Connect with us

Florida State Seminoles

All signs pointing to Willie Taggart becoming FSU head coach

Florida Football Insiders



Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

If Oregon coach Willie Taggart hasn’t agreed to take the FSU job, he sure is giving off all the signs he has, and sometimes that’s all you need.

While most were sleeping in the Eastern time zone Monday night, some good detective work by media members in Florida and Oregon indicate Taggart and the Noles have either agreed or are close to a deal to bring him to Tallahassee, officially.

First, as we wrote and constantly updated Monday night, Taggart was on a scheduled recruiting trip for the Ducks Monday afternoon visiting a Phoenix area high school QB, who has verbally committed to Oregon. But, he also took the opportunity to meet there with an FSU contingent about the opening, including AD Stan Wilcox.

Now here we go with actions, and good detective work, telling you most everything.

As we further wrote, Taggart did not follow through with a planned visit in Houston Monday night with a top wide receiver who is also an Oregon verbal commit. That recruit confirmed to the media Taggart canceled their visit and was not coming.

Next, the Oregon media reported Monday night that instead going on to Florida, as planned to continue recruiting, while on Oregon’s plane/”dime,” he instead came back to Eugene.

Why is that significant?

Because if you are in heavy negotiations with Florida State, and you planning on jumping to a new job, you start to make preparations with your staff, and especially prepare your new recruiting game plan for your new school.

Taggart had to go back to Oregon to do that. Plus, he’s now free to come to Florida later on Tuesday, Tuesday night, etc. when the time is right, and the deal is done, if it is done. He will then come to Florida on an FSU private plane or make other arrangements.

And some media paying attention to Taggart’s history and staff’s actions have given the biggest clues yet that he’s Tallahassee bound barring something un-forseen that derails the deal.

First, on their 11 p.m. newscast Monday, John Sabol of WFTS-TV (ABC) in Tampa came up with this excellent analysis of what Taggart did on Twitter the previous two times he left Western Kentucky (2012) and USF for new jobs:

Sabol did great research, especially on the 2012 tweets while a WKU and showing the same “cloak and dagger” behavior of acting like you are excited for your current school, it’s practice and it’s bowl game, etc., while doing a deal somewhere else to leave.

Next, the Oregon media and Ducks recruiting reporter, David Wade, were watching social media like a hawk, and overnight, discovered another huge clue: when current Ducks assistant recruiting director David Kelly began following everything/everyone related to FSU that he could:

Shortly after that, current Ducks linebackers coach Raymond Woodie, who was also with Taggart at USF, began following stud high school LB Verdis Brown from IMG Academy in Bradenton. Brown recently de-commited from FSU, and has not been recruited at all by Oregon to this point.

Now, here’s where we stop the Twitter analysis, and say that these assistants could be doing this, because Taggart informed them that it looked good that he’s getting the Florida State job.

It doesn’t mean that he 100% has the job, yet.

They are just getting prepared for the onslaught of trying to save the 2018 Noles recruiting class, which has suffered mightily in the last 10 days because Jimbo Fisher leaving them in limbo and then leaving altogether. The Seminoles had six verbal commits “de-commit” last week and weekend, alone.

So, we wait for more confirmation.

But for now, as Tuesday begins, it looks like Oregon coach for all of 12 months is about to be the new Florida State coach.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Florida State Seminoles

No, Florida State is not getting rid of Willie Taggart

Florida Football Insiders



Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As our headline clearly presents, we interrupt the chaos and fantasy of those anti-Willie Taggart Florida State fans, who believe that somehow, he is not going to be their coach for the next couple of seasons.

Yes, it is bad right now for Florida State for several reasons. As our Matt Zemek laid out after Saturday’s blowout loss at Syracuse, you can only blame Jimbo Fisher for so much of it. And, because Taggart is in charge, he now will have to bear the brunt of whatever else goes on the next few games and to the end of 2018.

On Monday, Taggart met with the media and read from a prepared statement trying to reassure Florida State fans that the Noles will be better, and soon. Sure, there were many looking at that press conference and saying he doesn’t know what to do. However, FSU is only 1-2 with a winnable game coming this Saturday.

And, fundamentally, one of the things holding them back are talented skill players that must be addressed immediately; the play of the offensive line.  And as this article in the Tallahassee Democrat lays out, the Noles do not have a lot of options currently, in terms of new or better personnel.

Still, offensive line coach Greg Frey is very experienced at several other major programs and obviously, offensive coordinator Walt Bell has worked and called plays and had success in major college programs.

So, the belief that those two can improve the scheme and the blocking has to be there for the FSU faithful.

