FSU News & Notes 05.23.11

Lots of great news and notes today both on Florida State and its opponents.

We start with Jimbo Fisher's tour stop in Lakeland. With his son's illness keeping him away from many tour stops, the people in Lakeland got lucky to have Fisher and not an assistant drop by.

FSU hosts Oklahoma in its third game (Sept. 17) before playing at Clemson on Sept. 24.

"You'll see where this team mentality-wise is," Fisher said with a serious look on his face. "Do I think it physically can? I think we're right at the edge of it, I really do. I think we'll be able to compete with most of the people out there."

Fisher said the thought of a couple of key injuries "scares" him a little bit, but depth will increase in a season or two.

"A few key guys don't get hurt, I think we'll be able to compete with anybody," he said. "Whether we win will depend on our mentality and how we can deal with adversity."

Q: What are a few things that stand out that can get you even further?
A: From all three phases of the ball, on offense being a little more dynamic (and) creating some more big plays, creating that one more play that wins. Defensively, the knowledge in what they'll have in the defensive scheme of what we're doing — increasing that and putting pressure on the quarterback, mixing coverages and blitzes and things we do from there. Special teams, we have a great kicker and great punter, got great returners. We can win the games on any three facets of the game and I think that's what we have to continue to do.

Previewing Boston College Football's 2011 Home Schedule - BC Interruption

Florida State- 11/3/11- Projected by almost all analysts and prognosticators to win the ACC, and by many as National Title Contenders. And for good reason. FSU is bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in their history, and the team seemed to really buy into Jimbo Fisher's system last year. Their defense is scary good, and could cause havoc on Rettig. The only question FSU has is: Will EJ Manuel be able to manage the FSU offense as effectively as Christian Ponder? Chances of BC win: 25%

Miami tops FSU with ACC's stiffest nonconference schedule - NCAA Football - Sporting News

— Why Miami over FSU as the toughest schedule? There’s little doubt Oklahoma and Florida are two of the toughest non-league games any team in the nation will play. But the other two games are just awful: a bad FCS team in Charleston Southern and a non-BCS team (Louisiana-Monroe) that couldn’t win most FCS conferences. Miami has one bad game (Bethune-Cookman), and games against two teams (K-State and USF) on the rise. Meanwhile, Ohio State, with all its turmoil, will use that Miami game as a rallying point.

FSU's schedule is easily more difficult. Oklahoma is the top team in the nation and at UF is tougher than hosting Ohio State w/ all the suspensions.  That means FSU has the two toughest games.

My vote: Can't-miss league game - ACC Blog - ESPN

My vote: Florida State at Clemson

Making the case for Sept. 24 in Death Valley: This game will define the Atlantic Division race early. The Tigers will have home-field advantage, and they'll have had three games to work out the kinks in first-year coordinator Chad Morris' offense. A Clemson win over Auburn the preceding week will add to the intrigue of this game because momentum can do wonders for a team. Just ask Auburn, which couldn't be stopped after its overtime win against Clemson last year. It's equally as interesting from the Florida State perspective because if the Seminoles are going to live up to the hype and preseason expectations, they can't afford to be derailed so early in the season -- regardless of what happens in the Oklahoma game.

My vote goes to UNC @ VT because FSU will still be the Atlantic favorite even with a potential loss here.

Lots of great news inside today.

Recruiting Notes: OSU Elite 11

The leaders for Bessemer (Ala.) Hueytown five-star quarterback Jameis Winston are Alabama, Florida State and LSU, according to his coach Matt Scott. Scott mentioned that Oregon and Oklahoma have also been by the school recently and are beginning to show strong interest.

"I’m trying to stay open and clear headed," Winston said. "I plan on going to LSU next weekend and Florida State the weekend after that."

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Winston was set to visit Ohio State following the Elite 11. He added that he plans on committing soon.

Winston is ranked as the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback and 16th-best prospect overall.

Buffalo (N.Y.) St. Joseph School four-star signal-caller Chad Kelly is down to a top seven of Alabama, Buffalo, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan State, Purdue and Syracuse, and says the Seminoles are currently standing out among that group.

"I feel they definitely want me," Kelly said. "They were my first big-time offer and they (recently) got stuck in the airport and they still made it up somehow someway to see me. You can tell they want me and I want to go to a place that’s a family atmosphere. If they’re coming up there and getting stuck in the airport, that means a lot to me."

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Kelly says he’ll camp at Florida State and that he’ll possibly visit Alabama in the next month.

Kelly is ranked as the nation’s second-best dual-threat quarterback and 79th-best prospect overall.

Florida State also leads for West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Preparatory passer Sean Maguire, who recently added his second offer from Buffalo.

The Seminoles extended a full-ride in late March.

"I had the chance to go down and visit Florida State and visit their academic and athletic facilities and I really liked it down there," Maguire said.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Maguire says that he will for sure camp at North Carolina State and Connecticut, and that Alabama is scheduled to come see him throw next week. He added that he could also camp in Tuscaloosa.

