Matt Hayes from sportingnews.com wrote the article titled above, on their website. Normally I don't comment on these blowhard national media guys, but I want to toss some of his comments around.
First off, I find this guy no more credible than any FSU fan I respect, but he's a Florida native and he knows more about FSU than the average national media guy. i should throw it out there that he's a UF grad. The bottom line about him is that his opinion is heard. For instance, he comes on the radio here in Jacksonville every week to talk football, mostly about the Gators. His articles are in Sporting News. Everyone from the average football fan to recruits can hear him in some fashion.
Now to his article... I'm not going to get into the "Bobby Bowden needs to retire and TK is doing nothing about it" argument because we all know that and have known it for at least a few years now, so Hayes says nothing new and cutting edge when it comes to that.
Here is a chunk of the article I'm posting to comment on and get feedback about.
What exactly has Fisher done to deserve such a plum job, you ask? He was fortunate to be offensive coordinator at LSU when one of the top three coaches in college football led the Tigers to a national title in 2003.
Think about that: Fisher was bequeathed one of the top 10 jobs in the country -- no questions asked -- because he was along for the ride when Nick Saban decided he wanted to leave Michigan State to coach at LSU. It's just that simple.
It surely wasn't the riveting offense in 2003, a unit that finished 31st in the nation and had all the creativity of an etch-a-sketch. Saban's mandate to quarterback Matt Mauck (and Fisher) that season: Don't screw up, we have the best defense in the nation.
We all made fun of Jeff Bowden and his path to offensive coordinator at FSU. Why are we not equally critical of Fisher, whose two offenses at FSU were 80th in the nation last year and 55th in the nation going into the bowl season?
In Fisher's nine years as an offensive coordinator (seven at LSU, two at FSU), his offenses have an average ranking of 47th in the nation. In Jeff Bowden's six years at FSU, his offenses had an average ranking of -- wait for it -- 47.5.
Jeff Bowden gets bought out for more than $500K; Fisher gets a guarantee from Wetherell that if he's not the coach by 2011, he gets $5 million for his time.
That payoff was $2.5 million, but after FSU's stirring 8-4 regular season, Wetherell decided to double the payoff because, you know, the offense was so impressive.
Seriously, who on this team scares you? Certainly not quarterback Christian Ponder, whose erratic play would've cost the 'Noles more games this fall had defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews not saved the offense (again) from stumbling all over itself.
Guess who coaches Ponder? Mr. Coach-in-Waiting.
Fortunately against Wisconsin, the defense turned a close game into a rout with two fumble returns for touchdowns. The defense and, of course, the punter.
He basically implies that Fisher is nothing special and made his dollar from Nick Saban's success. He even goes as far as to compare Fisher to Jeff Bowden. Then he says Mickey Andrews' defense saved FSU from losing more games, essentially bailing out Jimbo and the offense.
Is this bizzaro world?
I mean, personally speaking, Jimbo Fisher is the one bright spot and sliver of hope I'm clinging to. I've seen a change in the culture of FSU's offense. We saw an FSU offense that continually faced adversity and pulled through this year, coming from behind, playing for four quarters. We saw FSU win ACC games on the road. We saw improvement last year, and even more this year. All of this was done with a young, inexperience offense that was still sprinkled with holdovers from the Jeff Bowden era.
On the other side of the ball, we saw an experienced, talented FSU defense that underachieved. We needed this defense to win us the Boston College game, knowing we were depleted at WR, and they laid an egg. We saw this defense single-handily lose the GT game for us. This Mickey Andrews defense again showed undiscipline and inability to adjust to modern football. We were burned by this so many times in recent years that you would think things would be different this year. Well, that didn't happen.
Of course, the offense wasn't perfect, but we knew it wasn't going to be perfect. We knew this offense was completely overhauled and that it would go through some bumpy times.
Without looking at stats, here's my thoughts on each game:
Wake Forest - you can chalk this loss up on the offense. I will give Hayes that one. The defense kept us in the game, but if you remember we were lucky on many occassions when Wake could have put up more points.
Colorado - team effort...can't attribute the win to one specific area.
Miami - our offense won us this game. No doubt. Miami's offense is pathetic, and our defense did well for most of the time, but as usual we gave up huge plays on the only two gimmicks Miami used that game.
NC State - hmm.. our offense started out slow, but we came back and won the game because of clutch plays by our offense and defense. Can't really chalk the W up to one area, but the offense played terrific considering the Thursday night road game demons FSU had to overcome.
Va Tech - Yeah, the defense played well, but VT went down to their third string QB. The offense came up with some clutch plays against a stout defense. I'm going to have to give the advantage to the offense in this game. They had a taller task and they ultimately answered the bell.
Ga Tech - This loss is squarely on the defense. Our offense played great, and once again came from behind on the road and almost won us the game, although if GT's QB didn't get hurt it would have been over before we could come back.
Clemson - team effort, can't give the win to any one phase of the team.
Boston College - the offense didn't play well, but we knew they were going to be shorthanded and were counting on the defense to win this game for us. The onus was squarely on Mickey's troops to win us this game and they dropped the ball. No excuses. The offense played poorly, but I'm chalking up the L on the defense.
Maryland - all units played outstanding. best game of the year by far.
Florida - all units played awful. worst game of the year by far.
Wisconsin - the defense outplayed the offense, but I can't say they won us the game. We still would've beat them if you take away the turnovers.
So adding all of this up...
The offense did their job to win the game 8 times this year. 3 times they failed to come through (WF, BC, FL). I'd say 2 times the offense actually won us the game (Miami, VT), although you could argue against that. I'd say once the offense cost us the game (WF).
The defense did their job to win the game 7 times this year. 4 times they failed to come through (WF, BC, GT, FL). I'd say the defense didn't win us a game on their own. I'd say 2 times the defense cost us the game (GT, BC).
Considering the defense was the unit that was experienced and didn't have to ever rebuild, they weren't impressive. I think Hayes is barking up the wrong tree by calling out Fisher. In my mind, he really doesn't know what he's talking about in this article. Agree? Disagree?