We've all seen the statistics; the percentages; the overwhelming evidence that causes us to temper our expectations for FSU in 2010. Thankfully there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming football season and get some Garnet and Gold koolaid brewing.
Likely, you'll find nothing here that will be new or especially insightful, as Tomahawk Nation has covered each of these topics thoroughly. However, I thought it would be a good idea to look at them all in one place. Seeing the improvements all together makes it hard to keep your expectations low.
Here are ten quick reasons to expect the Seminoles to outperform the numbers.
Renegade. Process vs. Results
In the 5 months since Jimbo Fisher assumed the head coach role at FSU we've all heard this slogan over and over again. Much of Jimbo being labeled a Sabanite is due to his acceptance and emphasis of this philosophy. But let's face it, most rational people already function using this mindset. For example, let's take finances. If financial wealth defines the result, this guy is the example of successful. There is no doubt that you can be successful financially on accident, but no intelligent person would recommend this approach as the way to financial security.
We also already have this mindset as fans. Think back about how you felt after we scraped by Jax St. last year. Happy we won, but unsatisfied with the process.
What then, you ask, is the difference with Jimbo? DETAILS
The idea is to turn what we think of as Processes into Results. What the average fan, several of the 2009 FSU defensive staff, and the average football player sees as a Process is actually a Result of several more detailed processes.
Result- Winning a game -----> Process- Score more points than opponent
Result- Score more points than opponent -----> Process- Improved Defense
Result- Improved Defense -----> Process- "Make Plays"
Result- Make Plays ------> Process- Better tackling, Better pass rush, etc.
Result- Better Tackling -----> Process- Better angles, leverage, etc.
And so on until you get to the smallest of details.
It's not that Jimbo doesn't feel the results are important, he just doesn't want lucky, inconsistent results. Nothing is going to better for the program in the long run than this mindset.
Noles. Coach Hudson
No coaching hire was more suprising than getting Greg Hudson to come in as FSU's Linebackers Coach. Many had his name in the running for the Defensive Coordinator position
Tomahawk Nation outlined here and here what a great upgrade coach Hudson is.
I wander if he can do that voice that we all love? - that would really make him an asset.
@. Coach Eddie Gran
Tomahawk nation documented what a great hire and upgrade Eddie Gran was here:
Osceola. Coach Darin Eliot
If you can make yourself rewatch any games from last year, it won't take long to notice that the DEs represent the dysfunctional play seen from FSU's defense better than any other unit. Reckless, undisciplined, uneffective. Tomahawk nation discussed here and here and here what an upgrade Coach Eliot is. From now on, when discussing whether or not FSU can turn the defense around quickly, my only answer will be "Coach Eliot".
Will our DEs suddenly be great players? Unlikely. Will they now be in position on at least some of the plays..dare I say most? Probably. While we can't expect greatness, we can at least expect our DEs to not be a detriment to both the run and pass defense.
玖. Vic Viloria and Co.
Tomahawk Nation has extensively documented the need for FSU to get bigger, especially the front seven on defense. While I haven't researched the new system of weight training that Viloria has implemented, anyone can understand the huge benefits that will be seen by monitoring and enforcing each players' diet. This is an awesome upgrade for the players. It's likely that current players who wanted to eat appropriately in past seasons to gain or lose weight didn't have the knowledge to do so appropriately, certainly not optimally.
Radon. Greg Reid (special teams)
Greg Reid has already proven that he is a game-changer on special teams. If FSU's defense forces just one more punt each game, Reid's return attempts will increase 50% over 2009. Hopkins and Powell continue to improve, and thanks to coach Gran, we now have a Special Teams coach. No team should have an advantage over FSU on special teams in the forseeable future. Most importantly, however, is the amount of swagger Greg brings to the Seminoles.
Green. Offensive Line
No other unit inspires more confidence for FSU football in 2010 than the offensive line. At the start of the season, FSU's starting linemen will have combined for greater than 140 starts. Coach Trickett has laid the groundwork over the last three years, and FSU fans should expect to see outstanding play from the big guys.
D. Coach Mark Stoops
Nobody needed to look at the stats to know how awful our defense was in 2009. Even with the learning curve expected for the defense, many factors point to potentially large improvements for FSU. Multiplicity is the catch phrase. Playbooks will help. Again, Tomahawk Nation has done a great job here, here, and here explaining how Stoops will improve the Seminoles defense. Not much else to say until we see it happen.
2. Christian Ponder
Does anything really need to be said? Clutchness; Determination; Wantowiniosity; not to mention the intangibles.
A. Coach Jimbo Fisher
The man responsible for all of the above earns the top spot on the list. FSU fans can legitimately expect every aspect of FSU's football team to be better in 2010 thanks to Jimbo. How many teams can you say that about?
(Thanks to the required formatting on TN, explaining my final point might get a little hairy.)
One of the best things about FSU football right now is that the above points are not happening independent of each other. And this is probably why there is such a variety of expectations among FSU fans. Look at the combinations of the above points
Noles + Osceola + 玖 + D = Bigger, better coached, less predictable defensive front
@ + 玖 + Green + 2 = Bigger, more experienced line, blocking for more experienced, better coached offensive backfield.
Add a little #Renegade throughout A,2,D,Green, etc. and who knows what will happen.
I respect all the numbers and the predictions, but if it's all the same to you, I'll be drinking the koolaid too.
(Top Ten Honorable Mentions: Coach Craig, Top 10 recruiting class, and Christian Ponder)