Thursday, February 15, 2007

Storm Clouds over Tallahassee

We ran this picture earlier this year, which predictably (and not unintentionally) brought howls of protest from the fans of the two schools that are the brunt of the joke. Most of the protest came from fans of the “U”, which pointed out – quite rightly – that while they might be down now, don’t look for it to last long.


In Tallahassee however, there are ominous signs that it might not be so funny.

As Gator fans, there was some admitted schadenfreude in the losses suffered by our in-state rivals this year. Both the Seminoles and Hurricanes posted 7-6 records, both of them barely winning records due only to lower tier bowl wins against UCLA and Nevada. Both finished near the bottoms of their respective ACC conference divisions at 3-5.

Now, it would be natural – and largely ignorant of history – to assume that both teams are permanently “down for the count”. After all, it was not that long ago that a Zook led Florida program looked similar. However, there are signs that Florida State may be in the early part of a longer term decline.

First, let’s look at those similar 7-6 records last year. Miami’s problem in 2006 was offense. In their 7 wins, the only time they scored more than 20 points were against Florida A&M (51), FIU (35) and UNC (27) - not exactly teams known for defense. Their average points per game in 2006 was a very un-Miami-like 20.

However, their defense was very, very good. Giving up only 15.1 points per game was good enough to be ranked 14th nationally. On yards per game given up, they were even better ranked at 7th nationally (Florida was 6th giving up only .1 less yards per game).

In other words, Miami’s defense in 2006 was on par with Florida’s.

Florida State, on the other hand, if they had a strength it was defense, which nationally was nowhere near Miami’s, at 34th in points per game at 19.3 (tied with Cincinnati and Western Michigan). FSU gave up big points to several opponents this year, including 30 to Wake Forest at home.

FSU’s offense, while better than Miami’s, still scored only 26 points per game, a figure skewed largely by their blowout win over UCLA in which they scored 44. Their total offense number (YPG) finds them not ranked in the nation’s top 50.

Both teams obviously had needs to be addressed in recruiting, Miami on offense, and FSU on both sides of the ball.

Of their 18 man class, Miami managed to sign 11 offensive players, including 5 star Scout.com players in RB Graig Cooper and the talented junior college transfer Kayne Farquharson. Miami’s class, a respectively ranked 13th nationally, has 3 RBs, 4 WRs, and 2 O-line men, as well as Florida’s Mr. Football in QB Robert Marve.

FSU’s class came in at 31st on Scout.com, their worst showing in memory. The class has but one 5 Star recruit in JUCO transfer Brian Coulter at DE. And while they signed several O-Line men, they did not get a running back at all.

The average rating of a Miami recruit to an FSU recruit was 3.72 to 3.20, an not insignificant difference.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Bowden, in addressing the unsuccessful recruiting efforts this year, said “rebuilding his coaching staff was his priority and conceded that they were unable to spend as much time on recruiting with his staff in transition.”
Not only is that one hell of a damning admission, it shows a longer term trend of falling talent levels at FSU. Here at Saurian Sagacity we are tracking the four year average recruiting classes of all the teams in Division I-A. Here is the trend for both schools –

Miami
2005 - 5th
2006 – 8th
2007 - 8th

FSU
2005 – 5th
2006 – 7th
2007 – 11th

You can see a trend in the wrong direction developing fairly rapidly here.

Miami, to their credit, made the hard decision at year’s end and fired Larry Coker. Randy Shannon was able to salvage a decent recruiting class, and it is hard to imagine the “U” will be down too far for too long. For FSU, however, I do not think it is hyperbole to say the 2007 season is a “make or break” year. Ranked for more than a decade in the top 5, FSU finds itself unranked for the first time since the early 80’s with a three game losing streak to Florida.

Another unsuccessful season in Tallahassee can only hurt recruiting more, leading to a downward cycle that might be hard to recover from.

Finally, take another look at that picture above. What is the difference between those 3 men in the mirror?

The difference is birth dates of 1964 (Meyer), 1966 (Shannon) and 1929 (you know who).

You are an 18 year old college kid. Who are you going to play for?

UPDATE –
After getting a reasonably heated defense by a Seminole fan to this post, I decided to take a look at FSU’s schedule next year and see what we might expect.

