I know we all look forward to significant defensive improvement by the Seminoles this year. We also don't seem to have a consensus as to how to define "significant". Realism, expectation, hope, wish, dream...all words that seem to create heated debate when discussing just how much better these defenders can or will be. The purpose of this post is to offer an example of another squad that seems to have had similar obstacles to overcome and the outcome for their situation.
The 2008 Auburn Tigers were by most accounts a team in disarray...especially the offensive unit. They had a coach on the hot seat, a brand new offensive coordinator, and seemed to be completely lost. To complicate matters, Tommy Tuberville fired his new coordinator mid season, resulting in a third different scheme in less than a year. Auburn finished 2008 with a losing record and FEI offensive rank of 100.
Moving forward to the offseason, Tuberville and his staff are fired and Auburn hires an unproven Head Coach in Gene Chizik (5-19 career record) and an offensive coordinator 3 years removed from High School (Gus Malzahn). At first glance, a reasonable person would predict that Auburn would be in for a long year offensively. That does not appear to have happened.
The Tigers finished Chizik and Malzahn's first year...2009...with an offensive FEI rank of 28. A 72 position jump. While I recognize this is not the norm, and is probably more an aberration, the circumstances surrounding 2009 AU and 2010 FSU are quite similar.
While I might not expect the same jump for us, at least there is precedent for that possibility.
Just a little food for thought...and cautious optomism