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Florida State Seminoles

FSU played with pride Saturday in Boston

Matt Zemek

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Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles were playing for more than pride on Saturday… but pride is exactly what the Seminoles had to show against the Boston College Eagles.

Yes, a win was needed to get the Noles to a bowl game. That was a very important goal for this season, to give young players a chance to develop. Making a bowl game was even more vital for the Seminoles because a two-year streak WITHOUT a bowl bid would have been supremely humiliating for the program and its fans.

Thirty-six straight seasons with a bowl, and then two straight without one? That would have been difficult to carry through the winter and the rest of the offseason.

Yet, if a possible 6-6 season instead became a likely 5-7 season with a loss in New England, it is not as though the future of Florida State football would have been profoundly or irrevocably altered.

Florida State doesn’t play college football seasons to gain bowl eligibility. Florida State plays to win division and conference championships and play in New Year’s Six bowl games. Florida State plays to be at the top of the sport.

Worrying about missing a trip to Shreveport is not a primary concern for FSU players or fans. If that is the most urgent question in November, a season has clearly fallen far short of its hopes and expectations.

What we haven’t always seen from this team – and what needed to emerge against Boston College – was that one thing: PRIDE. Pride in not accepting mediocrity.

Pride in pushing past difficult circumstances of Willie Taggart being fired six days ago and an interim head coaching situation.

Pride in playing hard no matter how grim the outlook was.

Down 14-3 to Boston College midway through the first half, everyone on that visiting sideline in Chestnut Hill could have quit. Everyone could have packed it in. Everyone could have become resigned to the notion that this was a lost season with no hope or purpose.

All of us arrive at one moment – if not many more – in this life when we get kicked around and need to decide if we want to get back up.

The Florida State team and coaching staff did just that.

Interim coach Odell Haggins wouldn’t let his players quit. They fought back and took a 10-point lead.

Then, another FSU demon surfaced: the fourth quarter. A season marked by so many fourth-quarter failures was on the verge of becoming a house of even more horrors. Boston College erased a 24-14 deficit to forge a 24-24 tie with 2:33 left.

Panic, frailty, hesitation – they all could have reentered the picture at that point in time.

Instead, James Blackman hit D.J. Matthews for a 60-yard touchdown pass.

Then the defense and Stanford Samuels III came up with a clutch interception. Florida State added another touchdown just for good measure.

Down 14-3, FSU outscored Boston College 35-17 the rest of the way, winning 38-31. When the Noles beat Alabama State, they will officially clinch a bowl bid.

Odell Haggins inspired pride in his players. Now he has a moment which he will cherish.

So do the Florida State Seminoles, who found a brief moment of sunshine in a very difficult season.

Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at radioinfluence.com. Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: mzemek@hotmail.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

Florida State Seminoles

FSU released Mike Norvell’s assistant coach’s salary info

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

New FSU coach Mike Norvell is full speed ahead in every aspect of his program, including finalizing his coaching staff. And, he and the athletic department are making sure that his coaches are more than competitively compensated for his first season.

The Tallahassee Democrat obtained coaching salary information for seven of the eight assistants that Norvell has agreed with. According to their reporting, seven coaches have signed a “letter of understanding” in lieu of later actual contract and it details their compensation amounts:

First, Norvell agreed to a six year deal in December to take over in Tallahassee and it will average just over $4.4 million over the life of the deal. He also received an assistant pool from the school of $5.25 million.

On the breakdown, Norvell’s highest paid assistant will be defensive coordinator, Adam Fuller, who is slated to make $800,000 this season after coming to the Noless with Norvell from Memphis

Norvell will pay FSU’s new offensive coordinator, Kenny Dillingham, who was at Auburn a year ago, but was previously the offensive coordinator at Memphis with Norvell before that, $625,000. And, special teams coordinator John Papuchis will earn $550,000 this season.

The paper also learn the three other position coaches are also going to be making half a million dollars each. Interestingly, defensive line coach Odell Haggins has an existing salary a $482,000 and is being retained by Norvell. One would have to believe with the job that Haggins did, once again as the interim head coach for the final three games of the season and FSU’s bowl game, if you’ll receive some type of raise.

Receivers Coach Ron Dugans was also retained by Norvell and his compensation is slated to be $450,000 for this season, unless Norvell, chooses to give him as raise, too.

The only salary exception is defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson, who has been reportedly hired this past week, but not officially announced by the school. And, FSU obviously does not have a letter of understanding with Woodson, like the others do.

Norvell has taken over the Seminoles after leading the Memphis Tigers to their most successful season in their history at 12 – 1, including an American Conference Championship game win over Cincinnati. That earned them a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Norvell did not return to coach that game is Penn State defeated them on New Year’s Day.

His previous salary was  just over $2.5 million with incentives at Memphis.

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Florida State Seminoles

ACC releases FSU and Miami dates for 2020 opponents

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic Coast Conference released their conference schedule for 2020 on Wednesday morning, and we now know the opponents and the order of conference games for the Seminoles and the Hurricanes.

First, for Miami. They already knew that they were opening the pre-conference schedule with Temple at home on Saturday, September 5th, and there toughest early test will likely be at Michigan State three Saturdays later.

Now, the ACC revealed the Canes will begin the conference season on October 3rd with a game at Hard Rock stadium against Pitt.

Miami will play their only non-Saturday ACC game six days later on a Friday night in Winston-Salem, NC, against Wake Forest.

Miami also has home games with North Carolina and then the Seminoles, which comes on November 7th. The Hurricanes will also play at Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech before finishing the season on Saturday November 28th back at home vs. Duke.

As for the Seminoles, they come off of a loaded pre-conference season where they are playing West Virginia in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend Saturday September 5th. And, they are playing at Boise State in the return game for last year’s upset loss on September 19th in Idaho.

FSU learned Wednesday, that they will open at NC State on Saturday October 3rd. The Noles and first year coach Mike Norvell, then get four time defending champion Clemson, as their second ACC opponent the following week in Tallahassee.

Then, they also host Wake Forest on October 17th. FSU’s remaining road games are at Louisville, Miami and Syracuse. The game against the Orange will be on Thursday night November 19th.

Florida State’s final ACC home game will be with Boston College on the previous Saturday, November 14th.

As part of the ACC schedule release, UCF learned that they will be playing Friday night September 4th in their home opener with North Carolina. That game to be televised nationally by ESPN.

The Knights already knew that they would be playing Georgia Tech in the pre-conference schedule on September 19th in Atlanta.

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