ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 13/14

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 13) and the Week that will be (Week 14) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Special thanks to the Confidential contributors for their comments and opinions.  Tell us what you think below.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 13?

Len (Louisville): I was expecting North Carolina to beat Duke but not in that fashion. I know BC is good but I was expecting Florida State to handle them better. It’s hard to rank them number 1 in the country when they haven’t dominated anyone.

Mike (NC State): It was a wild week in the ACC.  Florida State struggled mightily against Boston College, but that has been the norm this year for the Noles.  Then there was that weird 0-0 tie and double overtime win for Wake Forest over Virginia Tech, the Deacs first conference win of the season.  But Duke failed to show up against UNC, and while I thought the Heels might win, by rights it should have been a bit closer than the 45-20 blowout it was, or as we call it down here, the whuppin’ it was.

John (UNC): Last week, the talk was about Notre Dame’s freefall (which continued with a loss against Louisville). This week it’s all about the Hokies. What happened to this team? Seriously. Even with an uncommon number of season ending injuries (it’s in the double digits), this isn’t how a Frank Beamer team plays. Fighting for bowl eligibility on the last game of the season? Something has got to give.

Brian (FSU): Duke completely getting destroyed by UNC.  Duke has completely fallen on its face.  It went from one moment showing it is a regular power in the ACC to possibly being a flash in the pan. To let your rival ruin your season in that manner might be as soul crushing as it gets in college football.  Duke has to win this weekend or risk an 8-4 regular season, with no shot at double digit victories on the year.

Anthony (Syracuse): I have to go with Duke getting blown out by UNC.  Virginia Tech losing to Wake Forest after defeating Duke–well, the Duke win looks a bit less impressive now.  And Wake has been trending up since bottoming out against Syracuse.  And UNC winning is not the same level of surprise that UNC dominating was.  Coastal is just a mess.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 13?

Len (Louisville): My biggest disappointment would have to be that Louisville didn’t force more turnovers. I was surprised by Notre Dame tenacity on defense with all their injuries. ND came out on senior day & were fired up to play & pretty much sustained that throughout the whole game. I was really surprised that ND missed the field goal to send it to overtime.

Mike (NC State): It was a bye week for State, so now might be a good time to drop in a line about an intriguing 2015 recruit: Darian Roseboro, Def. Tackle.  Roseboro played for Lincolnton High School, not far from where I live, and he is rated 4 stars by Scout.com. He’s 6’3″ and 293 lbs and should be making plenty of tackles for the Pack next season.  Looking forward to that.

John (UNC): I legitimately thought that North Carolina had a chance against Duke, especially given the Blue Devils’ performance the week before in their loss against Virginia Tech. Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I think it would be a blow out in the Tar Heels’ favor. What a game! So yes, I wasn’t surprised at the outcome, just how it went down. And unfortunately, I also wasn’t surprised when I heard that the team destroyed Duke’s locker room and field. North Carolina football is the gift that keeps on giving…at least if you’re a reporter.

Brian (FSU):    I was both surprised and disappointed that Winston found a way to spark off the field type controversy ON THE FIELD! He is very lucky the referee did not flag him for touching the referee.  I was also very surprised that the kicker missed his 3rd kick of the season.

Anthony (Syracuse): Scott Shafer’s punt on 4th and 1 from his own 47 with a minute or so remaining was just the latest example of him not being nearly as hardnosed as he claims.  So that is more of a disappointment than a surprise.  The real disappointment is that the defense could not stop Pitt without RB James Connor.  But for a few shanked FGs and an opportune red zone interception, the score could have been a lot worse.  Simply stated, a Syracuse team that purports to be hard-nosed is anything but that right now.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 14 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

Len (Louisville): Pitino (Editor’s Note: Petrino?  Why does Jurich have to confuse us like this!) is undefeated vs Kentucky & I look forward to that remaining true this Saturday. The cats are struggling as of late while the Cards are playing at their best right now. Bonnafon is developing consistency at the quarterback position & Pitino doesn’t take a knee against the cats so I am looking forward to a huge victory.