09/03/07 at Clemson Clemson, SC 8:00 p.m. ET
09/08/07 vs. UAB Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
09/15/07 at Colorado Boulder, CO TBA
09/29/07 vs. Alabama Jacksonville, FL TBA
10/06/07 vs. North Carolina State Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
10/11/07 at Wake Forest Winston-Salem, NC TBA
10/20/07 vs. Miami Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
10/27/07 vs. Duke Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
11/03/07 at Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA TBA
11/10/07 at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA TBA
11/17/07 vs. Maryland Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
11/24/07 at Florida Gainesville, Fla. TBA

First of all, FSU focused on recruiting offensive line men this year, seeing that as a weakness last year. So they are going to be starting the year likely with an inexperienced group there. They did not sign a QB, so they are going to have to make either Weatherford or Lee work, both of with which they have limited success so far. They also didn’t sign a RB, so with Booker gone, who steps up there?

The defense should be better, with young players there, especially in their secondary getting some seasoning. But I have trouble believing the offense will be much improved, even with the younger Bowden gone.

We will see pretty quick what they can do, as they start right off in hostile territory at Clemson at night, who they lost to last year. After an easy game verses UAB at home, they travel to Boulder to face Colorado, which despite the Buff’s struggles, won’t be a gimme. After their only week off, its time to face Saban and Alabama at Jacksonville, bound to be a hard hitting contest.

Back home to face NC State, then off to Wake (both 2006 losses). Then they get archrival Miami at home, a gimme against Duke, then back-to-back road games at Boston College and at intimidating Blacksburg.

Home to face Maryland (yet another 2006 loss), then on to the Swamp.

So, looking at this schedule, I see only 2 gimmes in UAB and Duke. I see tough road games at Boulder, at Wake, at BC, at Virginia Tech, and at UF. Plus Alabama at a neutral site, and Miami.

I have trouble seeing FSU doing much better than .500 next year. Tell me where I am wrong?

21 comments:

Bill (NoleCC) said...

I gotta say that normally you guys don't have the "my you know what smells like roses" attitude of a lot of Gator sites, but this one smells like the others.

First off, recruiting rankings are crap. Yeah... I realize a lot of sites make their money off grown men wanting to know what a 17 year old boy is going to do, but really, do you think Boise or Wake were in the top 25 classes four and five years ago?

Things in Tallahassee will be fine with the new staff in place. Recruits do look at a head coach, but they also look at their position coaches, since that is who they work with the most. FSU has some of the best.

In Miami's case, I think Randy Shannon was an interesting hire for the sheer fact that I don't get it. If you were going to keep Uncle Fester's regime intact, why not just keep Uncle Fester?

And don't worry about being unranked at the start of the season... the Noles will get "traditional" respect from pollsters and be in the Top 25 to start the season.

Not that it matters... polls before Week 6 are BS anyway.

The Gators should enjoy their time on top... Miami and FSU will both be coming back, and that makes the Gators #3 in the state again. You guys do realize that Urban is a short termer there, right? Whether he admits it or not, it's just a stepping stone to the NFL for him.

And for that final point about fading talent levels at FSU. If you're talking about the coaching staff, you're right. But since you're talking about the players, you're dead wrong. Look at our NFL drafts, even in the "down" years. There's lot of talent at FSU, it just hasn't been coached well since the Richt era.

Henry Gomez said...

Bill,

I agree that the value of the recruiting services is debatable. I think talent evaluation is one of the hardest things to do. They haven't perfected it yet in professional sports so by necessity it's a lot more sketchy in college. There will always be outliers like a highly touted guy that is a bust or an unrecruited guy that breaks out.

As far as Boise and Wake goes, let's wait a few years before we make them into perennial contenders. Would Wake have won the ACC if Miami and FSU had played marginally better? Doubt it.

As far as Urban Meyer being a short timer or not I have no information to say whether he will be or won't be. I doubt that you do either. So I'm wondering if your visceral reaction the Gators newfound success under a "hot shot" coach has you engaging in wishful thinking.

I don't think FSU will be down permanently but I think even the biggest fan of St. Bobby has to waiting for the page to turn.

He is a great man and a great coach but he has shown in the past (with Jeffy) that he won't do the right thing for the program, putting his self interests ahead of it.

Now coming off the poor season, he's not going to go out like that. So what happens if it's a repeat or worse in 2007? It's not a pretty picture. Will he have to be forcibly removed at a low ebb? That would be a truly sad day for college football.

Mergz said...

Whoa - easy big fella - did we hit a nerve here?

