Tag:Florida State
Posted on: December 2, 2009 10:39 am
Edited on: December 2, 2009 10:41 am

Five things Jimbo Fisher has to do right now

1. Shake up Florida: Both the state and the program down the road in Gainesville. In other words, it’s always about the recruiting.

Fisher’s first and most important step is to try to take at least some portion of the state back from Florida. The Gators are getting the state’s best talent, followed by fast-rising Miami. If you want a reason why the program slipped in Bobby Bowden’s later years, all you have to do is look at the rise of the Gators.

FSU strangely mirrored Notre Dame this season. Same record (6-6). Same team -- heavy on offense, vulnerable on defense. Both programs had recruited well, if not great. That’s not good enough, at all.

2. Reach out to the Bowden family: The Bowdens, except Ann, have been strangely silent this week. I called Terry and Jeff yesterday at North Alabama and the secretary said she didn’t know where they were. Haven’t seen anything from Tommy either.

There is a feeling that the Bowdens are upset, and they have a right to be. It tooks like Bobby was unceremoniously run out. Jimbo has to make peace with the family if that’s the right term. He and Terry are extremely close. You don’t want bitter feelings lingering over a program in transition.

Bobby? Nicest guy in the world. He will never throw the FSU administration under the bus because he is the classiest person alive.

3. Clean out the lockerroom: That’s another way of saying there are going to be wholesale changes in the coaching staff. Jimbo has to get the best defensive coordinator available. Mickey Andrews has stepped down.

Linebackers coach Chuck Amato is probably gone too, but not by retirement. He had to dispel a rumor in October that he had been in a fight with Fisher.

4. Get in front of a microphone, quick: Monday and Tuesday were all about Bobby. Nole Nation wants to hear the long-term plan from the new coach. Should happen any minute.

5. Don’t be the guy to follow the guy: There’s an old adage that says never follow a coaching legend. Too late for Jimbo. The moment he became head coach, Fisher was in danger of becoming Bill Guthridge and Ron Zook, coaches who replaced legends – and basically failed.

He knows that. It’s a risk you take. The difference here is that there has been a lengthy transition. Fisher has been the de facto coach for a while. It was his team on game days. Now it’s his program.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 30, 2009 8:33 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2009 9:15 pm

Goodbye, Saint Bobby. You deserved better.

This is not the way Bobby Bowden wanted to go out. You could already see it in the early reports that the great coach was expected to retire.

Saint Bobby went to a lunch “for about an hour” Monday afternoon with president T.K. Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman. He came back the soon-to-be former coach at Florida State.

It was a gentlemen’s knee capping. You leave the office the Bobfather of a football dynasty. You come back with your career in a pine box with a press release draped over it. According to reports, they gave the coach a choice: become a ceremonial figure with little day-to-day input into the program or retire.

Thirty-four years and they don’t even let you go out on your own terms. No farewell tour, just – farewell. Bowden wanted one more year, one more shot. What was it going to hurt? Florida State wasn’t going to win the national championship, probably wasn’t going to win the ACC, but Bowden deserved a chance a season-long goodbye wave from his parade float.

The administration is the one who put the program in this situation why not let it play out? That’s why the school had a coach-in-waiting. Jimbo Fisher was never Bobby’s idea anyway. It seemed like a seamless transition. Then the seams ripped.

Recruiting went downhill. Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews lost his touch. The ACC got better and beat the Seminoles with relish. If Saturday’s beat down at Florida was the final straw, then that was foolish and reactive.

What did you think was going to happen, Team Wetherell/Spetman? This program has bigger problems than Bobby hanging on one more year. It needs to start going head-to-head with Florida in recruiting again. It needs a defensive coordinator hired by Fisher.

What you did Monday, should have been done three years ago. At this point, what’s the difference? The transition to Fisher could have been made in 2010 with Bobby accepting retirement rocking chairs from adoring rivals at midfield before every road game. They could have made that final home game next year like a Super Bowl. It would have sold out, something that hasn’t happened in a while at Doak.

Bobby’s last home game will go down as a win over Maryland that clinched a bowl berth before about 30,000 empty seats. The program had come full circle. No one cared before Bobby got there. They were starting to care less at the end.

A wise man once said that an attendance decline will get a coach in trouble more than anything. There’s no dignity in that, no glory.

Sure, Bowden let it get that way but so did his bosses. They deserve some of the blame. Let’s just hope they picked up the tab for Bobby’s farewell lunch.

It was quick and quiet. Something tells me Bobby never wanted to go out that way.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 30, 2009 2:12 pm

Bobby Bowden is gone, right?

