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Setting the criteria to judge 2013 among all time FSU teams



Seen one mention by someone that this is the best FSU team they've ever seen. Probably a post-2000 fan, as certainly this is the best team since the 2000 team, at least. But what is the criteria to use to rank them among the others?

Too much to rely simply on statistics - it's apples and oranges the way the game evolves. One might find ways to compare a team to another objectively when they play back to back seasons (such as 2013 to 2012 Noles), but this ain’t baseball – you cannot do a statistical analysis of the 2013 team, do the same to 1993, and compare.

Consider: Rule changes (or interpretation changes) come in and can radically alter the game. For instance, in the 80s the hash marks were moved in more to the center of the field and later blocking rules changed – and the wishbone offense pretty much vanished from the college landscape. The Power-I emerged as the preferred offense for the "power" schools, and Mickey Andrews develops a 4-3 scheme with man-to-man corners and athletic pass-rushing defensive ends to counter. That is countered by the spread offense. Defenses adjust slightly, and no-huddle (the non-hurried style) comes in to prevent defenses from substituting. On and on it goes forward, just as I could have started at an earlier point in time than the eighties.

Other changes that make it hard to judge is scholarship reductions, academic standards, changes in practice rules and most recently concern for concussions has changed how one can tackle to the advantage of offenses.

So what criteria to use? Do we compare it based on relevant dominance of its year? By that criteria, 1993 would be tough to beat, as FSU had both the #1 offense and defense, statistically. But it lost a game. Domination of its schedule? 2013 stands strong there, having yet to win by less than double digits - and I'd put money on that continuing to be the case until the bowl game. But what of a team's ability to respond to pressure - a stop to win a game, or needing to get a touchdown in a two minute left situation? We might not have a basis to even rank the 2013 team when it is said and done.

The thought is not to rank 2013 relative to other FSU teams - that needs to wait until the season ends - but to discuss the criteria for ranking with this 2013 team living in a different era than those dynasty years' teams. I think it comes down to being subjective - an eye test.

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