Blogpollin', speculatin' on the FSU coaching staff, and previewing the Wisconsin Badgers


  • 4PM Update: Fsued wrote a really interesting take on our program from the upper-management perspective.  See the bottom of the comments section.  
  • My preliminary CBS Sports Blogpoll Ballot (need your input, as always)
  • My thoughts on our playing in the Champs Sports Bowl against Wisconsin
  • My thoughts on the Jimbo Fisher saga (including a new news report)
  • My thoughts on the possibility of ECU DC Greg Hudson coming to FSU

Other Links

CBS Sports Blogpoll Ballot (draft)

Rank Team Strength of Schedule
1 Oklahoma 29
2 Florida 38
3 Texas 48
4 Alabama 23
5 Southern Cal 74
6 Texas Tech 47
7 Penn State 66
8 Ohio State 36
9 Georgia Tech 12
10 Virginia Tech 5
11 Cincinnati 32
12 Mississippi 22
13 Boston College 4
14 North Carolina 6
15 Georgia 13
16 Pittsburgh 44
17 Florida State 2
18 Oklahoma State 26
19 Iowa 51
20 Michigan State 37
21 Oregon 61
22 California 62
23 Utah 110
24 Boise State 116
25 Missouri 43


This is not a power poll.  I don't attempt to rank teams based on how good I think they are.  I only rank teams based on their resume.  The poll is designed to be dynamic.  I try to start from scratch every week.  I do attempt to reward teams for "quality losses", while punishing them for bad performances.  I do not give excessive credit for stomping horrible teams.  As always, I want your help.  Keep in mind though that I don't want "team X is way better than team Y."  I do want "team A has a better resume than team B, you should make the change."  Power poll rankings are dumb.

The teams ranked 1, 12, and 17 all lost to lesser ranked or unranked foes this past weekend.  Several others had scares  How are those power polls working for them?  I do not consult major polls when doing this.  Their record of futility is clear.  Let the teams earn their rankings on the field.  I try to remove as much subjectivity as possible.  The AP Poll and it's counterparts are silly.  Ranking teams based on who you think is good is not going to work.  We don't know how great teams truly are until they play the games on the field.  I rank what happens on the field.  This system is not perfect.  I like to reward playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punish losing to poor teams more harshly than I reward defeating poor teams.


Reward Grinders.  I like to reward those who play difficult schedules.  Those mid-majors do not have to prepare for difficult games on a weekly basis, and I take that into account.   After finally getting a chance to watch these guys, I realized that they are not at the level of ranked teams from major conferences.  Additionally, their schedule strengths were incredibly inflated because they had all played each other, who were also ranked highly.  These teams are not talented.  They are able to focus on their 1 game of the year against a big-6 conference team for several weeks.  The BCS team views them as a schedule break.  Letdown city.  I am really against power-polling, but none of these teams deserve to play in a BCS game and I am no longer rewarding teams in any way for simply not losing to the likes of Eastern Illinois and Nevada.  Utah and Boise State are in, but barely.  I have no doubt that they would have at least 4 losses in any BCS conference (except the Big East).  


Changes for Wednesday:

I'm really not sure I wan to rank Michigan State.  They really just beat up on some bad teams and played really poorly against the decent guys on their schedule.  

I also meant to put Missouri over Oregon, Cal, and Michigan State, so I will make that change.

I could honestly throw Wake Forest (schedule strength 16th, 7-5 record, including OOC wins against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Baylor), or Miami (played Florida extremely well, crushed a Big12 team on the road, toughest schedule in the nation, 7-5 record).


Champs Sports Bowl v. Wisconsin

Dec 27, 4:30PM Eastern, ESPN  I like this matchup.

Overall Efficiency: 44th (FSU is 10th, boosted by the 2nd toughest schedule in America).  

Adjusted Offensive Effieincy: 59th (FSU is 22nd)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 36th (FSU is 22nd)

Wisconsin is 3-5 against BCS conference teams, and 0-4 against teams in the top 40.  

Wins:  Illinois, Minnesota, @ Indiana, @ Fresno State, Marshall, Akron, Cal-Poly.