In reading your response, you seem to say that the problem at FSU is not talent, it is coaching. So presumably by hiring a new assistant and retreading an old one that fixes the problem? I guess 2007 will show. But if you think this past recruiting class was remotely on par with anything the ‘Noles have gotten in the past 10 years, you are kidding yourself. You couldn’t even fill your need at RB, even making a flaky and in the end mistaken attempt to get the highly questionable Antwain Easterling at the last minute. Even Bobby, in that ridiculous quote that he essentially “wasn’t trying” to recruit this year admits the class wasn’t up to par. (Plus – what do you think of a coach who says such things?)

Anyway, it is a pretty heated reaction to an article that doesn’t say anything you either don’t already know, or can successfully rebut. FSU’s offense and defense were not very good this year. They certainly were not up to FSU’s past teams. Whether you blame the coaches for that, or the players, it happened.

I think that, regardless of the "UF will soon be #3 again" rhetoric, you have to agree that 2007 is a VERY important year for the Seminoles. If the ‘Noles go .500 again the regular season, what does FSU do? Fire Bowden? Or stay with him, and believe that he can get back on track? Either way, it is going to be a very testy year in north Florida should that occur.

Bill (NoleCC) said...

Bowden's here until he decides to go. You can't fire the guy you name the field after, put up a giant stained glass window of and put of a statue for... not that I agree with any of that for all of our coaches aside from Dr. JoAnne Graf.

Anyway, since you're interested in our schedule now...

Booker gone isn't an issue... Antone Smith is a much better running back, he just wasn't healthy for the UF game. Edwards and little Sims are behind him... we've got guys that can run behind the speedier (albeit smaller) O-line we're going to use.

Clemson is a test, but they've had their own offseason issues... just check out DannyFordIsGod.com.

But just as an overall game-by-gamer let's look at it...

Clemson - We really should beat them. We still had a shot at the end of last year's game until the coaches couldn't get a freakin defense in.

UAB - Closer than it should be.

Colorado - Dan Hawkins can talk about THE BIG XII and DIVISION I football all he wants, he needs another year of adjustment since that program is so screwed up.

'Bama - It's a toss up... let's call it a loss for arguments sak.

N.C. State - Chuck The Chest had the forumla... having O'Brien there will make it tough, but it's in Tally which helps.

Wake - No way we lose the game after the embarrassment they handed FSU. Mark my words. (that's gonna bite me in the ass)

Miami - Toss up, the series is streaky... I call a Nole win

Duke - Win

B.C. - I'll call it a loss for now, but the new coaching staff has to prove itself.

V.T. - I don't care how good they are, they have lost to far inferior Nole teams. If they are remotely good at the end of the year, they'll do a choke job for us.

Maryland - Could be a loss, they return a lot of guys.

UF - I'm not ready to crown you guys king until I see more of Tebow's home-schooled rear-end. :) Call it a loss for FSU for now.

That's 8-4.

If I really want to be a homer and go with the impact of our new coaches, it could be a 10-2 year.

Anyway... I know it looks brutal with all of those road games, but it really is the coaching. Talent wise we're still fine, maybe in four years this class will rear its ugly head, but not in 2007.

Mergz said...

8-4 sounds about right, and I could see it as bad as 6-6, or as good as 9-3.

And don't crown us yet either (not that I was worried :) ) We aren't going to repeat likely anything (SEC and certainly not MNC), and it won't have to do with Tebow and the offense (which I think will be fine).

It will be our D. You don't lose 9 of 11 starters and compete at the same level.

Lastly, how about the "U's" schedule playing at Oklahoma. Oh my...

Anonymous said...

mergz - not to pry - but we didnt go after antwain easterling. we went after taiwan easterling. (they're cousins, i believe) Taiwan is a speedster we were looking to gray shirt (according to him) - but it was recently de-bunked that FSU even offered the kid a Gray Shirt.

He was just spouting off to his coaches and some media at Southern Miss - and they rode with the story.

Not that it matters, but we do have 4 pretty good backs - (since you like rankings so much) - antone smith was rated the #1 rb in his class. 5 stars. Jamaal Edwards and Marcus Sims were both 4 stars and listed in the Rivals 100. Russell Ball was a 4 star back, too.

We have talent on the sidelines, especially for next year. You can talk all you want about Lee or Weatherford - but both kids have talent. The defense returns 19 of 22 guys who played SIGNIFICANT minutes, and we still have one of the best defensive minds in the business with Mickey.

