Someone, please, give me back my Miami-FSU.
|Kyle Wright and the Hurricanes hurt their BCS chances. (AP)|
Where are the playmakers?
Where are the players?
For every Buster Davis (12 tackles, two sacks by the FSU linebacker), we can give you a still-shaky Drew Weatherford. For every Brandon Meriweather (interception by the All-American Miami safety), we can give you a questionable offensive line.
At Miami? Wow.
|Dennis Dodd's Power Poll|
|1. Ohio State|
|2. West Virginia|
|7. Notre Dame|
|10. Florida State|
|13. Virginia Tech|
|20. Penn State|
|23. Boston College|
|24. Texas Tech|
The Orange Bowl wetlands could have served as the backdrop to the end of an era during Florida State's 13-10 victory. (Or end of an error if you count the 15 penalties, six fumbles and two interceptions).
Surely, you caught this nugget: Monday marked the first time neither Miami nor FSU entered the season in the AP top 10 since 1982.
Twenty-four years. Bobby Bowden has golf carts that old.
If not, try this one: The game didn't sell out. The on-and-off rain and the fickle nature of the local fans aren't excuses. This wasn't Wake Forest. This was Florida State, which is not without blame. The school returned 2,000 tickets out of its allotment.
"This is one of those games you know it's going to be ugly," Bobby Bowden said.
Yeah, but ugly and usually decided by superstars with championships at stake. Asked whether there could be a rematch in the ACC Championship Game, Bowden said: "There could, there could."
For that to happen, FSU would have to get there. Miami might be sunk in the Coastal Division already.
Putting this game on Labor Day started three years ago with so much fanfare. Now, by mutual agreement, it's over. The networks, the ACC, the coaches, everybody, agree. Let's try something new.
This Labor Day special has expired.
With the uber-coverage provided by a cable network, you could actually experience on many platforms (TV, internet, radio, smoke signals, carrier pigeon) how much the teams sucked.
Before the cyber-outrage reaches my inbox, consider these undisputable truths:
- Can we all agree now that Florida State has clearly dropped a notch from its previously lofty position in the top five at the beginning of this decade? Good, now let's move on ...
- Lorenzo Booker (six rushes, negative-3 yards) is the most overrated back this side of Eric Dickerson. That's because Dickerson is retired, nearing 50, has bad knees. Booker is 22 and hasn't nearly produced what was expected of the nation's No. 1 recruit in 2002.
- Booker is not alone. At no time should these two programs combine to rush for three yards.
- There are still significant questions about the quarterbacks; Miami's Kyle Wright and Florida State's Drew Weatherford. FSU went two quarters without a first down. Miami went the last 35 minutes of the game with one first down.
- The 6-foot-4 Wright is going to get his head taken off if he believes he is an effective scrambler. Without a running game, Weatherford (with Jeff Bowden at the controls) was forced to pass the clock out with 4:57 left. Three incomplete passes allowed Miami to get the ball back 50 seconds later.
- Six new coaches, including a new offensive coordinator, have not relieved the pressure on Larry Coker. No one wants to hear about the four suspended players who may or may not have made a difference.
"I want to make sure our fans don't give up on this football team," he said.
Not what you want to hear after the season opener. At least there will be a decent waiting period -- until the Tuesday morning talk shows.
The pressure increased immediately judging by Miami AD Paul Dee. At 11:55 p.m. ET, Dee made an angry sweep through the Miami locker room kicking out about 20 reporters, ending some interviews in mid-sentence.
The game had been over for 29 minutes, the locker room open for a fraction of that time. What was Dee angry about? Take your pick: the criticism coming from a second consecutive loss to FSU, facing questions (and maybe a decision) about his coach, an ACC and national championship run lost perhaps before it began.
"We're closed," Dee said to a reporter who approached him. "Good night."
And good luck. Both teams will need it.