Jameis Winston has really honed and refined his delivery-- tighter than it has ever been. He has huge upside to be a potential diff maker.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Chad Kelly out of Buffalo has great feet, is a wonderful athlete and can make all the throws. He is only going to get better and better.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Bustin' Out: Geno Smith | May

That should all change now, thanks to Holgo the Destroyer. Holgorsen is coming to a conference that has little familiarity with the Air Raid, which gives him an advantage over opposing defensive coordinators when it comes to scheming. Additionally, Holgorsen is accustomed to teaching his offense on the fly, and as noted by Chris Brown of Smart Football, he has even created a keept-it-simple system for teaching his offense in a matter of days.

While WVU's new attack may not be a perfect fit for Smith's skill set, that doesn't negate all the other tailwinds at his back. Look for Smith to make a run at the conference's offensive player of the year award, leading the 'Eers back to the top of the Big East.


Scout.com: CFN's 2011 NC State Preview
CFN.com previews NC State's 2011 football team thta will be led by seniors like tight end George Bryan.

College Football: Bruce Feldman's mailbag on senior Heisman contenders - ESPN

My sense is that the only way OSU makes a move to oust Tressel, short of there being more damning information that comes out, is if the NCAA sends a clear message that the school is going to get hammered with hefty NCAA sanctions (loss of at least a dozen scholarships and a multiple-year postseason ban) unless Tressel is no longer around.


2011 Season Preview: The Louisville Cardinals And The Value Of Experience - SBNation.com

It truly was a jarring three-year regression for the Cardinals following Petrino's departure, but in just one season Strong and company were able to restore Louisville to the Big East average.  Unfortunately, things almost certainly get tougher in Year Two.  There are so many new pieces (and there were so many injuries in the spring that prevented in-depth looks at certain replacements), and the YPP margin suggests the Cardinals were a bit lucky last year.

I thought Strong was a wonderful hire, and with some of the recruiting battles he has been winning, it's safe to assume this program is on an upward trajectory.  But signs point to second-year regression.  It's common with teams that take a huge, one-year leap forward anyway, and when you look at the lack of experience involved, it becomes even more likely, even if correlations between experience and success are not as strong as we might think.  The schedule is pretty rough, with road trips to Kentucky, North Carolina, Cincinnati, West Virginia, UConn and South Florida, meaning Louisville will have to either sweep the home slate or pull an upset or two to reach another bowl.  It's certainly doable, but I'm thinking no amount of Will Stein Positivity™ can make Louisville too successful in 2011.

Pre-Snap Read: #98- Ball State

Get caught up in the excitement surrounding a new coach, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves: Ball State is closer to the bottom of the MAC than it is to the top, and Lembo has some work to do before leading the Cardinals to the Brady Hoke-led salad days only a handful of seasons to do. And I’m not saying the magical 2008 season, when the Cardinals finished the regular season 12-0; I’m saying the 7-6 finish of 2007, which came about after years of careful and deliberate program-building by the new Michigan coach. Here’s what I really, really like about Lembo: to me, he’s cut from the same cloth as Hoke. He’s a long-term coach, not a quick-fix guy, and while it may take some time for the pieces to fall into place, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that his system works, F.C.S. or no, and should work in a MAC that lacks a dominant program. I’m relatively confident in that; just not confident that the Cardinals will make an improvement in the win column in 2011. I think it will take the offense one full season to run Lembo’s offense, or it will take Lembo at least a year or two to find the players who can. The defense, which has taken successive steps back over the last two years, is of equal concern. Most of all, don’t overlook the transition for Lembo and his staff: this is the big leagues, guys, and while the weapons Lembo has to work with have improved, so has the schedule. So even with the returning experience, this looks like a year of transitions for everyone at Ball State, from the coaching staff through the players on the field.


PreSnapRead: #99- U.A.B.

So it doesn’t look at all that bad for U.A.B., at least on paper. No, even on their best day these Blazers won’t be great, thanks to an offense that still needs to prove itself over a full season and a defense that remains a giant question mark. But looking at what’s there, one could conceivable convince themselves that the Blazers will win six games: there’s Ellis at quarterback, Shed at running back and an experience offensive line; there is an all-conference caliber linebacker and a secondary with options. So what’s not to like? Well, to be blunt, Callaway — and the program at large — has done nothing to prove itself worthy of receiving the benefit of the doubt; the Blazers have been bad for years, frustrating for longer, perhaps, and we’ve been in this place before, expecting a bowl run, only be disappointed come season’s end. So I’m not falling for it, not even with an offense with talent and a deeper defense — and a new coordinator — so I’m more of mind to believe the 2011 season will end for U.A.B. how it has for the last half-decade and more: disappointed, frustrated, below .500 and in the bottom half of Conference USA.