Yeah, the defense gave up some points last year - but after watching ANY of our games last year, you could have seen that Jeff had perfected the "three and out on three straight incomplete passes" routine, and put that defense in HORRID spots all season long. At the very least Jimbo knows how to compliment a defense enough to keep them in the game.

Besides, its the ACC. i always hear about how bad a conference it is... so why now all the respect for 'em? If wake is wake, duke is duke and with BC and NC state breaking in new staffs, miami breaking in a new offense (a horrid Pat Nix offense) - and Maryland and Clemson breaking in brand new qbs.... we should have the edge in most all of those games.

Sure, Blacksburg is a tough place to play - but - VaTech hasn't beaten us in decades (as Bill alluded to).

Colorado and Alabama - well, i'll hold my tongue for now, but neither one has me circling that date on the calendar.

and Florida is Florida.

i could see us going 9-3. We don't have a shot at a MNC - but we can make a run at the ACC, right? its the ACC!


besides, you guys lost your ENTIRE defense besides a couple no name secondary guys. Sure, you recruited well - but - how's that going to pay off in the SEC with no experience?

I won't begin to talk about Miami - but I will tell you that this FSU team has potential. Right now it's fun to poke at us, and you may be right.... but, I wouldn't throw dirt on the grave yet.

TroyShamrock
ScalpEm.com

Mergz said...

Troy-

The rumor was that FSU had mistakenly made an offer to Taiwan Easterling thinking he was Antwain. But if you say it has been de-bunked I'll take your word for it.

I do agree on your defense, I think they were young in 06' and will be better. As for Weatherford or Lee, I think you would know by now if either one was "it". I will be stunned if either amounts to anything.

As for the ACC, it WAS a bad conference. Now, with UM, VT and BC, I think it is a better conference than (certainly) the Big East, better overall than the Pac 10 (UCLA probably believes that), and at least in the discussion with the other major conferences. Pretty soon, "making a run" for the ACC is going to be a major accomplishment.

Which brings up another point I think FSU fans - and most certainly UM fans - might be missing. Your conference IS much tougher than before. The days of winning the conference as a mere formality are over. UM, in particular, seems to miss this point. They never seem to notice that their turn in fortunes coincided not only with Coker's tenure, but with their addition to the new and improved ACC. If UM fans are expecting a return to undefeated seasons, they will be forever disappointed.

Finally, I'm not throwing dirt on FSU's grave - the point of the article was that they have been headed in the wrong direction lately (undeniable), and that 2007 will be a pivotal year. A 9-3 record and/or ACC Championship would be a turn in the right direction. 6-6 would be a disaster.

Anonymous said...

I simply must respond to the inanity of nolecc's contention that Bowden can't be fired.

First off, Bowden has INSISTED, as any employee in demand would, that he be compensated based on his past performance. That is how he came to be, had been for more than a decade, one of 5 highest paid football coaches in our great nation. That said, he's given you guys how many 5 loss seasons in a row?

Coaches are employees! Stadiums are named for those who cough up $$$$. He hasn't coughed up anything that he wasn't adequately or overcompensated for providing....namely coaching services.

Can you, NoleCC, honestly contend that Bowden has earned the $$$ he has made over the last 5 years?

To give away as a freebie, the prime naming opportunity on the 'Nolie campus explains why the brick facade around that stadium is merely covers a tiddly wink, overrsized high school arena.

Had you obtained good value, for that and other things, you might have a real stadium.

Dare I say that in paying Bowden all that money over f$u has left itself unable to afford first rate facilities?

Tiddly Winks! Tiddly Winks! Tiddly Winks!

machete said...

Things get worse for the Semenholes:

The ACC has invalidated the LOI that 4 star wr recruit Markish Jones signed with FSU while it validated the LOI he had signed with Clemson. There's no word yet wherther or not the noles plan on
appealing this ruling. Jones had completed and signed a LOI to attend Clemson on signing day but never faxed it to Clemson. Instead, he filled out and signed a second LOI that day to attend FSU and faxed it to the 'Noles athletic dept. He changed his mind again about a day later and filed an appeal with the ACC to ask them to invalidate the FSU LOI in favor of the Clemson LOI.

...

GO CANES!

