The ‘Noles Aren’t Dead!

Posted: October 13, 2011 in College teams, Florida State Seminoles, NCAA
Tags: , , ,

Let’s not be too quick to bury the Florida State Seminoles. Have they been disappointing, falling from a preseason No. 5 ranking to three straight losses and a 2-3 record? Absolutely. Is the program spiraling backwards? Not necessarily.

Yeah, I know “they” say it’s all about winning. I know “they” say good programs don’t lose to Wake Forest, which has the smallest enrollment among major college schools. I know “they” say you are what your record says you are. I know “they” say “just win, baby”.

But the truth is FSU is only a handful of plays from being 4-1, maybe even 5-0. Also, keep in mind that FSU’s last three opponents have a combined record of 14-1. The lone loss was by Wake Forest in overtime at Syracuse. Two conquerors of the Seminoles, Oklahoma and Clemson, are ranked among the top 8 in the nation.

I’m not suggesting FSU should be included among the elite. Clearly, FSU has problems. The biggest problem is defense. In the three losses the Noles have given up 93 points, being susceptible to big plays because of a mediocre pass rush and sloppy tackling in the secondary. Both were expected to be strengths. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops is catching most of the heat. Offensively, the run game has been a joke.

But FSU is loaded with athletes. The Noles are strong and they can run. Perhaps the biggest preseason concern, depth at quarterback, is now a non-issue. Backup Clint Trickett struggled against Wake Forest, but he proved against Oklahoma and Clemson that he’s far more talented than advertised.

More good news for FSU is the upcoming schedule. The combined record of the last seven regular-season opponents is 19-22.

It shouldn’t be ignored that some insightful college football observers felt the Seminoles were still a year away from being a top-10 caliber team before the season began. Have the Noles underachieved or were the self-named experts who ranked them in the top 10 in the preseason polls simply guilty of being overambitious? I’ve said many times I find it laughable how the “experts” always talk about teams underachieving and choking instead of blaming themselves for overrating the teams that don’t fulfill the experts’ prophecy .

Many of my colleagues are now saying FSU could struggle to win six games and become bowl eligible. To risk being guilty of doing exactly what I criticize my colleagues of doing, I still expect FSU to win at least five of the remaining seven games. It wouldn’t be shocking for the Noles to win out. The Thursday night game at Boston college (Nov. 3) was seen as a possible loss, but the Eagles have been awful so far. Instate rivals, Miami (Nov. 19) and Florida (Nov. 26 in Gainesville), are playing well below their preseason hype.

It has been said the Noles should start playing for 2012. Now that is stupid.

Quik pix: Okay, the Noles stumbled at Wake Forest, but they won’t this week at Duke; the Gators have been overmatched the last two weeks, but they are better than Auburn and prove it on the road; host North Carolina has too much defense for the newly named Miami Tropical Storm; visiting Georgia struggles at Vandy but wins; visiting Virginia Tech discovers Wake Forest is for real. Last week: 3-2 (16-9 overall).


  1. producewiz says:

    Noles might not be dead, but losing to Wake opens up the casket.Also,think Georgia finally made a sneak attack on Gators by giving us Muschamp? Was it undr cover work by a clandestine agency to infilterate the Gator program witha “Dawg”? Seems to be working.

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