By: Scott Manze @brosius16
Florida State has not lost fewer than 2 games since they recorded the only perfect season in school history, and won the national championship in 1999. If you ask anyone in the know this year, they’ll tell you the Noles are more than likely to go 13-1 for their best record in over a decade. So why am I not more excited?
Ever since the Noles lost to Oklahoma in the 2000 BCS championship game when I was 10, I have watched the team flounder through poor coaching (Jeff Bowden, Darryl Dickey, Jimmy Heggins), bad quarterbacks (Chris Rix, Wyatt Sexton, Drew Weatherford), miserably failed prospects (Fred Rouse, Callahan Bright, Xavier Lee) an 0-6 stretch against Miami between 2000-4 and six straight losses to Florida from 2004-9. Expectations should have been tempered considerably for the program. But like it or not, they haven’t been.
The last 11 years has seen one underperforming, overvalued team after another play. It has seen the only coach I and many others had ever known at Florida State unceremoniously forced out of the program he built. It has seen the same amount of 7-6 seasons (3) as it has BCS bowl appearances in that span.
But 2012 was going to be different. This was the year Jimbo Fisher took the next step as a head coach. This was the year that EJ Manuel became the first Heisman QB candidate for FSU since Chris Weinke. This was the year that the defense mirrored those nasty Mickey Andrews led defenses of the 90s.
And some of it has happened. There is no doubt that Jimbo Fisher has put together the best coaching performance of his young career so far. EJ, while not Heisman worthy, has been workmanlike and even excellent at times this season. The defense is putting up its best numbers in years.
But people are still questioning Jimbo’s coaching ability, especially after the NC State loss. People are still counting down until EJ has played his last game in Garnet & Gold, and people are still complaining that the defense could be better, could be forcing more turnovers, could have stopped NC State on that 4th and goal.
And maybe that’s it. While Florida State has done virtually nothing to maintain fan’s high expectations over the last 11 years, they are still high. Many expected a national championship run this year, and seeing how close the Noles are to being undefeated now, it hurts some. Many key pieces graduate this year, and there is some uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff for next year. It was national championship or bust, and while many fans would give anything for their team to be this close to going 13-1 with a league championship and a BCS bowl win, this fan isn’t satisfied. Because I know this program can still be better.
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