Anonymous said...

losing markish jones is a backbreaker now?

are you serious? that kid wasn't even going to see the field next year. He was a speed guy, in a class with 2 other speed guys (bpaul and bert reed) - I'm upset, but one player won't break this team next year. Especially an under the radar guy like markish Jones.

and flame it all you want, FSU never offered antwain or taiwan easterling. Neither received a tendered offer, and like I said - Taiwan said he accepted a grey shirt offer - an offer that noone in the entire athletics department knew anything about.

and now - let me even stoop to the level of this anonymous idiot - who i will refer to as "tiddly winks"

""""To give away as a freebie, the prime naming opportunity on the 'Nolie campus explains why the brick facade around that stadium is merely covers a tiddly wink, overrsized high school arena.

Had you obtained good value, for that and other things, you might have a real stadium.

Dare I say that in paying Bowden all that money over f$u has left itself unable to afford first rate facilities?

Tiddly Winks! Tiddly Winks! Tiddly Winks!"""""


first of all winkie, you do realize that there are classroom buildings in the doak campbell stadium, correct? so that we only had to foot the bill for HALF that high school stadium (the largest brick structure in the southeast) - thereby saving us a ton of money on the whole thing. (most gators are still up in arms over this)

second of all, our "second rate facilities"? are you serious? what in god's name are you basing that flame on? anything? have you ever seen the moore athletic center? it's actually one of the better i've ever seen. We don't have the booster base that uf does, but we do just fine as the little brother.

And bowden built this program from nothing. We were absolute dogcrap and that man grew us into a name brand. He has earned the right to step out when he wants. yes, he makes quite a bit of money - but he is the face of our institution. Like it or not, he's our man. He had chances to go - to alabama, lsu, to the falcons, to the usfl - all chances he passed on to stay here and ride it out with us.

Sure, some nole fans can say that just because he built it - it doesnt give him the right to destroy it.... but, the fact remains... it is his program. he will choose his successor, on his terms, when he wants to. and he's earned the right. He has given us more to cheer for in the last 30 years than almost any other coach in any other sport of all time.

The fact that he has close to 20 scholarships endowed in his and his wife's name, shows me he has donated more than enough of his own back to this school. The FIELD is named after him. not the stadium, numbnuts.

seriously. I cant believe i even responded to a "tiddly winks" rampage - but it was all too gator homer for me to handle. Sit in your tower fow awhile, and enjoy the time. we had a heck of a ride for 14 seasons, and im sure you had fun in the rearview mirror for most of that ride.

but to degrade our facilities and our hall of fame coach is just - well, petty and immature. Like i said, even at the top of the mountain, most gators can't stop talking about us pore ol' Nolies. sitting back here in the rearview, one foot in the grave - we get it. But seriously - don't have your own horns to toot? WHY ARE WE ALWAYS ON YOUR MIND?????

did those 14 years of abuse really get to you that much?

i mean, that run before urban, the 14 years of the "dynasty" as some refer to it (espn declared us the team of the 90's in ANY sport) - and the subsequent "zook years" - so 17 years in all....

we went 12-4-1 in that span against UF.

5 wins in the swamp.

we went 1-1 in bowl games against you guys. so, 13-5-1, and you might as well give us the tie as a win, so - we "won" 14 of 19 meetings.

my god, no wonder you have such an inferiority complex. no wonder you hate bobby so much. no wonder these last 3 years have been so sweet for you.

like i said, enjoy it. stop worrying about us, because trust me - when we were sitting on top of the world - UF was the furthest thing from our mind.

too bad you can't say the same thing.

oh well.

Regards,

TroyShamrock
ScalpEm.com

Anonymous said...

Of course I realize there are a couple of classrooms in one part of Ron Zook field at Doak Campbell facade.

And do you know why?

Your athletic association could not raise enough $$$ to get the job done....stingy 'Nolies, so Hart hatched a plan to include classrooms so they could spend part of the educational construction budget granted to f$u by the Florida legislature to supplement the shortfallen fundraising drive. If you recall it was quite controversial and f$u was criticized pretty heavily for it on editorial pages throughout the Great State of Florida.

BTW, many 'Nolie buddies of mine are familiar with the Tiddly Winks analogy and privately agree with it.

Let's face it what your bumbling AD should have done was brick both Bowdens and Darryl Dickey right in, Cask of Amontillado style, then brought Mark Richt back before he had really unpacked at UGA.

