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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “Florida State”

Seminoles Scramble For The Panic Button

This is a guest article by Ryan Nelson.  We thank him for his contribution!

In the preseason, the Florida State Seminoles were ranked 4th in the country, received some first-place votes and were one of the favorites to make the ACC championship and perhaps the College Football Playoff.

Then Derwin James got hurt, the defense got shredded week after week and Florida State is a road underdog in its sixth game of the season, perhaps on the precipice of dropping out of the Top 25 rankings entirely.

James is doing all he can from the sidelines to help his teammates, but there remains no concrete timeframe for his return from a knee injury. With him out, the Seminoles have been atrocious. According to ESPN, against FBS opponents, the Seminole defense is on the field less than any other Power 5 school yet is allowing a national-worst 42.3 points per game. It is also dead last among Power 5 teams allowing 6.98 yards per play. Outside of injury, “issues of misalignments, missed assignments and a lack of communication” are pointed to as culprits for the unit’s fall. It certainly isn’t a lack of talent. Recruiting and building a talent base have never been issues for Florida State or Jimbo Fisher, and much was expected of this group prior to the season. Getting elite execution out of his players apparently is instead the issue.

Giving up 63 points to Lamar Jackson and Louisville was perhaps the worst statistical performance that could have transpired for this squad, but it wasn’t rock bottom. Losing on the road to a Top-10 team is nothing to be disappointed with. The game was noncompetitive pretty quickly. At that point, it is only natural to pack it in and bring down your level of effort. That’s how 63 points happens.

What is harder to explain is how FSU could give up 37 points at home to North Carolina in a back-and-forth game that came down to the final score. UNC scored nine points in the final 2:31 of the ballgame. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky encountered little to no resistance all game on his way to completing 81.5 percent of his passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns. If the Louisville game was the eye-opener, the Carolina game was the panic button.

When there is talent on the field, a lack of effort is still a death sentence; it doesn’t matter how naturally talented players are if they are not using those abilities. This group is filled with four- and five-star recruits but seems to lack discipline, attitude and other intangibles that lead to cohesive football. Compounded with the mental mistakes this defense is making pre-snap and in recognition, it is hard to be successful no matter how many stars stood by your name coming out of high school.

Some former players blame the coaching staff for the issues, saying such mistakes come from a lack of leadership, direction and culture. Others say it is on the players to correct such shortcomings. Either way, the performance has been putrid and isn’t showing any signs of being turned around.

According to Coach Fisher, there is no issue with the scheme being played. It is the same defensive scheme Florida State has been using to much success the past three years. Instead, it is about getting the new players to execute the plays as they were intended. Fisher even went as far as blaming the coaches for not teaching said scheme well enough. None of it bodes well for defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.

But removing Kelly is no guarantee of a turnaround, especially with 10th-ranked Miami and Brad Kaaya on the horizon this weekend. Then comes a game against Clemson before the month is out. If something doesn’t change on the defensive side, Florida State will find itself outside the Top 25, below .500 and a far cry from a berth in the playoff.

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The Confidential’s 2016 Football Over-Under: Florida State

Last year, the Confidential unveiled over-unders for each ACC school.  For Florida State, the over-under was set at 10.5 regular season wins.  Ultimately, FSU ended up with 10 regular season wins.  But now it is on to 2016.  The Confidential sets the over-under for the Seminoles at 9.5 regular season wins.

