Hyperbole is to be avoided at all times. Websites, columnists, reporters, pundits — everyone under the sun — must steer clear of it.
Is it hyperbolic to say that Florida State and Miami are punting on 2019? Not if you have high standards… which is a very simple and brief way of saying that the Seminoles and Hurricanes are not in position to reach high standards next season.
What is the standard FSU and Miami set for themselves? At minimum, it is to compete for division and conference championships, with high-end bowl games being regular — if not annual — occurrences. FSU and Miami should consistently reach nine wins and normally hit 10. Sure, Clemson is the big, bad bully in the ACC, and a challenging non-conference game against Florida (FSU) or LSU (which Miami scheduled in 2018) might not break the right way, but let’s look at the rest of the ACC, shall we?
Pitt won the 2018 ACC Coastal with a 7-5 overall record. No team other than Clemson made a New Year’s Six bowl. No team other than Clemson recorded 10 regular-season wins. This was a BAD ACC, folks. This was not 2016, when the league kicked butt up and down the field in both the regular season and especially the bowls.
In a bad ACC, even the worst Florida State or Miami team should win seven or eight games.
Florida State won only five. Miami won seven… but is this the absolute worst Miami can be? Manny Diaz kept the defense solid. The 2018 Canes had plenty of talent on defense and ought to have done much better than they did. Mark Richt could not coach his quarterbacks well.
All right, then — so a season slipped through the fingers of these two programs and their coaches. It happens. As bad as this year was for FSU and Miami, all these programs had to do was show in the offseason that they were ready to bounce back, ready to make relevant adjustments, ready to address weaknesses.
I know it is early in the offseason for FSU and that Miami won’t turn 100 percent toward the offseason until after the Pinstripe Bowl against Wisconsin on Dec. 27… but let me ask you: Are these teams in remotely good position to win 10 games or make a New Year’s Six bowl next season?
You could make an argument in support of a “YES” answer, but that answer mostly depends on the forces which made Syracuse the second-best team in the ACC this season. In other words, the idea that FSU or Miami could win 10 games in 2019 depends on other teams being bad. The Noles and Canes need help to reach the minimum standards those programs and fan bases rightly apply on a long-term basis.
If North Carolina State and Syracuse regress while Boston College stagnates and Louisville needs one year to adjust under Scott Satterfield, maybe Florida State could play moderately better football and somehow win nine or 10 games. Maybe FSU could make a four- or five-win jump relative to 2018 without playing that much better than 2018.
If the ACC Coastal remains stuck in the muck, with every team other than Miami continuing to carry significant flaws that lead to five losses, the Canes could similarly grow to a relatively small extent in terms of the raw quality of their work product, yet make a multi-game leap in the win column.
Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
If all these other teams fail, FSU and Miami could succeed.
You can appreciate the stretching and reaching involved here.
Florida State and Miami should NEVER be described in this way. The argument that the Noles and Canes might improve next season and return to their expected place in college football’s power structure should NEVER be primarily based on other teams regressing or stagnating.
Yet, that’s where we are a week before Christmas. Lumps of coal are being dumped in Nole and Cane fans’ stockings.
2019 — in light of the decommits from Miami, the Sam Howell flip from FSU to North Carolina, and the overall lack of convincing responses by Richt and Taggart to their offensive coordinator situations — already looks like a barren year.
Yes, 8-4 or even 9-3 — if 9-3 is not accompanied by a New Year’s Six bowl — are barren years. To me, that is punting on a year. To me, it seems FSU and Miami are already in positions precarious enough that 2019 cannot reasonably be expected to PURSUE the highest aspirations, let alone SATISFY them.
Assuming neither program satisfies the highest aspirations in 2019, that would mean FSU and Miami would enter a new decade in 2020 having NEVER MET IN THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
That means 15 seasons and 15 failures to play for the ACC title. These two schools were supposed to carry ACC football through a golden age of conference championship game showdowns in early December which would annually plant the conference at the forefront of the college football conversation.
Today, one week before Christmas in 2018, FSU and Miami are at the forefront of a conversation in college football… and the conversation surrounds the idea of how spectacularly these programs are failing to be where they ought to be.
The Seminoles and Hurricanes are already punting on 2019. Is that an instance of hyperbole?
Maybe… but I don’t think so
FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday
In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.
The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:
Noles vs. Tigers set for '22/'23!!!https://t.co/nfLwLGhXE3
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) February 11, 2020
Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.
The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.
FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.
New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,
“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.
This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”
These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.
Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.
That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.
The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes
NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.
Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 28, 2020
And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.
This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.
That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.
“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.
“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.
“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.
“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.
“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?
“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.
Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.
Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.
Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.
His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.