Where Do We Go From Here?
There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Florida State football program in the wake of the loss to, well...Wake, and the subsequent resignation of JB. Something this huge deserves preferential treatment, so without further ado we present a very special mid-week Good/Bad/Ugly covering the aftermath of the game and the potential future for the Seminoles:
- Ironically the loss to Wake may have been the best thing that could have happened to FSU in the long run. It had been clear for some time that changes had to be made, but with FSU remaining competitive (albeit against sub-par competition) there was always an out for Bobby. In his interviews he could always point to a couple of mistakes that cost FSU the game, and for some reason the fact that these mistakes happened every week didn't seem to bother him. Well, there's no way to sugarcoat a 30-0 home shutout at the hands of a team that has less talent at literally every position. You couldn't blame injuries or youth for the complete lack of effort the team showed against the Demon Deacons. I said a while back that things were going to get worse before they got better - well, on Saturday night they got much, much worse. But the silver lining is that FSU finally has a chance to improve an offense that has weighed down the team for years.
"So let me get this straight - I've sucked at my job for
- Looking at things from a larger perspective, the loss will allow FSU to join the rest of the ACC in a badly-needed coaching overhaul. UNC got the ball rolling when they euthanized the John Bunting era and upgraded to Butch Davis. FSU is finally rid of Jeff Bowden. Miami is sure to fire Larry Coker soon, and hopefully NC State and Virginia will join the party after the season. In order for the ACC to blossom there had to be some serious pruning of the coaching ranks and it looks like the job is well underway.
- I promised more details on my experience at the game so here you go: after the wedding reception was over my brother-in-law Nick and I made our way to the stadium just in time for the fourth quarter. The security guard tried to stop us at the gate but I, emboldened by about a dozen Jack & Cokes, dashed past him into the stands. Of course, in doing so I completely abandoned Nick, who lives in Japan and had no idea where he was. Sorry buddy! I'm still not sure how security didn't catch up to me since I was still wearing my tuxedo and surely must have stood out among the 20-30 people that were still at the game. Anyway, I remember sitting in the stands with my head in my hands for awhile, and when I finally looked up everyone was gone and the field was empty. Now I'm a naturally inquisitive person so I started to explore a bit, and that's where things got wierd. Not only did I wind up getting into the luxury boxes and both locker rooms (FSU's is sweeeeeeet), but I eventually made my way out onto the field where, for the first time in my 24 years as an FSU fan, I stood on the 50 yard-line at the Doak! Apparently if you're wearing a tux people will pretty much let you go wherever you want. However, the night pretty much went downhill after that as I had no idea where Nick had left my car since I went to the reception in the wedding party's limo. I spent the next three hours limping around campus (those tuxedo shoes SUCK!) trying to make my way to the Civic Center. Many thanks to the kids at the Tennessee Street house party who gave me beer and cigarettes! And many apologies to Nick and my sister, who spent most of those three hours driving around looking for me. My bad. Anyway, in spite of FSU taking it's worst home loss of my lifetime it was a pretty fun night for me personally...
- A hidden benefit of the loss is that it inadvertently screws Florida's shot at the BCS Title Game. While Southern Cal closes their schedule with Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA, the Gators will play I-AA Western Carolina and unranked Florida State. Assuming they both win out the Trojans will have better wins on their resume than the Gators, and although UF's loss to Auburn isn't as damaging as USC's loss to Oregon State the Crocs need to finish with a flourish to make up some ground. With USC already ahead in the BCS standings and their stronger schedule down the stretch, it's completely possible UF may not be able to catch the Trojans thanks to the weakness of FSU, and that fact gives me more pleasure than it should.
Any time a Gator gives you crap about
Jeff Bowden just show him this picture
- One can only assume that more changes are in store for FSU after JB's resignation. Whoever the new OC turns out to be I can only assume he'll be allowed to bring in a new staff to replace the incompetent Dickey and the ineffective Mark McHale. So Bobby's choice for the new OC is of the utmost importance. However, based on his past few hires I can no longer say with certainty that I trust Bowden to make the right choice. For years and years Bobby enjoyed perhaps the best staff in the college football but in the last six years the only new hire that's worked out has been LB coach Kevin Steele. JB, Dickey, McHale, and Joe Kines were all disasters and I have my doubts that the trend will change when Jeff's replacement is brought in.
- Though I didn't watch the game it wasn't really necessary...I've seen that game every year since 2001. The play-calling was awful, outrageously stupid penalties cost us scoring chances, and you got the feeling the field was tilted at a 30° angle with the 'Noles playing uphill all day. I saw that game in 2001 against UNC, in 2002 against Notre Dame, in '03 against Clemson, in '04 against Florida, in '05 against Clemson and UF, and in 2006 against...well, just about everybody. It's been a tough century for FSU fans.
- FSU sits in one of the toughest recruiting regions of the country with Georgia to the north, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn to the west, Florida to the east, and Miami to the South. Any hiccup in recruiting can lead to a talent void that will be tough to make up. In addition, even one down year can lead to a situation down the road where you find yourself with a young team devoid of senior leadership...kinda like this year! FSU was already expected to struggle in recruiting this season but we may see a Chernoble-level meltdown if things really go sour. I'm already expecting Dionte Allen and Ahmad Paige to bolt, and they're FSU's only four-star commitments at this point. You can bet that the rest of FSU's recruits have been getting calls from coaches all over the southeast. This will bite us in the ass down the road, mark it down.
- The team did something on Saturday we haven't seen all year: they quit. Never a good sign. How will they respond after all the turmoil surrounding the team? Suddenly a win, even against Western Michigan, doesn't look like a sure thing. Yikes.
Through it all I'm proud to be a Seminole fan. Keep your head up 'Nole Nation for better days are ahead of us. Good luck to the team this weekend, and as always GO NOLES!!!