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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.

 

ACC Baseball Tournament Day 6 & Postseason Selections

Championship Game: Seminoles take down NC State to win their sixth title

NC State: 2

Florida State: 6

In a matchup few predicted, Florida State won the war of attrition known as the ACC championship. Love it or hate it, pool play can be tough on players as they don’t often play 4 games in as many days. Both teams looked fatigued on Sunday, but Florida State found a way to play through it.

John Sansone got the Seminoles’ offense started with a 3 run homer that just barely made it over the blue monster. NC State was able to respond in next inning on a confusing play that probably should have been ruled an infield fly. Florida State had few problems against NC State starter Johnny Piedmonte. He left the game after only 3.1 innings after allowing 4 earned runs. On the other side, Florida State relievers Boomer Biegalski and Billy Strode combined for 5.2 innings with only 1 hit. Florida State added 2 more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, then sealed their victory with another in the seventh.

NCAA Tournament

7 ACC teams earned bids to the NCAA baseball tournament. Here’s where they are:

Louisville – #1 seed in their own Louisville regional

Miami – #1 seed in their own Coral Gables regional

Notre Dame – #2 seed in the Champaign regional hosted by Illinois

Florida State – #1 seed in their own Tallahassee regional

Clemson – #3 seed in the Fullerton regional hosted by Cal. St. Fullerton

NC State – #2 seed in the Ft. Worth regional hosted by TCU

Virginia – #3 seed in the Lake Elsinore regional hosted by UC Santa Barbara

North Carolina was also listed as a “last 4 out.”

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 5

One of the downfalls of pool play is that it can often lead to pointless games later in the week. While Saturday’s early game was essentially a semi-final, the other two meant nothing. Still, teams can use these games to build momentum for the NCAA tournament.

Game 12: Florida State grabs their spot in the Championship

Louisville – 0

Florida State – 6

The two teams were in a 0-0 deadlock for most of the game. Florida State finally broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning when they scored three runs which would have been enough to beat the Cardinals.

But the Seminoles added two more runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to seal their victory. Both teams posted similar stats including 8 runners left on base. The only difference between the two was the way Florida State capitalized on their opportunities later in the game.

Game 13: A reversal of fates gives Miami a win over the Irish

Notre Dame – 5

Miami – 6

Not even 24 hours after a tough loss in extras to NC State, the Hurricanes took the field looking to regain some confidence for the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth and hoped that was enough. Trailing by one, Christopher Barr wasted no time tying the game. He homered on just the 5th pitch of the inning.

Miami would go on to load the bases with one out and Brandon Lopez at the plate. Lopez singled to right-center field to drive in the winning run. This time, it was Miami walking off with the win.

Game 14: Even with some key players out, NC State cruises past UVA

NC State – 10

Virginia – 2

Coming off their big win the night before, NC State got a chance to rest some of their stars. Even with those guys out, the Wolfpack scored an even ten runs on the way past Virginia. The Cavaliers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but NC State quickly responded with two runs of their own to take the lead.

Virginia tied up the game in the sixth, but NC State responded with eight runs which all but ended the Cavs chances at picking up a win. The Wolfpack improve to a surprising 3-0 on the tournament, which no one expected. Equally surprising is Virginia’s 1-3 performance. After their 11-0 rout of Georgia Tech, they almost topped Miami early in the week. They just never found a way to finish off these close games.

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 3

The day began in slow fashion as a heavy rain storm lead to a long rain delay. After two-and-a-half hours of waiting around, NC State and Notre Dame took the field for the third day of the ACC Tournament.

Game 6: Brown strikes out 10 as the Wolfpack blank Notre Dame

NC State – 3

Notre Dame – 0

Brian Brown fanned an even ten batters as he and Curt Britt combined to shutout the Irish. 15 NC State came roaring out of the gate with three runs in the first 2 innings, which ended up being plenty to secure the win over Notre Dame.

Scott Kerrigan turned in a decent outing allowing 3 runs through 5 1/3 innings. The lack of run support hurt him the most. The Irish mustered only 3 hits in the entire game and never could figure out NC State’s pitchers.

Notre Dame faces Virginia in the morning game Friday while NC State plays the night game against Miami.

Game 7: Tigers rough up Funkhouser for a big win

Louisville – 2

Clemson – 7

Clemson found their bats this time around and at a good time. Facing virtual elimination, the Tigers posted seven runs off of nine hits on Louisville’s ace, Kyle Funkhouser. On the other hand, the Cardinals couldn’t get anything going. They only scored one run through the first eight innings and never really found an answer for Clemson.

The Tigers were also helped by a great performance by starter Zack Erwin. 11 strikeouts and no walks though his eight innings effectively shut down the Cardinals’ offense.

Clemson plays North Carolina Friday afternoon and Louisville gets a day off.

Game 8: Seminoles strike early, cruise past Tar Heels

Florida State – 8

North Carolina – 4

Playing their third game in as many days has taken a toll on North Carolina. A tough loss to Louisville the night before didn’t do much to help their spirits. With Clemson’s win, UNC needed to win to have any hope for an ACC Championship.

Florida State jumped out to an early lead and never really looked back. They scored a run in the first inning, two in the second, and added another in the third. Mike Compton took a perfect game into the fourth inning, but finally handed the ball to Dylan Silva who worked out of danger. The Heels answered in the sixth, but never really threatened the FSU’s lead.

UNC takes the afternoon game Friday against Clemson and FSU well get their day off.

