FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher says the fact ESPN reporter Heather Cox interviewed him instead of Jameis Winston last night, had NOTHING to do with her springing rape questions on the QB back in December.
The Seminoles coach told TMZ Sports -- outside the team hotel on Tuesday -- the university did not give ESPN any parameters about who would interview Winston ... even though Jameis ran away from his last interview with Cox on Dec. 7th when she fired off a series of questions about the rape investigation.
We also spoke with Heather about the post-game interview assignments ... and she backed up the coach, saying it was "totally standard procedure."
Cox explained, "When two reporters are covering the game, the reporter that covers the winning team interviews the winning coach, and the other reporter interviews a winning player."
Cox says if the game had gone the other way last night, she would've spoken with Auburn's QB Nick Marshall after the game.
Besides ... sources connected to FSU tell us Jameis actually reached out to Cox after the December interview to make it clear he had no hard feelings.