Losses: @ Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, @ Iowa, @ Michigan State 

Teams to rush for 180+ yards against Wisconsin:  Cal Poly (276), Iowa (234), Ohio State (183).  

Wisconsin has a run rating of 113.7 (FSU is 123.7)

Wisconsin has a pass rating of 89.5 (FSU is 102.7)

Wisconsin's run D is 94.8 (FSU is 95.6)

Wisconsin's Pass D is 109.1 (FSU is 117.1)

So... both teams will sell out like crazy in an effort to stop the run, because neither team defenses the run all that well but both (especially FSU) have good passing defenses.  

Florida State is better on both sides of the ball and is basically a much better version of Wisconsin (run focused offense, good passing defense), though the Noles get it done in a different way (speed, zone running).  

FSU has played 8 teams with better offenses than Wisconsin (2 D2 teams are not, Wake does not, and Colorado does not.).  Of the 8, all but VT are MUCH better than Wisconsin.  Another measure says it is 6 and not 8.

FSU has played 6 teams with a better defense than Wisconsin.  

My early guess for this game is FSU 33, Wisconsin 20.  


Rumors of FSU Coaching Moves

Here's the latest on the rumors (these are only rumors, not facts, I am not claiming they are true, but I do believe them): 

  • Jimbo is taking the reigns and wants to hit the ground running when this team officially becomes his.  I believe that he has now been given full control as...
  • Bowden finally gave up all control and is simply a passenger and fundraiser at this point.  If true, you can bet his stock will drop for not sticking up for his coaches and trying for the record.  He'll be here for 2009, maybe 2010.  I'll continue to point out how we will not seriously contend for anything other than the Atlantic division with a huge hole at the head coaching position.  Leadership: it matters.
  • Mickey Andrews will retire.  I love Mickey Andrews and he is a really classy individual.  The spread offense is a direct result of his defense, and I plan to write a fitting tribute to my favorite FSU coach ever.  That said, it is time.
  • Jody Allen (who never played defensive end), and Chuck "The Clown" Amato are dismissed, and nobody who is a fan of winning will miss them.
  • Dexter Carter will also be released.  I profiled this here yesterday.

In total, that looks like 4 coaches will not be back in 2009.

I want to get a stud recruiter to replace Carter.  RB coach's do not usually matter, and the good ones are in the NFL, not college.  Most colleges use the RB coach slot as a position to stash their amazing recruiter.  

Finally, Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman reports:

Keep an eye on Jimbo Fisher. The Florida State head coach-designate could be lured to Auburn because after two years he's tired of waiting for Bobby Bowden to step down. The guess is Bowden will retire so the school doesn't lose Fisher.

I think Bohls is reaching here, but anything that puts pressure on FSU's admin and quickens our move back towards the serious pursuit of winning games and not individual coaching accolades or building statues if a good thing.


Greg Hudson

Will not be coming to FSU as it looks like Skip Holtz will take the Syracuse job.  All I can say is good.  I watched his defense play well against a very good Tulsa offense, and all I can think was "this won't work consistently against very good and elite competition).  

Why not?  He basically sat back in a cover-2 for most of the game and took advantage of Tulsa's QBs lack of arm strength.  This is nice in high school and against guys without much talent, and we've seen it work against Drew Weatherford, but I wasn't impressed with his creativity.  He seems more like a motivator; a true rah-rah guy.  Credit Hudson for getting good results on Saturday, but I am a process over results guy, because I am concerned with long term success.  I'm not impressed with his process.  

I do not want a motivator.  I want a thinker.  I want a teacher.  I want someone who is pondering the issues presented by the modern offense.  I want the closest thing we can get to Nick Saban.  We need to continue to bring in great athletes, develop them, coach them well on technique, be great at simplifying difficult concepts, improve our defensive scouting, and put them in position to make the play... just to be in the game with UF.  It took Saban 2 years.  I expect it to take us 2 years as well. We need to scrap next year on defense, go with the youth as UF did in '07, and ride the back of what should be a top 10 offense (#22 this year).  


Later this week

Expect the 2nd candidate in the defensive coordinator series to come Tuesday or Wednesday.

Expect a feature about why we are doing the right thing in going with the smaller linemen.

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