Mike (NC State): Everything.  It’s the rivalry game Pack fans look forward to all season, and here’s hoping for a good showing against the Tar Heels. Realistically, Carolina is peaking and playing at home, so it could be a long day.  But if State does win, it would give us a more bowl-attractive 7-5 record, so go Pack!!!

John (UNC):  I can’t overstate the importance of a win this week. Sure, the Tar Heels are bowl eligible now, but a victory against the Wolfpack would give North Carolina a much needed boost in the public eye. Frankly, the University just needs something positive to talk about, and a sweep of their main conference rivals would be a good start.

Brian (FSU): Hopefully, FSU knocking off the Gators putting Fisher’s record against the big 3 rivals for FSU at 13-2.  I still think FSU is due for a loss though, so I will watch the game with one eye closed.

Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse showing up with great effort and a game plan.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 14 FOR THE ACC?

Len (Louisville): All the rivalry games! Should be a fun weekend. Clemson v South Carolina and if Georgia Tech can upset Georgia. How the ACC fares against the SEC. Could be a statement weekend.

Mike (NC State): Florida State faces its last hurdle before the ACC title game, and it’s a doozy.  Sure, Florida isn’t as tough this year as they would have liked, but this game is for my money the best rivalry in college football.  And if the Noles, who have been building their undefeated record on the edge of a sharp razor all season, can’t win this one there will likely be no playoff spot waiting no matter what happens against Tech in Charlotte.

John (UNC):  As a Tar Heel in a Hokie family, I’m really hoping for a Virginia Tech win. But that’s not the only important game going on. This week, the ACC has an opportunity to make a statement against its bitter rival to the South. If the conference can hold its own against the SEC (and we’re not talking just Louisville-Kentucky), then it will gain a whole lot more respect in the college football world, and with the selection committee.

Brian (FSU): The ACC is favored to win 3 of its 4 SEC match-ups, Louisville vs. KY/FSU vs. UF/Clemson vs. S Car, and GT has a realistic shot to beat UGA.  I would like to see the ACC at least go 2-2 in those games… please no losing record.

 Anthony (Syracuse): A whole slew of rivalry games.  But more specifically… the ACC/SEC matchups.  The ACC needs Florida State to win and expects Louisville to win.  But can Georgia Tech rise up and beat Georgia?  Can Clemson end its streak of losing to South Carolina.  And keep an eye on Virginia–if Mike London wins, does he save his job?

WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?

Len (Louisville): 1 FSU 2 Oregon 3 Alabama 4 Baylor.

Mike (NC State):Florida State, Oregon, Mississippi State and Alabama, in that order.

John (UNC): Despite the fact that TCU was almost upset by a lowly Kansas team, they’re staying in the top 4…for now- Florida State, Alabama, Oregon, TCU.

Brian (FSU): Right now: 1) FSU, 2) Oregon, 3) Bama, 4) Ms St.  End of Year: 1) Bama, 2) Oregon, 3) Ms St, 4) OSU.

Anthony (Syracuse): (1) Florida State; (2) Alabama; and (3) Oregon.  For number 4, you look at Mississippi State, Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU, obviously.  Ohio State has the worst loss.  But they are also looking fairly strong right now (save for a lackluster performance against Indiana).  Baylor beat TCU, but lost to West Virginia.  Mississippi State may have the best resume–the best loss at the very least.  But I think the committee will want four conferences represented if possible.  So if Ohio State can run the table, they will be number 4.  And if you look at Ohio State–they beat the same team, Minnesota, than TCU beat.  So (4) Ohio State.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

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The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 14

It is now the end of November.  The regular season is down to its final week.  The Conference Championship Game is set–all that is left is for some rivalry games.  Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:

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Fantasy Football Entry Page: Week 14

Remember, the Confidential’s Fantasy Football game is structured to allow late entries.  THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENTER !

OVERALL CONTEST:

We don’t go by total points for the whole season; rather, we just allow teams to win the week or not.  Whoever wins the most weeks, wins the overall prize.