Pre-Snap Read: A College Football Blog #100 Kansas

Year two feels suspiciously like year one, as I noted in a post earlier today. And that’s not a great feeling for Kansas, though there’s still hope that this rebuilding project — and this is a rebuilding project happening — won’t last beyond this season. The Jayhawks have a number of issues to address before turning that corner, however. Quarterback remains unsettled, though less than it was a year ago. If I’m Gill, I’m putting my cards on the table with Webb and stepping away, not pulling him after a bad start. It would help if one or two of the inexperienced receivers would step up, but we really won’t know about that group until September. Kansas should put its focus on the running game, which has a nice back in Sims and a starting five set in stone up front. The defense needs to get to the quarterback, which would lend a tremendous hand to the secondary. Maybe a young, still unproven end becomes K.U.’s rush end, though this unknown quantity hasn’t made his presence felt as of yet. So it’s not as if Kansas is ready to take a leap forward in 2011; even if it was, the schedule is going to make things a struggle. Welcome to life in the new Big 12, Jayhawks. Welcome to yearly tilts with Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor. It won’t be easy, especially when you’re trying to rebuild on the fly.

Pre-Snap Read: A College Football Blog-- #101 Bowling Green

If only college teams could trade players — that’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? If it were allowed, perhaps Bowling Green could trade an extra defensive back or two for an offensive lineman, maybe package Trent Hurley and a receiver for another lineman, maybe offer a future recruit — now this is getting out of hand — for a third lineman and so on. The offensive line as it is currently composed is a major cause for concern, as we saw last fall and into the spring, and until the group can protect the quarterback on its own and open up some running lanes the offense will continue to sputter. Now, clearly the line will be better: Bowling Green would be closer to 120 than 100 if the line was due to improve. But the offense remains an enigma, even at spots outside the line, and the defense won’t be good enough to lead the Falcons to anything more than an extra win or two. That’s the bad news, and it is very bad news. The good news is that those with doubts should keep their faith in Clawson, 2008 at Tennessee and 2010 at Bowling Green be damned, as he has illustrated an ability in the past to win not just once but create a program built for the long haul — look at Richmond, for example, which won first under Clawson and has won consistently since. So keep hope alive, even if that one down season I predicted to occur in 2010 turns into a two-year lull.

Inside the Clemson Offense: Wheel Route - Shakin The Southland

The wheel route is a simple route that often capitalizes on personnel mismatches, defensive confusion, and poor fundamental pass coverage.  The wheel route is useful against man-to-man coverage as well as various zone looks.  When run by a receiver, an inside receiver typically runs what appears to be a speed-out then cuts up-field.  When utilized by a running back, the back gets into the flats on what looks like a flair or speed-out route then gets up-field.  The back commonly lines up in the H-back/wing position or is motioned prior to running a wheel route.  Ideally, whoever runs the route will get upfield near the numbers and his route will end in a similar position to a split-end/flanker running a fade.

:Let's go to the diagrams & film... 

Eagle in Atlanta -- atleagle.com: Slow start to football recruiting

I don't particularly care about the recruiting ratings but I do care about rightsizing recruiting classes. We will need bodies come Signing Day and like any good pipeline, you need a steady flow of prospects. Even if BC wants to take their time and not rush, they can only sit on the sidelines so long. Other than having a good pipeline, my other concern is the ability to sell BC. I won't always second guess who the staff likes, but I do question their sales message. You should always have some kids who are willing to commit the minute you offer. BC has enough of an edge and is selective enough in who we offer, that a recruiter should be able to leave a house with a verbal. Why isn't that happening? I don't think we will ever get a definitive answer. We will probably get a verbal shortly just to appease the critics like me. But overall, I think this is a trend we should watch. Regardless of how you feel about Spaz, he is unlikely to be around when the recruits of 2012 are SRs. So however this class is handled will have an impact on BC for years to come.

Eagle in Atlanta -- atleagle.com: 2011 Position Previews: Quaterbacks

1. This is the most experience we bring into a season without a senior starter in more than a decade. We are the only ACC team that has two quarterbacks with more than nine starts apiece. 2. Rettig attempted and completed more passes as a freshman than either Hasselbeck, St. Pierre, Porter or Ryan. 3. His completion percentage was within fractions of Shinskie's mark as a freshman. 4. Rettig was 5-4 as a starter.

The biggest unknown in all this is how Rettig or any of the other QBs progress under Kevin Rogers. How he works with our QBs and what he asks them to do could easily derail my "next big thing" narrative.

Although I welcome metrics and measurement in sports, one of the things I love about college football is that the development curve is so steep, severe and sudden, that a kid can blossom overnight. Who would have predicted that Flutie or Foley or Ryan would become what they each became based on their appearances. All you need is potential, opportunity and a spark.

Three Grand That Could Change College Football | May
The Big Ten's proposal to offer college athletes payments to cover their cost of living expenses could radically alter the college football landscape. Little schools will not be able to compete. This could be the catalyst for finally breaking the top 60 or so teams into a new division of college football. Excellent article here.

Linebacker Play: RB Key reading - Shakin The Southland

The second set of keys to go through is how linebackers read the running back on the snap. Recall we said that the RB key is the simplest read to make, but that OL keys are truer reads. The concept behind going with just RB reads is because its easiest to teach and simplifies the scheme, and lets faster players attack and be aggressive. Its not something you can give to all 3 linebackers, and giving the MLB only a RB key is not wise. Its also going to cause problems when you face a heavy play-action team because the LBs will come up nearly every time the ball fake is made.


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