|Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 10:23 AM- -|
In my lifetime, I have seen it all regarding FSU football. I remember the 1970s teams that were awful. I remember the teams in the 1980s that were great. I have seen national title teams that have been elite. I have seen the decline late in the Bobby Bowden era where they were mediocre. I have seen the Jimbo Fisher years go from good to great to elite and now back to being just very good again.
The Seminoles went 14-0 and won the national title in 2013. In my opinion, this was one of the five best college football teams in my lifetime. FSU had only one game that was in question the entire season. The only game that was within two touchdowns was the national title win against Auburn.
That team had 29 draft picks so far including 13 underclassmen. There are 14 players starting in the NFL off of that team. On defense, Terrence Smith and Jalen Ramsey started that season and are still in Tallahassee, but the other eight players are in the NFL and seven are starting. On offense, all 11 are in the NFL and six are starting in the NFL.
The 2013 Seminoles averaged 51.6 points and 519 yards per game. The defense allowed 12.1 points and only 281 yards per game. They beat five ranked teams that season.
Jimbo Fisher is in his sixth year at FSU, and I put his tenure in two categories, the Jameis Winston era and the non-Jameis years.
Before Winston, FSU was good but not great. In 2010, they went 10-4. They got beat 47-17 by Oklahoma, 38-24 by NC State, 44-33 by Virginia Tech and 28-24 by North Carolina. In 2011, they went 9-4 with losses to Oklahoma, Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia. In 2012, they went 12-2 but had losses to NC State and Florida.
Those teams were good but not elite. When Winston arrived, they became elite. In his two years, the Noles went 27-1 with a national title and a playoff appearance.
This year the Seminoles are 7-1, but are double-digit underdogs this week and will be underdogs at Florida. If they finish 9-3 this season, Fisher would be 27-1 with Winston and 40-13 without him.
This year's Seminole team is not elite. They are young in so many spots, and inexperience has been a factor. There are elite playmakers like Dalvin Cook and some high-end prospects at wide receiver, but there have been consistency issues on both sides of the ball.
Florida State is not what they were in 2013, but the Noles are talented enough to beat Clemson. There enough four and five stars in this program to win Saturday.
FSU enters this game as a double-digit underdog for the first time since 2009. They are underdogs for just the second time in 59 games. But they are talented enough to beat Clemson if the Tigers don't play well Saturday.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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