Before I begin, I’d like to start off with a quick thank you to the Confidential for providing me this opportunity to write about FSU and the ACC as a whole. This is something I’ve been tempted to do for quite some time and finally jumped at the chance. While I looked over the Confidential, I could not help but notice that this blog was missing a particular garnet and gold tint that I’ve become so accustomed to in my years as an FSU and ACC fan. I am hoping I can provide that for my fellow FSU fans and ACC friends alike.
My name is David Shrimpton, I am almost 26 years old and a proud Alumni of Florida State University. I graduated with both my Bachelors and Masters degrees from FSU in Sports Management. Most people told me it was great that I was going to get an advanced degree right away, but truthfully I just wanted (okay, maybe needed) one more football season. After all I couldn’t graduate before beating the Gators at least once as a student, it just wouldn’t be right.
I spent the previous 2 years as a sales associate for a professional sports team, which was a great and unique experience. However, I recently switched up career paths to a traveling job that provides me the opportunity to spend more time with both my girlfriend and family. I know that sounds like it doesn’t make sense, a traveling job while seeing a girlfriend and family more? Well…that’s what happens when you have a girlfriend in Michigan and family in Florida.
Ironically enough my 3 favorite schools growing up were FSU, Syracuse (Born in NY) and North Carolina (I mean, who didn’t love watching Vince Carter?). I guess I was destined to be a “Go ACC” guy from the get go. However there was always something pulling me closer and stronger toward the garnet and gold. I’ve never looked back since, even though I wouldn’t blame anyone after having gone through the Chris Rix and Drew Weatherford eras. Once I got to FSU in the fall of 2006 my passion grew deeper and I developed a love for the school that even my girlfriend grows concerned at times. Yeah… we’ve had a few “disputes” over my fanaticism, yup, I’m that guy.
My goal here is to spark some conversation on all things surrounding FSU and the ACC. With that said I wanted to give just a brief overview of the “big 3″ sports at FSU and where they currently stand, how I feel on them. This should help give the casual fan of FSU some basic knowledge or maybe provide some insight for a friendly rival here in the ACC.
I figure I’d start with the one sport that no longer has an active team, and the sport as a whole won’t be after tonight’s championship game. FSU had their bubble burst this year, narrowly missing the tournament as one of the dreaded “last four out”. The team was able to make a decent run to the NIT Final Four, including dropping a cool 100+ on Georgetown (Georgetown still sucks, right Cuse fans?). However the run ended as they were ousted in overtime by the eventual champion Minnesota Gophers. Honestly though, it’s the NIT and who really gives a hoot about that? I care about the NIT as much as I do the PapaJohns.com Bowl in football. Anyway, the team has a lot to replace losing arguably their two most important players in Ian Miller and Okaro White. I plan to discuss the team more in-depth down the road, but look out for Aaron Thomas next year if you don’t already know the name. If you don’t, I promise you’ll know it next season. I still suspect FSU to fall in that “second tier” of teams of the ACC come next year, anywhere from the 5th-9th place.
I could start both this and football with the same sentence: #1. FSU is currently ranked first in 2 of the 4 polls, and not ranked lower than 3rd in any poll. The team is coming off a sweep of Notre Dame, helping keep that #1 ranking in tact. I recommend googling for the rain delay videos as the two teams jousted, yes jousted, during it among other games to entertain themselves. It is definitely worth it and a good laugh to say the least.
The offense is led by DJ Stewart and John Nogowski but the arms on this team are really where it’s at. Brandon Leibrant, Mike Compton & Luke Weaver are an awesome trio for any weekend match up. Not to mention in relief there is Gage “the stache” Smith and my personal man crush as my girlfriend says, Jameis Winston. I fully expect the Noles to make it to Omaha this year yet again, but will they finally win one for #11 Coach Mike Martin?
#1. The Seminoles are currently the reigning national champions and will be ranked #1 heading into next season. I’ve waited since 1999 to say that which feels like an eternity, so I’m going to say it every day I get a chance to. Admittedly this will probably be the team I cover the most, since I follow it the most passionately. The FSU Spring Game is actually happening this Saturday, and if you’re not in the Tallahassee I recommend kicking on ESPN3 to catch it.
The Noles have lost a lot to the draft once again this year, including some key departures who decided to forego their senior season. It will be interesting to see how FSU is able to replace these key players heading into 2014 and something I plan on covering. I will say though that I’m not going to doubt the man who replaced 11 NFL draftees last year and still led FSU to a perfect record and a championship. Then again, when you have a guy like Jameis Winston playing QB for you, it sure can make you look like you’re one hell of a coach. With that said I do love Coach Fisher and hope he’s at FSU for a long, long tenure. I love his approach to the game as a business and a process.
Well there you have it, sorry for the length but I wanted to at least provide a little bit of coverage on myself and those teams. For those looking to delve a little more in-depth with their FSU knowledge I highly recommend checking out Tomahawknation.com as it is free and jammed packed with information. If any of you are interested in having me write on a particular topic, have questions about FSU or myself in general don’t hesitate to ask! Also feel free to follow me on twitter @Shrimpton4 and reach me there. The more people engage, the better this is for me, especially since I’m new to this.
As always, Go Noles!