Staples on Saban-Fisher beef: 'They're playing to the crowds they're speaking to'


SEC rivals Alabama and Texas A&M aren't scheduled to battle on the gridiron until early October in Tuscaloosa, but college football fans no longer have to wait for both teams to butt heads and create drama. Less than 24 hours after Alabama head coach Nick Saban accused Texas A&M of buying every player in its 2022 recruiting class, Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher shared a strong rebuttal on Thursday, ripping Saban and calling his comments "despicable."

According to 247 Sports' rankings, Texas A&M signed an FBS-high eight five-star 2022 recruits, and each player is currently listed as a top-25 player in its class. The Aggies, which couldn't play in the 2022 Gator Bowl due to a COVID-19 outbreak, also landed 19 four-star recruits, and two are listed in the top-50. During a press conference, Fisher said they "never bought anybody" and also implied that Saban had violated NCAA recruiting rules for decades.

"Usually these things are pretty calculated by [Saban], and he may have had a reason for going down the road he went. But I don't know that he thought the response would be what it was," The Athletic writer Andy Staples explained to Maggie and Perloff on Thursday. "All I'll say about the Fisher press conference -- this is the greatest Thursday in May history -- he said all of that at a presser, after sleeping on it. Can you even imagine what he said last night?...

"[Fisher] helped himself with the people who matter to him, which would be Texas A&M people -- doesn't really matter what Alabama people think of him. Just like it doesn't matter what Texas A&M people think of Saban. He helped himself with his audience. They're playing to the crowd they're speaking to... And one is mad because the other is getting players he used to get... We've all heard the same stories [about Saban] -- you can't prove any of it..."

Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on the Saban-Fisher tension can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Maggie and Perloff Show on Twitter @MaggieandPerl and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.