That's it for Bobby Bowden. He's done at Florida State.

If you read between the lines on Monday, you don't need bifocals. The announcment Monday that Bowden will announce Tuesday his coaching future clearly is an indicactor that the 80-year-old godfather of college football is retiring. If he was coming back, he would have said so as soon as possible.

Clearly, he has been talked out of his plan to return in 2010. That's what Sunday and Monday were for. That gives him a day to call friends and former players to let them know the news. That, and allowing enough time to set up for one of the great send-offs in the history of the sport.

Given the 24-hour news cycle, word of Bowden's retirement might leadk out before you read this.

In a way, his departure leaves a void. But Bowden stayed on way too long. At least the program didn't get run into the ground. There is some offensive talent for Jimbo Fisher to build on. But it was pitiful Saturday watching FSU try to compete with Florida. Florida State is so far behind that it may take years to get back its swagger.

For now, it's been great, Bobby. Thanks for the memories.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 21, 2009 3:19 pm

Early notes

How do we evaluate Tebow and Ingram today playing against air? Tebow threw for a couple of touchdowns and ran for another against Florida International. Ingram ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns in limited action against Chattanooga.

Good Lord, it looked like a Utah State game at Doak Campbell. Not FSU playing Utah State, a game AT Utah State. There have to be at least 30,000 empty seats. Florida State survived Maryland 29-26 meaning Bobby Bowden will probably return in 2010 for a grandiose farewell tour.

Rich Rod will be back too at Michigan. You give him another year after the 21-10 loss to Ohio State. Then you let the new AD, whoever that is, make the decision. Bill Martin won't be gone until June and is on record as supporting Rodriguez. The problem is, Michigan most likely is going to have change cultures again if it makes a change. Summary: Don't look for the Wolverines to be in the national picture for at least the next four years.  

Posted on: October 15, 2009 4:40 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2009 11:37 am

Son of Weekend Watch List

If Georgia Tech beats Virginia Tech this week the possibility exists that the winner of the Coastal Division could be pulled out of a hat.

If Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami each finish with 7-1 records, then the tiebreaker goes to the highest ranked team in the BCS standings unless … the second team is ranked with five spaces of the top-ranked team. Those two teams are broken out and the tie is broken by head-to-head play.

It’s something that the Big 12 thought of doing but decided against after the South Division debacle last season.

It’s not that simple, though. A Georgia Tech victory also sets up a scenario in which all three teams could be in the top 10 or 12 of the BCS, all within five spots of each other. If that’s the case, the winner is pulled out of a hat.

Here's the language from the ACC:

Three (or more) teams tie:

(Once tie has been reduced to two teams, the two-team tiebreaker format is used)

Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams.
Records of the tied teams within the division.
Head-to-head competition versus the team within the division with the best overall (divisional or conference) record, and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken first to last.
Overall record for non-divisional teams.
Combined record versus all common non-divisional teams.
Record versus common non-divisional with the best overall Conference (divisional and non-divisional record) and proceeding through the other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within the division.
The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the conclusion of regular season games shall be the divisional representative in the ACC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the ACC Championship Game.

The representative shall be chosen by a draw.

Whose call is it?: Saint Bobby says he is “leaning” toward coming back in 2010. His friend and FSU president T.K. Wetherell says the coach will be evaluated at the end of the season. Whose call is it, especially if the Noles finish 3-9 or 2-10? That’s entirely possible if you glance at the schedule which continues Thursday at North Carolina.

“I would like to finish on top,” Bowden said of his 2-4 Noles. “Right now it ain’t going too good.”

Etc: Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson is the only full-time starting quarterback in I-A not to have thrown an interception (in 228 attempts) ... How do you deny Virginia Tech national championship consideration? It is already playing its fourth ranked team ... Who's the best quarterback in the Big Ten? Daryll Clark is the league's highest rated passer at No. 35 ... Arkansas is facing is fourth consecutive opponent was is undefeated at Kickoff (Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida).


Posted on: October 14, 2009 6:22 pm

National notes

Thank you Florida State for releasing the 695-page transcript of the school's hearing with the NCAA earlier this year.

What the school gained in transparency, it lost in embarrassment. In the transcript we found out that one academic advisor said a player had a 60 IQ and was unable to read. Gee, what was he doing at Florida State then?

 Jan. 1 used to be a holy day of obligation. Hook up an IV of beer, spread out the snacks, let the belt out a notch and veg in front of the TV.