Here are the standings:

OVERALL PRIZE STANDINGS:

1. Brian & Lenville Cards 3

3. Josh Vickery, MCaffrey & ACaffrey  2 wins

6. Mr. Tar Heel 1 win

7.  The other billions of people on the planet  0 wins

For Week 13 results, see here.   For rules, see here.  As a reminder, to enter, simply comment below with an ACC QB, RB, WR, Flex, Defense, and Coach.  We’ll do the rest.

 

Entries due before kickoff of the first ACC/Notre Dame game… Friday this week.

ACC Roundtable of the Confidential Correspondents: Week 12/13

Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents!  As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 12) and the Week that will be (Week 13) for the ACC and their respective schools.  Special thanks to the Confidential contributors for their comments and opinions.  Tell us what you think below.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE FOR THE ACC IN WEEK 12?

David (FSU): Duke, what are you doing? I really didn’t see them losing to Va Tech going into the week, and you’ve got to feel for both Clemson (Watson’s knee) and Miami (I seriously don’t know how FSU won).

Len (Louisville): Clemson, Duke and Notre Dame all losing. Duke’s hold on the Coastal loosened and Georgia Tech is ready to take it from them. North Carolina can knock their rivals from the division lead this weekend.

Mike (NC State): While Virginia Tech’s upset of Duke was an eye-opener, the Georgia Tech domination of Clemson is the surprise of the week in the conference.  Jackets fans will now be watching the UNC-Duke Thursday night game with renewed interest, as this is the best chance for another Duke loss.    

John (UNC): Wow, Notre Dame’s freefall continues. Losing to a 3-6 Northwestern team just shows how far the mighty have fallen. Injuries aside, there’s no excuse for the Fighting Irish to lose to the Wildcats, especially in South Bend. Not that Notre Dame would have a chance for a big bowl with three losses anyway, but they may need to re-think their football conference affiliation status at this point. Welcome to the ACC…for real this time.

Brian (FSU): ND losing to Northwestern… what the heck happened? There went my pool.  NW has one of the worst offenses in college football and puts crazy points on ND on the road.  Brian Kelly has gone from top tier college football coach to a mistake waiting to happen in just two weeks.

Anthony (Syracuse): Tough call.  I really did not see Duke losing to Va Tech, Clemson losing to Georgia Tech, or Notre Dame losing to Northwestern.  The latter was the biggest upset though.  But I will go with Florida State yet again starting slow and having to come back.  The Seminoles are playing with fire.  If you cannot come out strong against a rival like Miami–that is not a good sign.  Credit FSU for the win, but it is high time that FSU play a full 60-minute game.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/DISAPPOINTMENT FOR YOUR SCHOOL IN WEEK 12?

David (FSU): I could go on for days about everything that surprised me in this game. How lost the D was for the first 25 minutes of the game, how the Defense turned it on and shut down Miami for the next 35. How moving Cam Erving to Center & starting a True Freshman in Rod Johnson at LT actually worked, and worked very well. Helped open up running lanes for another True Freshman who is emerging as a the team’s homerun threat in Dalvin Cook.

Len (Louisville): Notre Dame losing. It would have been nice to face a ranked opponent on their turf. The Cards are playing for a good bowl game and we can knock the Golden Domers down a few more notches for the ACC.

Mike (NC State): Hey! The Pack can run the ball!  Ok, it was only Wake, but NC State’s 362-yard rushing performance, including 100+ yards by both Matt Dayes and Shadrach Thornton was a high point in a season of struggles.  And they are now bowl-eligible. But hey, Wolfpack, don’t settle for sneaking in at 6-6.  Beat Carolina!!

John (UNC): I was so impressed with how the Tar Heels came back against Pitt, despite being down almost the whole game. One thing the team has shown this year is resiliency. Even though the defense is among the worst in the country, they always show up when they’re needed most. With a young team all-around, hopefully, it’s the sign of good things to come.