Personally, I hope that you continue to overpay the Senile One until the end of my days. I hope that he lives to gain recognition as the world's oldest human being. He has proven he will never retire, and your alumni have proven to be enabling swells that exist to sate his addiction to your $$$$$.

So, in closing, I LOVE Bobby....I just have no idea why you stand for it? But then I don't understand why Bipolars go off their medication, why Americans continue to embrace ridiculous levels of consumer debt and a variety of other things that defy common sense.

Hereinafter, I may be referred to as The Mighty GatorKGB

Please govern yourself accordingly.

machete said...

shamrock: losing a 4-star from an already fairly shitty recruiting class definitely counts as "things get worse."

Bill (NoleCC) said...

Sorry I haven't been around to comment... but let me address those of you that are too scared to put a real name out there. That's right, hide behind the 'Net. Use a $ in FSU... that's original buddy. Same thing with the Ron Zook Field BS. Impressive, seriously. You guys are original, and deserve to participate in well though out discussion.

Gomez and Mergz go a long way to having well though out posts, too bad not all of the comments can be like that too.

While I'm at it... Let me rephrase the Bowden can't be fired. Of course he CAN be, but he WON'T be. That's the point.

I never said that I agree with it. But it a fact, and Noles need to live with it. Seriously, would the almighty Spurrier have ever been fired? Even after some mediocre times? I bet not. I'm sure we would have heard about how tough the SEC is each year, instead.

Henry Gomez said...

Bill,

I agree that Bowden shouldn't be fired. But he shouldn't put the university in a situation where it's even being discussed. I mean the saddest thing in the world is see a guy trying to hang on once he's lost it. Especially a guy like Bowden that is an institution in and of himself. Sometimes you need to step outside of yourself and see that you might be doing more damage than good to the program you love. Look, I think this year is make or break. If Bowden can get 9 or 10 wins out of his team he can step down and say he righted the ship before he abandoned it. Of course there's a possibility of a total disaster too.

It's a tough spot and I for one am happy that we're not in it.

bill said...

The only way he leaves, Henry, is if we win an MNC. 10 Wins will just keep around "as long as he's healthy."

They may not admit it, but he and JoePa would kill for the wins record.

Henry Gomez said...

Don't you agree that that's a more than a little selfish?

Bill (NoleCC) said...

Sure... but I've said that lots of times. I don't agree with it, but it's a fact. It's the same thing with Mike Martin and the baseball team.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about the eighties. It is called the dynasty. It was fourteen years of abuse for Florida. espn calls us the team of the 90's in any sport. We went 12-4-1 against Florida. 5 wins in the swamp, no wins for Florida in Doak. There was a slight slip as we were 1-1 in bowl games against Florida. We will have to take the tie also since it was the greatest comeback in collegiate history.

Five wins in fourteen meetings. That is truly what I call hitting somebody in the mouth. It explains where all the pent up aggression comes from. It is from a very real inferiority complex engendered over many many years. The last three years were wins for Florida, but it is only three years. Like the clock, the pendulum always swings back the other way. In this case it is going to defy gravity and swing back very quickly.

Lets take the case of Jimbo Fisher, rated the number two offensive coordinator in the nation. His only critics at LSU wanted to throw deep all the time Hal Mumme style, pick up big numbers. They wanted a Hawaii, BYU type show, but where did this get these schools?

No the Fisher offense will nickle and dime you to death at first. It will establish the run, throw a few screens , slants and bubble passes. It will stay on the field and tire the defense, giving your defense a chance to talk to coaches and adjust, not a three and out. When points are put on the board and the opposing defense begins to tire, then comes long curl and deep routes. It has proven to be a most successful concept and is used in the pros and is great for getting the attention of recruits who are told this is what you will need for the next level anyway.

The key to Fisher's offense will be to establish the run first. In this regard, he will have a weapon he has never enjoyed in a long time. He will have the number one offensive line coach in America, one Rick Trickett, a man who says people are not going to like to see us come into town, A man who says he is looking for people who will hit you in the mouth.

Pundits everywhere are now muttering, what will FSU, a team that has been winning on raw talent, now do with a coaching staff who are known to get the best out their talent? I believe if a man stops and ponders this, the answer is not very hard to come by.

Many teams are going to experience "the whipping post" once again

Like it or not for some. College football will once again fear the spear.