Here is the schedule for 2016, courtesy of a great football site:

9/5 Mon vs. Mississippi @ Orlando, FL
9/10 Sat vs. Charleston Southern
9/17 Sat @ *Louisville
9/24 Sat @ South Florida
10/1 Sat vs. *North Carolina
10/8 Sat @ *Miami (Florida)
10/15 Sat vs. *Wake Forest
10/29 Sat vs. *Clemson
11/5 Sat @ *North Carolina State
11/11 Fri vs. *Boston College
11/19 Sat @ *Syracuse
11/26 Sat vs. Florida

Very likely wins: Charleston Southern, South Florida, N.C., Wake Forest, NC State, BC, Syracuse

Very likely losses: None

Verdict: It is not hard to find a bunch of wins for Florida State.  It is also not hard to find some potential losses–Mississippi, @ Louisville, @ Miami, Clemson, and Florida.  Perhaps more potential losses than most recent years.  And last year the Seminoles came in under the 10.5 mark–with 10 regular season wins.  The Confidential thinks that it is unlikely that Florida State does worse than last year, but with 5 real tough games in there, a 9.5 over-under makes the most sense. Many will say “over,” but so be it.

What do you think?  Will FSU go over or under 9.5 regular season wins?

The Football Over-Unders for 2015: Florida State

This article is the first in a series of articles in which the Confidential opines regarding the over/under for football wins in 2015.  We’ll take a cursory look at the schedule and determine what we think is the point where folks will struggle to select “over” or “under.”  We hope people will share their comments as to “why” they are going over/under.  If you disagree with our over/under choice, of course, feel free to let us know too.  The first team up: Florida State.  We are going with an over/under of 10.5 regular season wins.

  1. September 5 vs. Texas State
  2. September 12 vs. South Florida
  3. September 18 @ Boston College
  4. October 3 @ Wake Forest
  5. October 10 vs. Miami
  6. October 17 vs. Louisville
  7. October 24 @ Georgia Tech
  8. October 31 vs. Syracuse
  9. November 7 @ Clemson
  10. November 14 vs. NC State
  11. November 21 vs. Chattanooga
  12. November 28 @ Florida

Summary: Florida State is hard this year.  This team could go 12-0 and nobody would be shocked. However, after losing Winston and a second-straight set of studs to the NFL, the Seminoles are bound to take a step back.  Whether that is a step back to 11 wins or 8 wins is anybody’s guess.  Look, Wake Forest upset them a few years back.  Boston College has played them tough recently.  Syracuse and North Carolina State hung on for way too long last year.  With road games at Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Florida–as well as tough home games against Miami and Louisville, the Confidential sees one or two losses.  And if that is a rebuilding year, then Jimbo Fisher is doing a great job in Tallahassee.  The Confidential goes with an over/under of 10.5 for the Seminoles.

What do you think?  Over or under?  Let us know.

 

The Confidential’s All School Teams Poll: Ranking The Bottom

The Confidential has spent several weeks determining the best 12-player teams that could be put together for each ACC school.  Here is a list of those teams.  Today’s task, however, is to determine which school’s team is the worst.  Please remember to vote in our poll.  Tomorrow we will vote for the best from the top 7 rosters.

Boston College:

Center: Terry Driscoll, John Garris

Power Forward: Craig Smith, Jared Dudley

Small Forward: Danya Abrams, Bill Curley, Jay Murphy

Shooting Guard: John Bagley, John Austin,

Point Guard: Troy Bell, Michael Adams, Dana Barros

Clemson:

Center: Tree Rollins, Elden Campbell

Power Forward: Dale Davis, Horace Grant

Small Forward: Larry Nance, Trevor Booker

Shooting Guard: Butch Zatezalo, KC Rivers, Terrell McIntyre

Point Guard: Willie Solomon, Chris Whitney, Demontez Stitt

Florida State:

Center: Dave Cowens, Solomon Alabi

Power Forward: Chris Singleton, Harry Davis, Al Thornton

Small Forward: Georgie McCloud, Ron Fedor

Shooting Guard: Bob Sura, Ron Harris, Ron King

Point Guard: Sam Cassell, Charlie Ward

Miami:

Center: Tito Horford, Constantin Popa

Power Forward: Eric Brown, Willie Allen

Small Forward: Rick Barry, John Salmons, Tim James

Shooting Guard: James Jones, Don Curnutt

Point Guard: Shane Larkin, Jack McClinton, Dick Hickox

Pittsburgh:

Center: Charles Smith, Chris Tagt

Power Forward: Jerome Lane, Dejuan Blair

Small Forward: Sam Young, Billy Knight, Chevon Troutman

Shooting Guard: Ashton Gibbs, Sean Miller (yeah, more of a point guard)

Point Guard:Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser, Levance  Fields

Virginia:

Center: Ralph Sampson, Olden Polynice

Power Forward: Wally Walker, Marc Iavaroni, Mike Scott

Small Forward: Jeff Lamp, Joe Harris

Shooting Guard:  Bryant Stith, Buzzy Wilkinson, Curtis Staples

Point Guard: Othell Wilson, Barry Parkhill

Virginia Tech:

Center: Jimmy Carruth, Chris Smith

Power Forward: Howard Pardue, Allan Bristow

Small Forward: Bryant Matthews, Deron Washington

Shooting Guard: Dell Curry, Bimbo Coles, Bucky Keller

Point Guard: Erick Green, Malcolm Delaney, Zabian Dowdell

Wake Forest:

Center: Tim Duncan, Loren Woods

Power Forward:  Len Chappell, Dick Hemric

Small Forward: Josh Howard, Rodney Rogers, Charlie Davis

Shooting Guard: Randolph Childress, Rod Griffin

Point Guard: Chris Paul, Muggsy Bogues, Jeff Teague

 

The Confidential’s All-Time Florida State Team

Suppose you had to play one game… for all the marbles… and you could use your time machine (or TARDIS) to put together a team of 12 players at their peaks.  Who would you pick?  Well, the Confidential does not know who YOU would pick.  But here is who the Confidential would pick for Florida State:

Read more…

“Rules to Build a Rivalry”

With the recent addition of Louisville to the ACC many have wondered, “What rivalries will the Cardinals develop in the conference?” It is difficult to say, as many general factors can go into developing a rivalry. Clearly you would think that things like being near each other regionally help, along with cultural similarities, and level of competition must play major roles in the development of rivalries.  Yes, they do, but those terms are vague, and by no means certain.  Consider FSU and UGA, they are closer together than most schools, yet other than the Dawgs poaching FSU assistants like it is their favorite past time, they are not real rivals.  Of course I am sure that frequency of play has a lot to do with the lack of a rivalry between the two today, but even if they played regularly there is no guarantee a healthy rivalry would develop.

Read more…

Garnet and Gold Colored Glasses… Or Not

I just wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Brian, and I will be contributing to The Confidential.  Bare with me, as I am no writer, but I will try to give a perspective from the point of view of a fan of the Garnet and Gold (FSU colors) on: the ACC, Seminoles, and College Football in general.  I have been a fan since the 90’s, and eventually graduated from the school as an undergrad some time later. I am sure my fandom will cloud my point of view on many things, but I do pride myself on seeing both sides of things; obviously with what is going on with FSU in the news today it is a constant struggle in this regard.  Anyway, let’s not get too serious right now, and I will highlight some of the things I hope to cover in the near future.

I am putting together a somewhat lengthy take on rivalries, and how they form.  I figure with Louisville joining the ACC, and the recent additions of other schools, it might be interesting to hear what a Seminole has to say on the matter.  I will discuss who are FSU rivals and why they are rivals, and outline some “rules” to a rivalry.  It is rather long at the moment, so I may spread it over a few posts over the course of a week or more focusing on one “rule for a good rivalry” every post.  Obviously the rules will be littered with colorful stories about Seminole and ACC past.

I also hope to discuss other matters like how Seminoles view its place in the ACC.  In addition, I will give my view on FSU’s and its fan-base in a very comical sense. Essentially, I will discuss some of the more bizarre stories and traditions at FSU, good and bad (I still do not get the glitter guys… just saying, they must find glitter in places that should not have foreign substance, for weeks).  I will also address future topics as they come forward, although I may hold off on some for a time so I do not let emotions skew my commentary (trust me Irish, you do not want to hear my take on last weekends game right now… Good Call!)