Brian (FSU):   I am surprised FSU did not lose to UM by a field goal, and in reality UM is the team that got burned by a shanked field goal in reality.  I am also surprised ESPN is beginning to cover the fact it may have jumped the gun on the Winston got paid for autographs scandal.  Reports from OTL are coming out that the signatures in question were questioned so much by the original authenticator brought in to verify the signatures that said authenticator refused to authenticate the items in question (a different entity had to be brought in).  In fact, when you read the story at ESPN it seems very shady.  The guy claiming he got Winston to sign the items would not let the authenticator observe Winston actually sign the items.  Also, it seems now that OTL has had handwriting experts look over the signatures and let us just say the experts seem to think they do not seem to be Mr. Winston’s John Hancock.  Of course with my Noles’ luck this will all change tomorrow, and new information will blow up to make FSU look bad a little more.  I was disappointed that all of FSU’s key opponents decided to get worse.  Clemson and ND both choked winnable games away, and likely ACC Ch. Game Opponent Duke fell on its face again.

Anthony (Syracuse): As far as we know, no more starters were lost during the bye week.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 13 FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

David (FSU): The Noles are almost 3 touchdown favorites heading into a home match up vs. BC, and all I’m looking for is seeing them escape with a comfortable win. Can we get one week where it isn’t down to the wire? Please? Honestly, look to see the same OL lineup and that they continue to gel. The run game for FSU has quietly been improving and I expect that to continue to flourish.

Len (Louisville): I should have mentioned this last week as probably the biggest surprise from the BC game was that the Cards won the game with their second string QB, true freshman Bonnafon. Gardner is at least done for the season with another knee injury and Bonnafon will start the rest of the season. He has had a tough season so far having been thrust into action a week after his father passed earlier in the season but performed well at Boston College. The bye week should help him prepare for the trip to South Bend. The Domers are playing poorly right now and Cards S Holliman only needs 1 more INT to tie the NCAA record. Only 15 FBS teams have more INT’s than his 13. He has 2 games to set the record (vs Kentucky).

Mike (NC State): The Pack is on a bye, so get prepared for the season-ending showdown.  I say again, beat Carolina!!

John (UNC):  This week is huge for North Carolina. With a win Thursday, they could deny Duke a chance at the ACC championship, and become bowl eligible at the same time. A Tar Heel dream. With a loss, well…that would put a whole lot more pressure on the season finale against NC State. The Wolfpack are a much better team than their record suggests, so North Carolina really needs to take care of business against the Blue Devils. Game. Set. Match?

Brian (FSU): Hopefully, and finally a strong win.  Of course, BC is no pushover… in fact I tend to think they can win.   I love my Noles, but they cause my blood pressure to rise a little too much.

Anthony (Syracuse): Syracuse really needs to win one of its final two games to get to 4 wins.  4 wins is a bad season, without question, but it would be great to avoid the valleys experienced only during the G-Rob era (his BEST season was 4 wins).  Winning at Pitt has been elusive, but you have to wonder whether Syracuse fan force turnovers.  Pitt has had problems in that regard and Syracuse’s defense is healthy.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN WEEK 13 FOR THE ACC?

David (FSU): I’m going to take the Louisville v ND game here, and think ND gets back on track after two weeks I’m sure any Fighting Irish fans have already tried to erase from their memory.

Len (Louisville): Can the Heels knock the Dookies from the Coastal lead. FSU may get more help by playing Georgia Tech in the CCG. Tech is looking stronger than Duke and should be higher ranked if they can beat Georgia. Bonnafon didnt fare well in the Cards trip to Death Valley, how will he handle the trip to South Bend? I have been waiting for this game for a long time and with it being played on my father’s birthday makes it all the sweeter. I just wish he was here to see it.

Mike (NC State): Louisville/Notre Dame should be interesting, though it has lost some of its luster.  Then there’s Boston College/FSU, which will likely be closer than expected.  But the game of the week is that Thursday nighter between Carolina and Duke.  Both teams need it badly; UNC to get bowl-eligible and Duke to hold off charging Georgia Tech.  Should be a good one.

