Ron Zook used the expression “noise in the system” for the times when the Florida Gators fell into a rut on the gridiron. Zook never escaped that rut. As a result, his tenure didn’t last very long.
Willie Taggart needs some earplugs right now, because the noise in the system at Florida State is very loud after a 22-20 loss to Wake Forest.
On Monday afternoon, a Tampa-based host/broadcaster who used to work for the FSU radio network has said this prior to and on his show:
Breaking: My sources saying Momentum among FSU Boosters to buy out @FSUFootball Willie Taggart is building. Could Be after the season or Jim Leavitt could be interim HC and maybe take over fulltime. Details coming up at 3pm on The MVP and JP Show On https://t.co/PdQjXgLHUZ
— FanStreamSports JP Peterson (@FanStreamJP) October 21, 2019
Josh Newburg, insider of 24/7 Sports discussed not only a buyout for Taggart on his most recent podcast, but the timetable, which could be a lot more compressed and accelerated than previously thought:
Is an exit strategy being discussed for Willie Taggart?
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) October 21, 2019
This Florida State football season started with Boise State… and it has never ceased to be noisy. Currently, the volume has gone all the way up, the speakers are blaring, and the neighbors are complaining of “noise pollution.”
Whether you think the buyout talk is real or not, you can agree that this situation is very serious. You can also agree that losing to Wake Forest – in a game many people felt weeks ago was going to be the true measure of this season and this coaching staff – has significantly weakened Taggart’s position in Tallahassee.
This was a game he could not afford to lose, in my opinion. Yet, even if you think he didn’t have to win this game, the WAY in which Taggart lost the game has made his situation a million times worse.
Taggart. Coached. Horribly.
This is not even a point of debate. It is woefully obvious.
Let’s start with the late field goal and everything which was a part of it.
First off, Florida State did not seem to want to push the ball down the field on the preceding third and eight from the Wake 35. Receivers might have been initially covered, but that was a very quick checkdown and not what the situation demanded. The first read on the play might have contained a good intent, but the execution and design did not make the grade.
That is a bread crumb of failure in the larger scheme of things.
Here is the bigger banquet table of coaching malpractice to lay out before you:
Taggart called a timeout before Ricky Aguayo’s missed field goal. He robbed his team of 45 seconds, which crushed FSU’s chances of getting the ball back in the event of a miss. If he had to call the timeout because his team was disorganized, that doesn’t reduce the extent to which Taggart completely botched that situation. If anything, it magnifies his failure.
Florida State has lacked discipline and focus throughout Taggart’s tenure The reality that the Seminoles are getting WORSE, not better, in this regard is a searing indictment not only of this season’s performance, but of Taggart as a man capable of fixing fundamental problems which had existed the previous year.
It is hard if not impossible to have confidence in a coach for 2020 if 2018’s problems have not been adequately addressed in 2019.
But that’s not all.
The worst mistake of the night – worse than that field goal timeout fiasco – was not trusting Cam Akers to get six inches deep in FSU territory midway in the fourth quarter with a 20-19 lead.
Forget for a brief moment that any elite team with an elite running back should feel it can get six inches anywhere on the field and should ALWAYS pursue those six inches. Forget that for just a second.
The even bigger outrage about Taggart’s pansy punt is that if you are a coach who is fighting for his job and fighting to revive a blue-blood program which has fallen on hard times, you HAVE to coach aggressively.
If you aren’t willing to make statement plays; if you aren’t willing to exhibit in your coaching decisions the same fearlessness and toughness you expect of your players, how can you win your players’ trust?
This was a horrible move in terms of football strategy, but it was an even worse move in terms of building confidence and trust among players.
No wonder these buyout rumors are swirling. No wonder the noise in the system is deafening.
Willie Taggart might not be done at Florida State, but the mere reality that some people seem to think he is done can only be traced back to one thing:
Willie Taggart keeps coaching in ways which erode confidence instead of restoring it.
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.