The last week in November brings traditions every year. Thanksgiving turkey, rivalry college football games, and of course multi-million dollar football programs waving silly money at potential new head coaches.
For the second year in a row, FSU’s boss, Jimbo Fisher, is being prominently linked to the LSU job. Only this time, unlike 12 months ago when the LSU administration comically backed out of firing Les Miles at halftime of the Texas A & M game, the Bayou Bengal brain trust actually followed through and fired him in October.
Up front, Fisher gave about an 80% reassurance for Seminole fans last week that he would still be in Tallahassee. That’s when he used the now all too familiar “I want to be here” approach to answering questions again about LSU or any other job. Obviously, those kind of replies are meant to shoo away the current questions and aren’t iron clad.
Back to LSU. For all of the talk over the last few weeks that interim coach Ed Orgeron would possibly get the job, LSU has shown no real improvement on offense when it matters, and ultimately, in the two most important games against Bama and Florida, they lost. Both at home.
Couple this with Orgeron’s disastrous time as head coach at Ole Miss, and he isn’t getting the job in Baton Rouge. While a quality defensive line coach and recruiter, he’s not worthy of what this job is.
Now back to Jimbo Fisher, who helped lead LSU’s resurgence on offense in the early 2000’s as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator on the Bayou. Fisher clearly re-established FSU into a national power in about three seasons. Further, his recruitment, development and the ultimate results with Jameis Winston at QB (Heisman Trophy, Unbeaten season for the title, etc. etc.) has Tiger fan salivating at what he could do with just one or two of the wealth of QB’s in the areas around Baton Rouge. He’s an ideal choice for them.
And clearly, Jimbo’s agent, Jimmy Sexton out of Memphis, is the power broker/king maker, especially when it comes to placing coaches at SEC schools. His list of current SEC head honchos is impressive, right now…Saban, Muschamp, McElwain, Smart, Freeze, etc.
So, everything is aligned and this weekend, when the regular season ends and the hires start happening, LSU has a tantalizing opening.
But here’s the crux of the decision: Jimbo makes a chunk at FSU and will likely get even more because of the latest “carousel” flirtations. He would also command, even greater money from LSU to leave Tallahassee, too. Great position to be in, obviously.
So, we at F.F.I. use this as a college football coaching common sense guide: “what does the decision really come down to?”
It’s not money for Jimbo. It’s not the chance to win a National Title (did that). It’s not fame and notoriety. Heck, Jimbo has a current 30 minute weekly behind the scenes infomercial for FSU football on Showtime and he’s THE star of it.
12 months after he could have been head coach at LSU, it’s still comes down to this: Does Jimbo Fisher want the challenge of winning the SEC West annually (against his mentor Saban) and winning titles at LSU/in the SEC vs. sitting pretty at a great program, Florida State, in a lesser competitive conference, the ACC, where he’s guaranteed to continue to kill in recruiting and win bunches on the field?
That’s it. No more complicated than that.
Now we wait with LSU and everyone else, to see if Fisher wants on or off the carousel.
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.