I will close with some brief comments to give you an idea of my fandom, so you know where I am coming from.  I once did not speak to a relative who was a fan of another rival school for months due to words exchanged during the game (yeah not proud of that one… long time ago though… now we argue about politics, so yeah we do not talk much).  I think Bobby Bowden should be on the Play-Off Committee, and I do not trust all those SEC/BIG/Pac 12/Big 12 connected folks… the ACC needs more than one major connection to a committee member.   I consider the fact that all of these networks striking deals with conferences has an appearance of impropriety which skews the reliability of their coverage and analysis against the perception of unbiased coverage; in other words, just because ESPN might one day try and tell me the SEC might arguably have the 4 best teams that should be in the playoff does not mean I will buy it.  FSU’s tradition of the flaming spear is the best in the ACC.  My idea of purgatory is being forced to watch an FSU kicker line up for a game winning field goal in the city of Miami over and over and over.  My idea of heaven is being allowed to watch highlights of Deion, Brooks, Ward, Weinke, Bolden, Warrick, Winston, Greene, and other greats play football over and over again without a Gator fan uttering the word Tebow in my presence.

Florida State-Syracuse Recap

If you think Matt Millen is better as a TV announcer than a General Manager, you are probably wrong.  And Florida State fans were quick to criticize Millen’s color commentary yesterday.  However, those fans are pretty quick to take any media member to task who fails to bask in the glory of all that is the Seminoles.  So take that for what its worth.  The game?  Pretty good for both teams, actually.

Read more…

NC State vs FSU: Let the Season Begin!

Believe it or not, the game between the Wolfpack and the Seminoles on Saturday afternoon is the second ACC showdown game of this season.  The first was FSU/Clemson, but to hear most folks talk, this week’s game will be an FSU romp.

Looking for some Wolfpack love, I went to Backing The Pack over at SB Nation. And there I found this from Akula Wolf.

Like most, the esteemed Mr. Wolf feels that the Pack has played no one (sound familiar?) and will be utterly destroyed on Saturday.  I beg to differ.

Read more…

Pre-Season Confidential Poll: August 27, 2014

Kickoff is about 24 hours away.  If you have not done so, get your fantasy football entries in for Week 1.  We have a prize running for Weeks 1 through 4 that is in addition to the season-long prize.  Returning to the poll… the elders here at the Confidential rank the ACC as follows:

  1. Florida State (50 points, 5 first place votes).   The Seminoles are the team to beat in the ACC and nationwide.  A tougher schedule makes a repeat quite a daunting task though.
  2. Clemson (44 points).  The Tigers get Georgia in Week 1 and South Carolina to close the season.  NC State… aren’t you embarrassed about your OOC schedule?  Duke too!
  3. Miami (33 points).  Some say Golden is on the hot seat.  That is absurd. But Miami is long overdue for a great season.
  4. Louisville (31 points).  The Parker injury dropped the Cardinals one point, but that is all.
  5. North Carolina (28 points).  North Carolina is everyone’s sleeper in the Coastal.  Maybe, by definition, they are no longer a sleeper?
  6. Duke (25 points).  Cupcake city for Duke again this year on the gridiron.  Where is Dick Vitale to point that out.  Oh, probably watching Notre Dame football.
  7. Notre Dame (24 points). Speaking of the Fighting Irish, they are a tough team to figure out.  The suspensions may be an issue also.
  8. Virginia Tech (19 points).  Virginia Tech is the last school to be on all of the Confidential ballots.  Virginia Tech can’t look ahead to a Braxton Miller-less Ohio State.  All FCS teams are capable of pulling the upset.
  9. Syracuse (9 points).  Anything can happen for the Orange this year.  4 wins to 9 wins…. is any of it a surprise.
  10. Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh (5 points).  These Coastal teams are hard to separate.  As they all are.

Others: Boston College (2 points).  Wake Forest, Virginia, and North Carolina State did not receive any votes.

What do YOU think?  What is your top 10?

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