients. If anybody can go into the West Division, and build a competitor that can compete, it’s going to be Jimbo Fisher. Because of that smart, competitive person that he is, and that he was as a quarterback, and then coached for me for 11 years. But he’ll be tested, because he’s going up against the best.”
While Terry Bowden is close to both men, he’s not picking a side in their feud. Nevertheless, he believes future matchups between the two coaches will be enthralling, as it doesn’t get better at the collegiate level than Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher.
Terry Bowden provides reaction to Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher feud
Moreover, Terry Bowden has been around college football for a while. He began his coaching career in 1983, beginning with stops at Salem and Samford before heading to Auburn in 1993.
Recently, Bowden joined The Paul Finebaum Show and went in-depth on the recent feud between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, also providing strong commentary on the state of college athletics regarding NIL.
Saban recently came into the spotlight when the Alabama coach called out Fisher and Texas A&M for buying players, also accusing Deion Sanders and Jackson State of doing the same. Fisher then had a fiery response, creating some real fireworks in the coming days.
Bowden has been around both Saban and Fisher, and he thinks that both probably wish that situation never happened.
“It’s a fight because I got to play both teams,” Bowden started. “Of course having coached at Auburn, you’re always going to be tied to Auburn. It’s an argument that should not have been public. And I think anybody that was a part of it wished it had not happened. I can’t put words in Coach Saban’s mouth, but I bet he would say, ‘I wish I hadn’t gone down that road.’ Jimbo, I already know – he gonna blow up. He’s gonna compete every day and that was why he responded as he did. Deion should never have been in that conversation, he’s not in that war with them.
“But again, that’s a battle that Jimbo has to fight. Because his school, they didn’t pay him that much money to come in second. You can be awful good – I know at Auburn, you could have an outstanding year and still finish in third or fourth in your own division. It’s a little different standard you’re held to.”