Now for the silliness that Taggart may only last one season.

That’s what it is, silliness.

He would be due over 21 million dollars in a contract buyout, if he was fired after this year, which Florida state would never pay at this stage.

Further complicating the situation, Florida State’s AD Stan Wilcox, who did the deal with Taggart last December to bring him from Oregon to Tallahassee, is leaving next month for a position with the NCAA.  So, the Seminoles new athletic director, yet to be hired, will have to probably be given a season to evaluate Taggart and that is going to be 2019.

And it’s important to remember the Taggart had a 2 – 10 record his first year at USF, but eventually turned them into a 10-win and bowl game winning program before leaving for the Pac-12 two years ago.

Now, Taggart did win a couple of games early in the Oregon season last year to take the pressure off, but still finished just 7-5, leaving before the Ducks bowl game.

So, perhaps the FSU offense will imporve this week against Northern Illinois, at least enough for Florida State to try and salvage a five or six wins season.

But, if it does not, Willie Taggart is still not going anywhere.

Continue Reading

Florida State Seminoles

FSU’s “Rag-tag” Taggart team tagged, flagged and bagged Saturday

Florida Football Insiders



Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jimbo Fisher left behind a big mess. That’s what Week 1 taught the college football world about Florida State.

Week 2 against Samford, as bad as it was, nevertheless represented a game being played five days after the emotionally draining Virginia Tech opener. Young men — or old NFL veterans — are not supposed to play a violent sport twice in a span of roughly 120 hours. One can give FSU a full pass for that game. It contained very little real-world value in identifying what is right or wrong with this team.

But Week 3? On the road? With a full week of rest and relatively normal game-preparation circumstances? Against a Syracuse program which has struggled to play defense and struggled to win with any consistency over the past 15 years?

This was the time for Willie Taggart to show that, as much as Jimbo left him with a toxic cleanup site and insufficient hazmat gear, the Seminoles’ new coaching staff could manage a problematic situation and make necessary adjustments.

This was the week to show that damage control could define a season in which no one expected Florida State to be great. This project was all about the pursuit of competence and steadiness — not the dominance of old (that is a goal which always existed beyond this season’s capacities), but merely finding one’s footing as a program and setting the stage for 2019.

Instead, the Seminoles were “tagged” by Syracuse running for 231 yards, were “flagged” for 10 penalties, and the offense was “bagged,” by going a horrible 1-14 on third down, and being shutout deep into the fourth quarter.

Syracuse dominated Florida State 30-7. And, the blank stares from Taggart out onto the field shown on TV Saturday are only going to make Noles fans more venomous than they were before this one kicked off.

After this colossal failure in the Carrier Dome, Florida State has no footing.

It is sinking in quicksand… and its coach currently appears paralyzed in his attempt to do anything about it.

Continue Reading

Florida State Seminoles

FSU likely looking at high scoring-“track meet” at Syracuse

Florida Football Insiders



Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In what is the most prominent game of the weekend involving state school teams, FSU limps into the Carrier Dome for a Saturday noon game with Syracuse.

With growing concern about Coach Willie Taggart just two games in, the Noles need some positive things to happen and try to find a way to come out of Western New York with a victory.

One thing is obvious, Florida State’s defense is in disarray and with Syracuse having a powerful dual-threat quarterback, the Seminoles will likely have to win in a high-scoring “track meet” type game.

Even though Florida State played better in the second half defensively in both of their home games with Virginia Tech and Samford last week, there’s still real cause for concern.

For example, short week or not, Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for 475 yards on the FSU defense and receiver Kelvin McKnight had a career night at Doak Campbell with 14 catches, 215 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Yes, Florida State slowed the Bulldogs down in the second half holding them only to one field goal. And did register four interceptions of Hodges. Still the most Ardent FSU supporters have to be concerned that Florida State has given up an average of 422 yards and 25 points in their first two games.

As for the ‘Cuse, QB Eric Dungey (above) is probably a better runner than passer, and the Orange have gone over 450 yards in both of their opening games while scoring 107 points.

Now, the quality of competition was Wagner and Western Michigan, but still yards are yards and points are points.

New FSU defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett has got to find some answers for the read option and Dungey’s Mobility. Unfortunately, Florida State doesn’t have the usual talented physical and fast front seven that fans have been accustomed to in Tallahassee over the years.

So more than likely, quarterback Deondre Francois, running back Cam Akers and receiver Nyquan Murray are going to have to help put a lot of points up on the board, if Florida State hopes to get out of the Dome with a much-needed ACC win

Continue Reading
Advertisement Big Savings for Big Fans at