The Jimbo Spread
Our new offensive coordinator, one Jimbo Fisher, masterminded the leading offense in the South Eastern Conference, rolling up an astounding 404.2 yards an outing in a conference that many argue is the strongest in the nation. During his final season at LSU, his offense won it's final seven games culminating in a 41-14 blowout of Notre Dame in the Sugar bowl resulting in an 11-2 season. It was coach Fisher's third Sugar Bowl Victory and second eleven game winning season in a row.

LSU's only losses were a heartbreaking 7-3 loss at Auburn. ( The one and only time that Les Miles attempted to overrule Fisher's offensive sets by calling continuos running plays) Auburn was the only team which defeated number one Florida, the only other team to defeat a Fisher lead offense and both losses came on the road. His last bowl appearance before Notre Dame resulted in a 40-3 route of Miami in the Peach Bowl. LSU went on to finish as number three in the nation.

The LSU offense featured a passing attack that rolled up 245.0 yards a game led by Jamarcus Russell who was an all SEC selection at quarterback completing 68.5 per cent off his passes with twenty six touchdowns.The running game featured production night in and night out and was spread out among several different backs. The Jimbo Fisher type spread is said to be much more balanced than some of the spreads seen in college football today but is very much as complicated in terminology. Coach Fisher is known for his ability to adapt during the course of a season and utilize players as talent permits.

The new coordinator at LSU Jerry Crowton indicates he will meet with coach Miles and incorporate his ideas of the spread offense with his and meld together with some of the things that Fisher used while there, although there were reports of conflicting philosophies concerning strategy between Les Miles and Jimbo Fisher.

Before he was the offensive coordinator at LSU, coach Fisher was the mastermind of an offense at Cinncinnatti which averaged 424.4 yards a game and was the 16 rated in the nation. He also coached Dameyune Craig at Auburn who was their only 3000 yard quarterback in history as well as Stan White and Patrick Nix.

The spread offense seems now to be the hot commodity in college football as prominent coach Nick "suitcase Saban" in his attempt to rebuild Alabama football fortunes, first turned to Jimbo Fisher as his first choice. Jimbo Fisher was offered the offensive coordinator job at Alabama also. Nick Saban is also reported to have offered the same position to Boise State's Bryan Harsin, who posted a cinderella 12-0 season and who turned it down, and later to Major Applewhite, who also uses the spread scheme. Coach Fisher was replaced at LSU by Gary Crowton who (you guessed it) is a proponent of the spread.

Coach Fisher should be very successful with his offense in the State of Florida which is talent rich in speedy wide receivers and running backs with which to stock it. This is conjunction with new offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who is himself a legend of the game and has worked with Fisher before to produce magic. It will be coupled with a Mickey Andrews defense which is year in and year out one of the most formidable in college football. The future looks very bright for Florida State University Football

The Florida State Seminoles from 2003 through 2005, finished in the top three in recruiting classes. The 2006 class provided many new offensive lineman for coach Rick Trickett to work with and install new zone blocking schemes. More speed was added at cornerback and wide receiver.

The running game will feature Antone Smith, a five star Mr. Football and the most highly rated running back in the nation coming out of highschool in 2005.

Skip the turkey for Thanksgiving, this year we are having candycane with gatortail while we get some tar on our heels.

May I finish with this, we did sign Taiwan Easterling who caught over 1200 yards receiving and was one of the top 30 athletes in Mississippi.

Recruiting is also not as bad as many would like to believe.
Florida State Recruiting Classes

2002 3
2003 21
2004 3
2005 2
2006 3
2007 19




FSU will simply have an outstanding year and will at least compete for the NC, maybe not make the game or win it but will def be there all year. Last year FSU started more freshman than anyone in D1 football and lost 6 games. But, 5 of those games were by a TD or less (including to the National Champions). It goes without saying the offense was FSU's problem last year and in past years. Despite the fact the offense has struggled to not only score but to even stay in the field, the defense has remained pretty stout. There were several problems with the offense, coaching, play calling, creativity, and lack of running game. FSU has clearly fixed all those problems with the new coaches. Coach T. will do AWESOME with that o-line, it's already showing in the way the o-line is working out and running in jan, feb, and now march. The reason WVU was so dominate running the ball was the fact their backs (as great as they are) has holes big enough to drive trucks through. Also, the line didnt wear down as the game went on. On top of that, WVU has one of the least penalized teams in the country, had some of the fewest holding calls on o-line men and false starts. Coach T. will bring that to FSU immediately.