Standings

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Clemson and UNC are now eliminated from championship game contention. The winner of Saturday’s Louisville/Florida State game will advance to the championship game.

The other side is a bit more complicated. Game 9 (UVA/ND) will act as an elimination game. Miami or NC State could clinch tomorrow with a win and some help. NC State would need Virginia to lose and Miami would need a loss from Notre Dame. Stay tuned to The Confidential for updates.

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 2

After two crazy games on Tuesday, it looked like this was shaping up to be a very exciting tournament. Day 2, the first day of pool play, did not disappoint with several back-and-forth games.

Game 3: Florida State holds off Clemson’s late rally

Clemson – 1

Florida State – 3

In a slow game dominated by pitching, Florida State did just enough to pick up an early lead in the tournament. The game was scoreless until the Seminoles broke the game open with a three run inning. DJ Stewart came through with two outs with a triple off the wall. A single later drove in Stewart, and FSU took a comfortable 3-0 lead.

But that lead was anything but safe as Clemson had multiple chances to get back in the game. The Tigers left ten runners on base which ended up being the difference in the game. Clemson even loaded the bases at one point, but Dylan Sylva from FSU was able to force a double play to get out of the jam.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow as Clemson will face top seeded Louisville at 3pm. Florida State plays the night game against UNC.

Game 4: Miami’s strong bats prove too much for the Cavaliers

Virginia – 5

Miami – 9

A quick run in the first inning gave Miami an early lead. They were able to keep that through the first five innings. Everything was going well until Kenny Towns sent a 3 run home run over the blue monster to give UVA a 3-2 lead. They might have added more if not for a spectacular diving catch by Ricky Eusebio.

The top of the eighth inning was more of the same as Virginia opened a 5-2 lead. Connor Jones pitched a stellar game for the Cavs, but his bullpen didn’t hold up. He left with a 5-2 lead after going seven and a third innings. But the Hurricane’s bats could not be kept quiet much longer. As soon as Jones left, they batted around to score seven runs and take a 9-5 lead and eventually win the game.

Both teams get the day off tomorrow, but on Friday,  UVA will play Notre Dame and Miami faces NC State.

Game 5: Louisville scores 7 unanswered, overtake Tar Heels

North Carolina – 4

Louisville – 7

A lead-off home run from Tyler Ramirez got the UNC offense rolling. They went on to load the bases in the first, the Heels couldn’t capitalize and ended the inning with just a 1-0 lead. They added a few more in the top of the third, and led 4-0.

Louisville chipped away at the lead with 2 runs in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, and finally broke it open with 4 runs in the sixth. Louisville’s bullpen continued to look strong as they didn’t give up any runs. Closer Zack Burdi threw a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

Both teams are back in action tomorrow as Louisville faces Clemson and UNC plays the nightcap against Florida State

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…

2015 ACC Indoor Track and Field Preview

While once only used by top athletes, indoor track and field has become a common winter sport among high schools and colleges. For those of you new to indoor track, let me first explain a few differences between indoor and outdoor track.

First, the indoor track is half the length of an outdoor track. The track is 200m which makes distance events double in number of laps. There is also a 60 meter track in the middle of oval for the sprint events (that run 60m instead of 100m). Finally, due to the sharpness of the curves, some tracks have banked turns (i.e. Virginia Tech’s Rector Fieldhouse) while others are flat tracks making times a little slower (i.e. UNC’s Eddie Smith Fieldhouse).

Mens preview

Last season saw Florida State win it’s 9th title in the last 12 years (not counting it’s vacated 2007 title). The Seminoles’ strength was in their jumpers as they won 3 of the 4 jumping events (high, triple, and long jumps). After only losing one of those athletes to graduation, Florida State looks like a strong contender to repeat.

Last year’s runner up may also be a strong contender. UNC came up 8 points short last year and with most of their team back, those 8 points could be made up with other team’s graduations. The Tar Heels were the runners up in the 5k and the 4×4 relay and the winners of those events have graduated.

The toughest competition may come from Notre Dame who took 3rd in the conference last year. The Irish won the 400m, 5k, and distance medley relay on their way to finishing only 5 points behind UNC. With the majority of their distance team returning, Notre Dame may find themselves in the running for their 3rd ACC title.

Prediction: Florida State

Call me crazy, but it’s hard to bet against a dynasty. Just like in football, beating FSU is no small task and it will take a special team to beat them.

Womens preview

Florida State also took home the womens indoor track title last year with a 13.5 point victory over Duke. This win broke Clemson’s streak of 4 straight ACC indoor championships. There’s no clear favorite this year as both FSU and Duke lost many of their key runners to graduation. Obviously, these teams are still in contention, but graduation may have opened the door for some other teams.

Miami won 4 events last year, but lacked the depth to contend for the title. The Hurricanes return all 4 of the champions from last year. If they can find a way to place higher in some other events, they have a good shot at the title. Similarly, Virginia Tech and Clemson each return two champions from last year, but like Miami, finished low in the overall standings due to lack of depth.

Notre Dame may benefit the most from graduations this season. They finished 3rd last year despite only winning the 60m hurdles. With some graduations, the Irish could bridge the 31.5 point gap from last year.

Prediction: Florida State

The Seminoles return the champions of the 1 mile and the long jump. They beat a senior heavy Duke by 13.5 and every other team by at least 30. That’s a large margin that will be tough for any team to overcome.

So I predict 2 repeats this year in indoor track. What do you think? Will there be an upset this year?

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