John (UNC):  I would love to see two more teams become bowl eligible. Sure, I’m biased, because one of the teams in position is North Carolina, but it would be great for the conference, there’s no denying that. I also think a Louisville win against Notre Dame is extremely possible, and that would be fun to see as well. Until the Fighting Irish join the conference full-time, I’ll root for the REAL ACC over them any day.

Brian (FSU): How about Louisville, FSU, ND, GT, and Clemson all trending up for their out of conference play.  I want GT to get rested and ready to upset UGA.  I want Louisville and ND to not kill each other before they face Kentucky and USC the following week.  FSU and Clemson need to somehow get ready for their big rivals the following week, without choking and looking ahead (yeah it is doubtful CU will stumble… FSU however, different story).  Long story short, I want the ACC to look as good as possible going into rivalry week to take some OOC schools down!

 Anthony (Syracuse): Duke/UNC is a huge showdown as it will determine who plays in the ACCCG.  Louisville traveling to ND will be very interesting… the new kid on the college football block vs. the old establishment.  ND is reeling, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to adversity.

WHO ARE YOUR FOUR PLAYOFF TEAMS IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY?

David (FSU): 1)FSU 2)Bama 3) Oregon 4) TCU with Miss St. and Baylor lurking.

Len (Louisville): 1) FSU, 2) Alabama, 3) Oregon, 4) Miss St. Miss St played better than I expected but they and Alabama still have a tough road ahead and I don’t expect them both to make it. I look for Baylor to sneak in at #4. The worst case scenario for the SEC would be to have Missouri as champion since they lost to Indiana.. In that scenario it would be possible for the SEC to be left out.

Mike (NC State):1) Florida State 2) Alabama 3) Oregon 4) Ohio State.

John (UNC): None of the teams from my top four lost last week, so no changes here. It’s Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and TCU until further notice.

Brian (FSU): 1) FSU, 2) Bama, 3) Oregon, 4) Miss St.  In 3 weeks: 1) Bama (wins out), 2) Oregon (wins out), 3) Baylor (wins out), 4) OSU (wins out)…. Miss St likely loses to Ole Miss, and until I am proven wrong I am assuming FSU playing with fire will burn it soon… also that pre-ACC title game student conduct hearing could have a major impact on FSU’s standing.  Even if FSU runs the table, winning the ACC title without Winston, if the hearing causes Winston to be removed from the team how will the committee react?  The safe money is to exclude FSU on the same grounds 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament have been lost by teams who have a star played injured just before the tourney.

Anthony (Syracuse): (1) Florida State; (2) Alabama; (3) Oregon; and (4) Ohio State.  I am not a big fan of the Big 10, but you have to think that there is going to be a strong push by the Committee to get the Big 10 into the finale somehow.  If Ohio State wins out, they will be in.

What do you think?  How would you answer these questions?

The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 13

It is now mid-November.  The season is down to its final weeks.  The Atlantic is clear, the Coastal is essentially down to two teams.  Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:

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Fantasy Football Entry Page: Week 13

Remember, the Confidential’s Fantasy Football game is structured to allow late entries.  THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENTER !

OVERALL CONTEST:

We don’t go by total points for the whole season; rather, we just allow teams to win the week or not.  Whoever wins the most weeks, wins the overall prize.

Here are the standings:

OVERALL PRIZE STANDINGS:

1. Brian & Lenville Cards 3

3. MCaffrey & ACaffrey  2 wins

5. Josh Vickery  & Mr. Tar Heel 1 win

7.  The other billions of people on the planet  0 wins

For Week 12 results, see here.   For rules, see here.  As a reminder, to enter, simply comment below with an ACC QB, RB, WR, Flex, Defense, and Coach.  We’ll do the rest.

 

Entries due before kickoff of the first ACC/Notre Dame game…

Randy Moss & FSU… What Could Have Been?