Fisher will work wonders for the offense as well. To go along with Coach T's great line he'll have a balanced offense that WILL run the ball down people's throat. One of the biggest impacts is what he'll do for FSU's very talented QBs. Weatherford and Lee both have great talent and potential, Jeff just had no idea to unlock it. Fisher's track record coaching QB's speaks for it's self, he will turn them both into deadly QB's in his system. Also, the play calling will be greatly improved. Jeff had no running game so he calling a lot of swing passes and quick come back routs to try and make up for the lack of running game - rarely did he attack down field to try and spread the defense. I am not an opposing DC putting in 60 hours a week preparing for the FSU offense and even I could correctly predict what Jeff was going to do. Not anymore, Fisher will be outstanding attacking defenses weaknesses and exposing people.

Over all, the offensive hires provide a perfect blend of youth, experience, energy, and wisdom. The staff on both sides of the ball includes great recruiters and strategist to prepare for games. The staff is rock solid. FSU has the talent on the field (you can go back to 2001 on rivals.com and look the the ranks of recruiting classes) to compete with ANYONE, they just havent had the coaching staff - now they do.

Again, 5 of the six losses by one TD or less, if FSU had the coaching staff they do now and the offense they are soon about to have - FSU could have been where UF was last year, in the NC game with one loss.

Only time will tell how great this FSU team can be, the sky is the limit, we wont have to wait too much longer!

Anonymous said...

http://loserwithsocks.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/the-chris-wonder-leak-interview/
By the way that picture of Urban (My linebacking corps went up in smoke) Meyer is not the only one out there.

Henry Gomez said...

Anonymous,

Here's a tip. If you want people to actually read what you write, keep it short.

And by the way ancient history is just that. Have fun at next year's emerald bowl. The question is which opponent you'll be sharing the sidelines with.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Henry. I am not talking about the past. Historians have even figurred out there is no money in history. I am talking about the here and now, the swamp bowl 11-24-07. The Seminole wind is going to turn the swamp into a desert.




FSU will simply have an outstanding year and will at least compete for the NC, maybe not make the game or win it but will def be there all year. Last year FSU started more freshman than anyone in D1 football and lost 6 games. But, 5 of those games were by a TD or less (including to the National Champions). It goes without saying the offense was FSU's problem last year and in past years. Despite the fact the offense has struggled to not only score but to even stay in the field, the defense has remained pretty stout. There were several problems with the offense, coaching, play calling, creativity, and lack of running game. FSU has clearly fixed all those problems with the new coaches. Coach T. will do AWESOME with that o-line, it's already showing in the way the o-line is working out and running in jan, feb, and now march. The reason WVU was so dominate running the ball was the fact their backs (as great as they are) has holes big enough to drive trucks through. Also, the line didnt wear down as the game went on. On top of that, WVU has one of the least penalized teams in the country, had some of the fewest holding calls on o-line men and false starts. Coach T. will bring that to FSU immediately.

Fisher will work wonders for the offense as well. To go along with Coach T's great line he'll have a balanced offense that WILL run the ball down people's throat. One of the biggest impacts is what he'll do for FSU's very talented QBs. Weatherford and Lee both have great talent and potential, Jeff just had no idea to unlock it. Fisher's track record coaching QB's speaks for it's self, he will turn them both into deadly QB's in his system. Also, the play calling will be greatly improved. Jeff had no running game so he calling a lot of swing passes and quick come back routs to try and make up for the lack of running game - rarely did he attack down field to try and spread the defense. I am not an opposing DC putting in 60 hours a week preparing for the FSU offense and even I could correctly predict what Jeff was going to do. Not anymore, Fisher will be outstanding attacking defenses weaknesses and exposing people.

Over all, the offensive hires provide a perfect blend of youth, experience, energy, and wisdom. The staff on both sides of the ball includes great recruiters and strategist to prepare for games. The staff is rock solid. FSU has the talent on the field (you can go back to 2001 on rivals.com and look the the ranks of recruiting classes) to compete with ANYONE, they just havent had the coaching staff - now they do.

Again, 5 of the six losses by one TD or less, if FSU had the coaching staff they do now and the offense they are soon about to have - FSU could have been where UF was last year, in the NC game with one loss.

Only time will tell how great this FSU team can be, the sky is the limit, we wont have to wait too much longer!

You are going back to the whipping post!