How good is Florida State?
When Florida State lost to N.C. State, 17-16, on October 6, the universal reaction was, basically, "Of course." Florida State always falls apart on the road at some point, right? And this proves the Seminoles are once again clownfrauds, right? I guess, but not really.
We have, over the last decade or so, affixed a permanent "UNDERACHIEVERS" tag onto the Florida State Seminoles, and we are not necessarily wrong for doing so. But we have to skip over a few years for it to be accurate. In eight of Bobby Bowden's final 10 seasons, the Seminoles indeed finished ranked lower (if at all) than they had been placed in the preseason. But in only four of those years were they placed in the Top 10 in the preseason, never after 2004.
But with Jimbo Fisher in charge, the Seminoles were picked 20th and finished 17th in 2010, and they were chosen to once again play at an elite level in 2011. According to their finish (23rd), they indeed underachieved last fall, though if you are feeling nice, you could certainly ascribe their tumble to injuries that handicapped the receiving corps and crippled the offensive line. But the 'Noles won seven of their final eight games last season and were picked seventh by the AP heading into this season. Their current AP ranking? Tenth. Pretty close, right?
More up tempo coming?
RT @idontwan2know: Key Stats: From Notre Dame 2011 through Duke 2012 FSU went up tempo on 15 drives. 13 resulted in a FG attempt or TD.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 15, 2012
RT @idontwan2know: To provide some contrast, 58 possessions at normal pace resulted in 25 drives with a TD or FG attempt.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 15, 2012
Fisher did hint at using more up tempo, and I think it should be done.
ACC and Orange Bowl Committee Announce Opponent and Broadcast Partner - Tomahawk Nation
The ACC announced its new Orange Bowl deal, which looks quite good considering the product that is ACC football.
College football playoffs since 1998: What the new plan could've looked like - SBNation.com
READ THIS. Excellent work.
Break it down
A Little Sweet with the Sour: Florida State Film Review | The Key Play
Read this. Rarely do we get the informed perspective of the other side.
My old physics professor told our class to always serve a little sweet with the sour as he handed back our graded tests with a brownie. The Hokies sweet was a dominant defensive line performance that featured a vintage Bud Foster attacking slanting scheme coupled with highlight reel worth performances. Derrick Hopkins was everywhere, beating guards on slants and getting up field, and dropping into coverage. James Gayle, Tyrell Wilson (who played a magnificent game against both the run and pass), Corey Marshall, and Dadi Nicolas used dominant inside leverage to prevent cutbacks. Bruce Taylor and Alonzo Tweedy came off the edge with a violent contain edge rush. It was vintage Virginia Tech from 1995-2003 and Florida State had no answer. Often, the Seminole offensive line never got out of their stance as lanes were taken away, and EJ Manuel was rocked. The blueprint was perfect.
Foster chose to abandon his approach against option/read teams. Against Duke and Clemson, we saw the defensive line play a two-gap scheme by getting into the blocker, shedding them, and making the tackle. Linebackers scraped side-to-side and attempted to clean up the mess. Against Florida State, the d-line either slanted play side or blitzed.
I would imagine that FSU had some tendency that made it relatively easy to call the correct stunts.
At the snap, each defensive lineman would stunt quickly across the face of the blocker to the immediate play side gap and then get two yards up field. Bruce Taylor and Alonzo Tweedy would handle contain by lining up wide and getting 5+ yards up field at a 45 degree angle, with the target one yard behind the QB/RB mesh point. Jack Tyler and Kyshoen Jarrett would fill the appropriate gaps. The Hokies in effect created an umbrella up front, outnumbering FSU's blockers 8 to 6. Moving around confused FSU. It was high risk, high reward football, with almost no help if the back broke through the initial line, and the corners and free safety essentially forced to play on islands.
The Hokies used this stunt repeatedly against the Florida State running game, and I don't think I saw FSU break a run against it a single time. It worked against counters, dives, and the option.
Nothing worked, except to get those backs in the flat against the Hokie outside linebackers before pressure got to Manuel.
Shutdown Fullback's Pac-12 spectacular: Stanford-Oregon and USC-UCLA! - SBNation.com
The world's only college football show becomes the first program of any kind to make it through an entire episode without talking about the SEC, with nothing but Pac-12 games all the way through!
I had the chance to speak with Maryland HC Randy Edsall yesterday during the ACC coaches teleconference.
Randy Edsall said the Terps are able to run "probably less than 50%" of the playbook after having to move LB to QB due to injury luck.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 14, 2012
EJ Manuel was nominated for the Unitas award and accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. That's big news for him.
Barkley w/ as many INTs as other 4 combined. RT @bfeldmancbs: Finalists for Unitas Award: Barkley, Klein, Manuel, McCarron & Geno.— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) November 14, 2012
Again, Maryland's offense is horrible.
FSU's starters better pitch a shutout when they're in; no excuse against a Maryland Offense that runs zone-reads twice, hucks it, and punts.— rob hodges (@ricobert1) November 14, 2012
Maryland is having a blackout. A noon blackout.
Tracking Expectations for Jimbo Fisher - Tomahawk Nation
Set before his first season as head coach, these are our minimum expectations for Jimbo Fisher's first four years at Florida State.
#Noles under Fisher, as a favorite: 25-5. As favorite under Bowden, since ACC expanded? 24-17. Intereresting.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 14, 2012
However, under Fisher, #Noles are 2-4 as an underdog. Since ACC expansion, Bowden was 10-10 as underdog.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 14, 2012
Think FSU could see some transfers? Absolutely.
Some food for thought.
@randybenton No, Clemson's offense is much better than FSU's. Talking top-25 v. top-5 level.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) November 15, 2012
Fisher's not leaving unless someone pays him much more money than he is worth.
College football betting picks, Week 12: Stanford can hang with Oregon - SBNation.com
Can Stanford stick with Oregon? Will the Thursday night game between Carolina and Virginia be high scoring?
The Numerical, Week 11: Georgia vs. Kansas State and 1998 all over again - SBNation.com This 1998 analogy totally isn't going where you think, K-State fans. Also, Wisconsin, Clemson, Arizona, Kent State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Texas and Syracuse are among the teams on the Numerical's good side this week.