This week I set some time aside to watch ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary: “Rand University.” I generally enjoy these films, as they often provide both an entertaining and enlightening perspective on athletes and teams.  I even enjoyed the famous “The U” film in the series.  My only gripe with the series is that the name no longer fits… we are well past the 30th anniversary for ESPN, and certainly past 30 films in the series.  Regardless, the films have generally been good, and its most recent installment was solid.

The part of the film I had the most interest in was of course his brief stint at FSU. If you know your college football or watched the film you know that Randy Moss’ was not permitted to attend Notre Dame for being involved in a fight where is friend beat up a kid who allegedly left some racially charged comments for Moss’ friend.  As a result of this fight he was charged with a felony (reduced to a misdemeanor), and sentenced to 30 days in jail which was served under a work release program in 1996.  Despite signing his letter of intent to the Irish he was allowed to go to FSU in 1995, and had to sit out that season as a redshirt freshman.  As the film recounts he regularly burned great FSU defensive backs in practice, and even recorded the second highest 40 time in school history… only behind Prime Time himself.  Unfortunately, as a result of smoking some “herbal remedies” during his work release in 1996, he was kicked out of FSU.

It was at this point of the film I began to participate in a common practice among many Seminole fans, which is to wonder: “What could have been, if Randy stayed out of trouble and remained a Nole?” Trust me when I tell you, that any FSU fans over 25 will discuss this scenario amongst themselves at least once a season. Even Lebron James lamented on the fact that Moss could not continue his FSU career beyond being a redshirt freshman.

So how different would history have been if Moss was able to play as a Nole through the late 90’s? I mean, he is just a wide receiver, right?  Well… yes and no.  Yes, he is just a wide receiver, but he is not just any wide receiver.  Remember what he did on the field in college and NFL throughout the late 90’s.  As a wide receiver at Marshall, his next stop after FSU, he was a top 4 finalist for the 1997 Heisman.  You know, the Heisman race with the most stacked finalists in modern history with likely three future NFL Hall of Famers in it (Woodson, Manning, Moss… and well yeah Leaf was the black sheep in that bunch).  Side Note/Trivia Question: Is there another group of Heisman Finalists that can match that season?

Once Moss was done with college, he left early for the NFL. In 1998 he proceeded to turn a regular wild card caliber team of the Vikings under Green, into a Super Bowl caliber team.  If you doubt me, look at what he did in that year.  His numbers were staggering, the team was 15-1 in the regular season, and he was essentially the only major addition to an established team.  If it was not for a major upset by the Falcons, I think Elway may have one less ring on his finger.  Does anyone doubt that the 1998 Vikings would match up a heck of a lot better against the Broncos than the Dirty Bird Falcons?

During this same time FSU was in its Golden Era. From 1996 to 1999, what could have been Moss’ four years of playing time at FSU, the Noles had just 4 losses.  Also, the school effectively played in 3 national titles games (96, 98, 99), and in 1997 FSU only lost on the road at the Swamp or it would have been 4 straight shots at the title in Bowl games (actually 5 because the 2000 team also went to the title game… of course there is no way Moss could have played that year).  FSU also had its wire to wire national title run in 1999.

Now, perhaps Moss would not have stayed all five years (including the redshirt 95 season), after all he did leave Marshall after the 1997 season in reality. I tend to think he would have a hard time leaving such elite teams that winning titles, and a major reason he likely left Marshall was the fact that at the time he was trying to get out of the state of West Virginia.  Remember he never considered WVU as an option (if you want to ever piss off a Mountaineer… just say Randy Moss), and looked to schools in other states.  So, I tend to believe he would have played the full 4 non-redshirt seasons at FSU, but I am also a biased Seminole fan… so yeah.

