"That was great years at Auburn," said the now 48-year old Fisher, who served as the quarterbacks coach for the Tigers from 1993-98. "I enjoyed my years at Auburn. I was 27 years old when I went there.
"It'll be a great opportunity (to face them). I know a lot of those folks. That was where I cut my teeth in Division 1 football."
Malzahn was the offensive coordinator during the Tigers' championship run that year, and he said Sunday it felt great to officially restore respectability to the program that not many outside of their locker room had high expectations of when the season began.
"I don't know if I've ever had a team come as far as we have," Malzahn said. "The very first game, we were an average-at-best team. We were a work in progress probably the first half of the season. We just gained confidence with every game, and I think after we won on the road at Arkansas, we really started to believe.
"It's been something to watch, it really has. To see them grow, see them come together, see them believe in each other, it's really been something to watch and be a part of."
Florida State ascended to No. 1 two weeks ago because of Auburn's upset victory over then-top-ranked Alabama in the Iron Bowl and secured its BCS position by crushing Duke, 45-7, in Saturday's ACC title game.
Behind their 19-year-old redshirt freshman quarterback Winston, who will turn 20 the day of the national title game, the Seminoles have crushed every opponent in their path en route to the school's first unbeaten season in 14 years.
Florida State began the season ranked 11th in the nation, but has slowly risen in the polls week after week, knocking off four Top 25 teams on its way.
"We're not done yet," said Winston, the former five-star No. 1 overall prep quarterback recruit in the nation from Hueytown, Ala., who was recruited by every major Division program, including the Tigers.
"Me being from Alabama, I'm excited to play in this game. We fear no one."
Auburn, meanwhile, smacked Missouri, 59-42, in the SEC finale in Atlanta on Saturday, then watched with elation as Michigan State handed previously unbeaten No. 2 Ohio State its first loss in two years, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday night.
Auburn's invitation also means the all-mighty SEC will have a chance after all to end the BCS' term with eight straight national titles by the conference.
NCAAF Team Report - Auburn - NOTES, QUOTES
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
--QB Nick Marshall, an Auburn junior, is a 21-year-old former Wilcox County High School two-sport star went from being the top recruit in Georgia three years ago to being kicked off the team at Georgia for allegedly stealing from a teammate before his sophomore season. After a year of junior college ball at Garden City Community College, where he surpassed 3,000 yards passing and rushed for 1,000 more, he landed at Auburn for a second chance that he has made the most of. Marshall not only has led the Tigers to the SEC title and a spot in the BCS National Championship game, but he's mastered Malzahn's complicated offense in a very short amount of time and is also the Tigers' second-leading rusher with 1,023 yards. If Marshall needs to, he can also pass deceivingly well, passing for four touchdowns in his last three games while throwing only 53 passes in that span. Two of those touchdown passes either won or tied the game in the final seconds in crucial games against Georgia and Alabama.
--Sophomore LB Cassanova McKinzy and junior DB Jermaine Whitehead of Auburn are defensive monsters who rank second and third on the team, respectively, in tackles. McKinzy, who had a team-high 10 tackles vs. Missouri, and Whitehead, who had six tackles and an interception) are coming off huge performances in the SEC Championship Game. Auburn's defense has been gutted for 108 points in its last three games, possibly signs of fatigue by the starters. McKinzy and Whitehead, however, continue to be steady week-in and week-out and could be very disruptive when it comes to stopping Florida State, which is averaging 53 points per game and is on pace to finish as the most prolific offense in college football history.
--Senior LB Telvin Smith, like many of his teammates on Florida State's defense, was snubbed for the All-ACC First-Team. The Seminoles had only one selection, DB Lamarcus Joyner, even though Smith leads the Seminoles' third-ranked FBS defense with 75 tackles, 9.5 tackles for losses and three interceptions, two that he returned for touchdowns. He had eight tackles, including two for losses, and his third pick of the season last week against Duke, and he helped bottle up the middle of the field, forcing Duke to all but abandon the run. That's important going forward because if Smith can disrupt Auburn's top-ranked rushing attack, it will force the Tigers to pass, something QB Nick Marshall, the team's second-leading rusher, is far less comfortable doing.
--Junior RB James Wilder Jr. is somewhat the forgotten man on Florida State's offense this year, but he seems to be called on in huge games and could be poised for a big BCS title game. Wilder came into the season ready to be the Seminoles' feature back, but between a couple of nagging injuries and missing some time, Wilder has slipped to third in the rotation. Devonta Freeman has 943 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, and Karlos Williams added 705 yards and 11 scores, but Wilder has a respectable 542 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He has run strong in the biggest games, scoring twice vs. No. 7 Miami, and the 6-foot-2, 229-pound Wilder has more power than Williams or Freeman. That could be key against Auburn, which struggles against power backs, as evidence by the combined 472 yards the Tigers gave up this season to the two most powerful rushing teams they faced, LSU and Alabama.