The Beef might as well be plant-based this week. That is another way of saying the feud between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher that lit up talking season this summer is about as meaty as Beyond Burger.
The two coaches have made peace … as much peace as can make between clenched teeth.
"That's over with," Fisher said this week. "He and I are in great shape. We've moved on."
We may be able to judge that by Alabama's margin of victory Saturday. If Saban decides to lay a number on the Aggies (24-point underdogs, according to Caesars Sportsbook) he seemingly can do it. Texas A&M is scuffling after an 18-point loss to Mississippi State that followed an upset to Appalachian State a few weeks ago.
That alone distracts from what was initially expected to be the game of the year because of the simmering animosity alone. Add Jimbo breaking through as the first Saban assistant to beat the master last season, and you've got appointment viewing.
Except the storylines have switched quicker than an up-tempo offense. Texas A&M enters near the bottom nationally in plays per game (56.2). That's part of the problem for a coach who was known as an offensive mastermind and quarterback developer.
Fisher has been neither lately. He's also found a spot on the hot seat -- or whatever you call underachieving in Year 5 with nine years left on his extended 10-year monster contract.
The Aggies are out of the national championship hunt and on the verge of being eliminated from the SEC race. There's pressure on Fisher to produce. There's also pressure on Texas A&M's boosters and administrators to decide where the line is before they produce -- buyout money.