Lately, our day of football daze has been denuded of significance. The calendar for Jan. 1, 2011 now shows at least six games. Six! The announcement of the Dallas Classic beginning in 14 months further degrades what used to be the best football day of the year.

Just what the world needs, a No. 7 team from the Big 12 vs. some slug from Conference USA. Jan. 1 used to be special. All the majors played on the same day. Now the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange are so spread out you need a GPS to locate them all.

In addition to the Rose and Sugar, this year we’ll get the Gator, Capital One and Outback. The roster swells next year because Dallas felt the need to replace the Cotton Bowl game it is losing to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The new Dallas Classic will be played in the Cotton Bowl.

Can’t wait to see the attendance in the 92,000 stadium which is essentially used twice a year. The other time being for Texas-Oklahoma. Got a birthday or a bar mitzvah coming up, the Cotton Bowl is available.

The Rose Bowl has been the Jan. 1 stalwart. We could always look forward to seeing the parade and the San Gabriel Mountains each New Year’s Day. Nurse that hangover, suck on a Bloody Mary. It was all good. In recent years, even the Rose has been moved around in years it is in the BCS championship rotation.

The game itself has become almost an afterthought with the Big Ten having lost seven Grandaddys in a row.

Sure, it’s a national holiday and advertisers know we’re going to be home to watch, but we want our NYD back. The beer is going flat.

 Expanding on the Ndamukong Suh angle. If the Nebraska defensive tackle is on top of the list, here are the other top five defense players in the country.

2. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. The SEC defensive player of the year hasn’t backed off. Berry has an incredible 50 tackles and one interception of Tim Tebow.

3.Tyler Sash, S, Iowa. Tied for the national lead in interceptions with five.

4.Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida. The fastest, meanest linebacker around playing for the No. 1 defense. Thirty-two tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

5. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. Bama has the No. 2 defense in the country. McClain is the center of it with 42 tackles, 5 ½ for loss, two sacks and two interceptions.

  This week’s Scripps Howard Heisman poll which yours truly votes in.

            (10 voters. First-place votes in parentheses.)
            1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida. 40 points (8).
            2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas, 25.
            3. Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati, 13.
            4 (tie). Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame;
            Case Keenum, QB, Houston, 12.
            Others receiving votes: Nebraska DT Ndamukong, Suh, 7; Miami QB Jacory Harris, 6; Texas WR Jordan Shipley 5 (1); Kansas QB Todd Reesing 5 (1); Alabama RB Mark Ingram 5; Stanford RB Toby Gerhart, 2; Boise State QB Kellen Moore, 2.
 Weird meeting of the headsets Thursday in South Florida.

Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Joe Tresey after last season. Tresey was then hired by Bulls’ coach Jim Leavitt. South Florida enters Thursday’s showdown fifth in scoring defense (9.4 points per game) after allowing 20 per game last season.

Advantage Tresey who knows Cincy’s personnel and whose team is at home? Not exactly. Kelly’s new d-coordinator Bob Diaco has the Bearcats at No. 10 in scoring defense (13.8 points).

 Props to Lousiana-Monroe which has its longest conference winning streak (three games) since 1992. The Warhawks have one of the smallest budgets in I-A and are coached by the coach thought to be the lowest paid in the division, Charlie Weatherbie.

 The WAC is at it again. Idaho’s Tre’Shawn Robinson was reprimanded by the conference after throwing a punch against San Jose State. Reprimanded, not suspended. Sound familiar, Boise State?

 We’ll know more next week but Washington looks to be the most improved team in the country at the halfway point. The Huskies are 3-3 heading to Saturday’s game at Arizona State. That’s a net improvement of six games over last season’s 0-12 record. The season reaches its halfway point on Saturday.

Posted on: October 7, 2009 5:57 pm

Champs Sports Bowl extends deal with the ACC

The ACC and Champs Sports Bowl announced a new agreement for 2010-13. The bowl will get a third pick from the ACC to match against the top non-BCS bowl team from the Big East or Notre Dame. The bowl can select Notre Dame once in a four-year cycle. 

In its current cycle, the Champs Sports Bowl selects the ACC’s fourth pick and the Big Ten’s fourth or fifth pick, based on the year.

Last year’s attendance (52,692) for the Florida State-Wisconsin game was the second-highest in the bowl’s history.

Posted on: October 5, 2009 6:25 pm

Ann Bowden fires back

Bobby Bowden's wife says her husband was betrayed by FSU trustees chairman Jim Smith. The soap opera goes on.

Category: NCAAF
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