In considering how much better FSU would have been in the 4 years of 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, one has to look at the players on those teams. The defenses, which were elite during that era, would be the same, so we will only focus on the offenses.  In 1996 a solid QB in Thad Busby would be throwing him the ball, and the best there never was Dan Kendra (look up this guy’s story, talk about could have beens) would also throw some balls that season.  Warrick Dunn was the running back that year.  Peter Warrick and EG Green would have been fellow receivers.  In 1997 you would have a much improved Busby, Minor at running back, and Laveranues Coles/Warrick/Ron Dugans/Snoop Minis as fellow receivers.  In 1998 you would have the same teammates, but Weinke would be QB.  In 1999 it would again be the same team, minus Coles most of the year, and add a young Anquan Boldin.  In a nutshell, you would have some stacked offenses, with the current UGA coach calling the plays.

So let us look at the individual seasons, specifically the losses, to see how much difference Randy Moss would have made. FSU went unbeaten during the 1996 team then was blown out in the 1997 Sugar Bowl in a rematch against UF.  Odds are Moss is not worth 32 points in that Sugar Bowl, but one has to wonder if Moss played in that last regular season game at FSU against the UF team if it would have led to a much bigger win.  FSU only won by 3 against unbeaten number 1 UF in that game.  If Moss plays, I think FSU likely wins by at least 10, probably 17, if not 24 points.  You have to remember FSU jumped out to a 17-0 lead in that game, and Moss is the exactly the big play guy who could continue to put the pressure on and not letting UF back in the game.  If FSU wins by 17 or 24 points it likely drops UF much further than 4th before its Alabama game, and it is unlikely UF could jump up to 3 before the Sugar Bowl.  In that case, perhaps UF doesn’t get a rematch against FSU in the Sugar Bowl.  Generally Bowls hate rematches, but the 1996 regular season UF vs. FSU game was such a classic I am sure organizers didn’t mind the rematch that year.  Well if FSU destroys UF in that last regular season game, odds are FSU is facing a different opponent that bowl season. ASU was unbeaten, but was going to the Rose Bowl due to the Pac 12 tie-in.  The likely team FSU would face then would have been Nebraska or maybe BYU (yeah they were good then).  FSU would likely match up well against both teams, and with ASU losing the Rose Bowl, FSU wins another title.  I will admit of all the seasons in play, this is the one least likely to have been greatly aided by Randy Moss playing.

1997 is where the fun would really begin. FSU only lost by 3 on the road to UF that season.  I have to believe if Moss plays, that is a Seminole win.  FSU was number 1 going into that game, and likely remains number 1 with a win.  That would mean they would have the inside track to a championship game against other unbeaten teams.  That regular season would have had three unbeaten teams, Michigan (3), Nebraska (2), and FSU (1).  In that scenario odds are FSU plays Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, instead of going to the Sugar Bowl.  That Nebraska squad was good, but struggled with an okay Missouri team that season.  I think FSU wins that game, and probably gets a share if not takes the title outright from fellow unbeaten Michigan.  Remember, Michigan only played Washington State, not even a top 5 team.

1998 would add Weinke as QB, and FSU’s second ACC loss. NCSU would upset FSU by 17 early in the season, so odds are Moss does not make enough of a difference for a different score.  Despite the upset, FSU would go on to play in the first BCS National Title game against Tennessee thanks in large part to one of the craziest finishes to a regular season in history.  FSU only lost to Tennessee by one score in that game, and the Volunteers were arguably one of the worst teams to have ever won the title.  I think Randy Moss gets FSU another title that season.

Obviously FSU won it all without a loss in 1999, but could you imagine how much better an already elite offense would be with Moss? The Virginia Tech game would not have even bewn close.  Weinke would have had an even more impressive season.

Perhaps history works out the same with Moss playing, but I think he is good for at least one more title at FSU. If Moss plays and maxes out his college career at FSU, the Seminoles likely have at least 1, and maybe as much as 3 more titles.  FSU could very well be a three-peat or even a four-peat champion, and 5 straight title appearances.  How different would have the 2000’s been with that legacy?  Would recruiting have been better? Maybe not different, but I would have loved to have witnessed the games in the late 90’s with Moss as a player.  I especially would have liked to have witnessed how much fun that offense would have been to watch.  Of course, this pondering is nothing more than fantasy, but hey isn’t that part of being a fan?