My goodness, what a horrid game. FSU came out completely flat and looked like a helpless team in falling behind 21-0. Then, a snap over the punter’s head by Clemson led to a momentum change in FSU’s favor which led them to a deficit of just 6 at 24-18. Then, it became an epic battle between Tommy Bowden’s proclivity to give away games and Drew Weatherford’s uncanny ability to get sacked in the worst possible times.
ESPN’s Lou Holtz and Mark May didn’t have their A games either when it came to picking the winner in this stinkfest.
The most exciting part of this game was watching the students run on and off of the field as the final play was reviewed and the stadium announcer told them to get off of it. Now, maybe the Clemson students were just looking for an excuse to rush the field, but a word to Tiger fans: beating FSU doesn’t mean much anymore.
The GameDay guys both missed it too.
The FSU defense only looked fast and nasty for about 10 minutes on the game clock. Players were routinely missing tackles, leading to numerous stat boxes showing that something around 80-85% of Clemson’s rushing yards came after the first contact. The FSU offense wasn’t much to speak of either. FSU had only 1 first down in the first half. Drew Weatherford had only one good drive, and the Noles couldn’t run for most of the game. So much for Jimbo Fisher and Rick Trickett coming in and having an immediate impact. There was a priceless shot of Jimbo right before halftime talking to Weatherford from the booth looking like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and not in the good way.
Jimbo Fisher, center, had no idea what he was getting into. Then again, which is worse: working at FSU, or working for Les Miles?
Hopefully this will put to rest the idiocy that FSU is a good team. I was surprised to see such a smart guy as Phil Steele predict that FSU would compete for a national title this year. In addition, the Semis were names as the most underrated team by the BlogPoll roundtable, though that was heavily influenced by Mr. Steele. I still don’t understand why because as I pointed out on my rankings, while many coaches are new it’s still the same old players who went 7-6 last year on the field. Add on to that bit the fact that offenses usually struggle under new offensive coordinators, and any talk of FSU deserving to be ranked – much less be a title contender – are absurd.
As it is, I know why the ACC puts Florida State on Labor Day evening. It’s because it has the strongest brand in the conference and probably drives the best viewer ratings (I don’t have any stats to back that up, but it’s a pretty safe guess). It’s a risk though, since FSU has been in decline and has offered up some truly eye-scarring games the past couple Labor Day evenings. It may be time to pick someone else to feature. You know, someone who will likely finish over .500 in the conference.
On a side note, bravo to ESPN for the revamped on-screen graphics where the each team’s timeouts appear under its name and the relevant stats for the relevant players appear above the score after each play. It managed to add two very useful things without adding clutter or annoying sound effects. A lot of people around the net hate ESPN, but you have to give it credit for the new graphic.