Sunday, October 22, 2017


With both of my teams 2-4, this season is officially cancelled....for lack of football.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Jimbo? Where are we going?


Decisions by our head coach have come into question in recent weeks, since the Seminoles fell to 0-2 (nearly 0-3) and out of the Top 25. In fact, they fell to the basement of their division in the ACC.

This post is not a knee-jerk reaction to a poor start in 2017, it is a reaction to a trend towards mediocrity at FSU since the departure of stellar overachievers, like Jameis WInston and Dalvin Cook.

My feelings are that Jimbo rode on the coattails of these once-in-a-decade athletes who rose above poor coaching, questionable playcalling and lack of preparation.

Again, this isn't based on 2017 alone.

Since Jimbo took over playcalling, there's been a lack of creativity, aggressiveness and WAY too much reliance on field goals. This past weekend was indicative of his weakness as an offensive playcaller. Afraid to put his QB in high-pressure situations, he called running plays on 3rd and long all day. Beside the fact that this was basically a punt on 3rd down, it undermined the young QB's confidence. He had to be thinking "Coach doesn't trust me." And he clearly didn't.

And where is the masterful gameplanning we've come to expect? With a year to prepare for Alabama, we were just ok. With three weeks to prepare for NC State, we looked like we were caught with our pants home, no less. Players constantly out of position, missing assignments, running wrong routes, wrong blocking schemes, poor execution and lack of will all point to a break down in pre-game preparation. That's on the coaches.

As Clint Eiland pointed out in his column today on, "It has become abundantly clear that the FSU coaching staff has not gotten the players to buy in. They are not motivated, they are not executing, and they are not playing up to the standard of FSU football that head coach Jimbo Fisher refers to so often."

But more curious than his playcalling and gameplanning is Jimbo's defense of and loyalty to his assistant coaches, those position guys whose job it is to have these players ready from week-to-week. Let's call them by name--Rick Trickett (Offensive Line), Lawrence Dawsey (Receivers), Charles Kelly (Defense) and Vic Valori (Strength).

Trickett's offensive line is comical, if not downright sad. On Saturday, there were lineman literally tripping over each other. Their takedown rate of o-line teammates was greater than their rate of blocking Wake Forest defenders. That's an obvious exaggeration, but their blocking was horrific. This isn't a one game anomaly, either. Last year, QB Deondre Francois was beat-up and battered all season by defenses who feasted on this pathetic O-line. In the Alabama game to start this season, he was finally injured. It seemed like a foregone conclusion. Now, we have 'Slim Reaper' back there at 165-180 lbs, depending on who you believe--the media guide or the strength coach--and it's just a matter of time before he's carried off the field. How many QBs do we have on this roster, again?

I won't belabor that point. It's like beating a dead horse. Hell, a dead horse could coach these kids better on the offensive front. Trickett should have been forced into retirement when his son transferred to WVU.

Dawsey, an FSU great at wide receiver, has had 10 years under Jimbo's tutelage. What has he produced? Other than dynamic standout, now NFL baller, Kelvin Benjamin, I'm struggling to name others. I heard the Tomahawk Nation podcast guys call him out last week--TWO NFL draftees in a decade. WOW! They conclude that if he were not an FSU great, he wouldn't have a job. Looking at his receivers performance this year--Noonie a no-show for 3 games, Gavin and Campbell unable to catch balls that hit them in BOTH hands, Tate the only real target--I have come to the same conclusion. Ill-prepared, undisciplined and poor execution from the FSU receiving corps. This, too, has been an ongoing problem.

Charles Kelly. I don't even know where to begin with him, but let's go back to the 2014 opening game vs. Oklahoma State. I remember watching that game and nearly pulling my hair out every time mediocre, immobile QB Brandon Weeden ran wild down the middle of the field. There was NEVER a QB spy at the linebacker position there to stop or slow this kid down. I began my disdain for this man back then. Nothing changed. Last year, Louisville's Lamar Jackson ran roughshod over Kelly's defense and he never had an answer. Now before you mention Jackson's Heisman Trophy, let me remind you how many teams found an answer and bottled him up AFTER our game (remember his poor finish last year?). Charles Kelly had no answer. He NEVER has answers. No in-game, post-game or pre-game adjustments. He just benefits from the raw talent that's dealt him by recruiters. Kelly should have been fired long ago.

Vic Valoria should have lost his job last year after cops found him passed out at the wheel of his vehicle. His legal troubles aside, how strong and conditioned IS this FSU team? Judging by the offensive line, and how easily they are pushed around, I'd say you have your answer. The man's better known for his antics on the sideline (and apparently in the offices after hours) than for the conditioned athletes on the field. These kids aren't physically or mentally prepared to fight for four quarters of football. He wasn't worth the humiliation of the story that broke last year in the shadow of the Showtime special. I'd have used that as my excuse to get rid of him...and if AD Wilcox had a backbone, that should have happened last year!

