The Willie Taggart era in Tallahassee is over, and honestly, did it ever really start? Now, the Noles will begin the search for a new coach getting a head start on other potential jobs that may open up. The Noles search this time will be different; it will not be a quick turnaround like it was with the hiring of Taggart.
For good reason too, this hire could determine Florida State’s fate for the next decade.
After years of security with Bobby Bowden and Jimbo Fisher, the Noles do not want to become what Florida and Miami did when they were riffling through head coaches like Randy Shannon, Al Golden, Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain. Florida State won’t be getting Urban Myer, but here are a few names to watch for.
Mark Stoops- Stoops has done a great job turning around the University of Kentucky the “basketball school” has had some good seasons under stoops. They have had three straight winning seasons and won 10 games last year for the first time since 1977. Stoops also has FSU ties serving as the defensive coordinator from 2009- 2012. He has yet to appear in the SEC title game yet struggling to beat the top teams consistently. With the resources at FSU, could he turn that around?
Josh Heupel- Heupel has done a masterful job of keeping UCF playing at a high level after taking over for Scott Frost. The question is, would he leave for a power five job like Scott Frost? Frost is quickly learning the grass may not always be greener on the other side.
FSU, though unlike Nebraska, is still a top 10 job in the sport. Already having success at UCF staying in state and going to Tallahassee wouldn’t be as much as an issue still recruiting the same area. The stability at UCF may be too much to sway him, but look for FSU to try and pull him away.
P.J. Fleck- Fleck took Western Michigan from 1-11 in his first season all the way to 31-1 in his last, resulting in a cotton bowl loss. Now Fleck has taken his high energy to Minnesota, where he has the Gophers sitting at 8-0 in his third ear and preparing for one of the biggest games in program history. Fleck is a guy with northern ties playing for Northern Illinois and only coaching up north. He would be a tremendous hire for the Noles if they were able to pry him away from the north star state. Fleck has built up a lot in Minnesota, and would he leave a=everything the unpredictability in Tallahassee.
Matt Campbell- Campbell was a hot name to watch last season after he led Iowa State to back to back eight-win seasons. He has two big 12 coach of the years under his belt as well. Campbell is also another northern guy, and the question is, would he leave for the south. FSU will have some competition with Campbell, and if they want to land him, it was a good thing they parted with Taggert so early.
Mike Norvell- Norvell has had Memphis competitive every season he has been at the helm. He has a 35-15 record in his time as the Tigers head coach. We have seen several head coaches from the AAC make their way up to higher-level programs over the past few seasons.
The Tigers offense has been led with a mix of strong running and good quarterback play, becoming one of the best programs in the conference. He currently has his team at 8-1 and are a game back of Navy, as they try to reach their third straight conference title game.
Joe Brady- the LSU offense has been revived this season. It is arguably the best we have seen over the past decade. A big reason for this is Brady. After coming from the New Orleans Saints, Brady has transformed the offense. As the passing game coordinator, he has Joe Burrow second in passing yards and Ja’Marr Chase 20th in receiving yards.
This hire would be out of the box, and that is not something fans want to hear right now. Brady has never been a head coach, and this is his first season, which could be a cause for concern. You can not argue the results he has had this season and could be a name to watch.
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.