I don't blame Coach Fisher for being loyal to a fault, but c'mon, man! Your program is spiraling, seemingly, out of control. This year, we are 1-2. The win at Wake Forest was by the skin of our teeth. We looked like a Wake Forest-caliber team. WTF? We are FLORIDA STATE! And I, for one, am not going to settle for mediocrity, living at the middle of the pack in the ACC (which we made into a Power 5 football conference!).

As the Tomahawk Nation guys pointed out, using Jimbo's own logic, if other teams aren't trying to steal away your coaches, then you haven't done a good job in hiring. Will you be any better at the firing?

Nole Nation wants to know. Meanwhile, we wait...but for how long?

Friday, June 10, 2016


Saw a clip of Chuck Pagano talking about the team's running back and I had to wonder...What ever happened to ChuckStrong? You know the hashtag and catch phrase that became popular around the Colts head coach and his battle against Leukemia. This team has been so bad of late, with no protection for the HOF quarterback Andew Luck, that it's become more appropriate to say SUCKSTRONG...can we start a new hashtag until this team improves?


Thursday, February 25, 2016


Meet Stan Wilcox, hardly a household name, but about to go down in the annuls of Florida State University as one of the most notoriously bad Athletic Directors in the school's history. You'd think the guy that showed college football legend Bobby Bowden the door would hold that title, but off the top of my head, I cannot even remember his name.

No, Wilcox may soon hold that title after indubitably bungling the Jameis Winston affair--in case you missed it, that was a PR nightmare for the school run by ES(EC)PN not FSU--and purportedly ready to sign basketball coach Leonard Hamilton to a contract extension. That would be a huge mistake and possibly seal Wilcox's fate as an also-ran.

Hamilton is NOT ACC-caliber coaching material. He's proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt. He was moderately successful at Miami, despite going 73-87 in the ACC (45%). He did take them to the Sweet Sixteen in his final season there before jumping ship and coming to Tallahassee, where he is a smidge better at 48% in conference play. He took FSU to the Sweet Sixteen a few seasons back and has had some signature wins vs. Duke and UNC at home. Save for a couple of great seasons, he perennially underachieves with the talent he's given. This year is a perfect case in point.

He lands All-Americans Bacon and Beasley and starts them as Freshman. They show NBA-caliber talent for the first part of the season, overshadowing XRM, the team leader, in games against the likes of Southeastern Louisiana and Charleston Southern. Nothing against those particular teams, but they aren't Duke or North Carolina, either. An early season loss to Hofstra, in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, should have signaled what was to come--another lackluster performance in the ACC. And when the postseason was on the line, after three seasons of missing the Big Dance, what did Ham's team do? They folded, going on a four-game skid. Tonight they make that five at Cameron Indoor Stadium vs. Duke.

You miss the NCAA Tournament four consecutive years, spending two of those at .500 in conference and slide to the ACC basement and you GET A CONTRACT EXTENSION??? In what world does that balance the scales? Forbes even called Hamilton the 9th most overpaid college hoops coach!

This could stain Wilcox's legacy just as much as the Winston PR nightmare circus--don't even get me started, as it'd take TWO blog posts! Is the man just a frat-house buddy with Hamilton? I don't get it. But the growing chorus from the FSU faithful is #FIREHAMNOW. If Wilcox doesn't get that message loud and clear, it could well become #FIRESTANNOW.

/end rant

Sunday, October 4, 2015

State of my teams, early 2015

Week 4 of the NFL Season and Luck is beat up physically and mentally. An injured throwing shoulder will most likely keep him out of today's game at home vs. Jacksonville. Hopefully, the fans still show up and scream and yell, but I'd totally forgive them if they stayed home. The silence from the front office, even in the face of ESPN reports that there's a growing rift between the coach and the GM, is deafening. Why hasn't Irsay addressed the glaring issues? And why hasn't he fired GM Ryan Grigson? The "experts" on CBS' NFL Today just raked the Colts' front office over the coals, asking "Why wouldn't you protect your franchise player?" It's the question that's been hanging in the air like a thick, black cloud all season. WHY DID YOU draft or pickup offensive skill players instead of solid lineman in the offseason? WHY WOULDN'T YOU pour millions into protecting Andrew Luck? He could throw touchdowns to his grandmother, for Christ's sake...but give the guy some TIME!!!! He's gotten beat up in three weeks this season. He's made some really poor decisions, but I think that's from his brain getting jostled! The O-line play is pathetic! I've never been as disgusted with one single player as I was with O-lineman Thornton (G, #69) last weekend. The pass protection, the run blocking, the overall line play was a "D" at best for the entire unit. And it's been that way all year. We went from AFC Champs in everyone's estimation to Division CHUMPS! Now, Andrew Luck is hurt...and everyone's pointing the finger...from OC Hamilton to Coach Pagano to Owner Jim Irsay. Ultimately, Irsay does bear the responsibility! But he needs to put down the bottle and fire his GM. Ryan Grigson is going to leave Luck out to flap in the wind? I say "GOOD DAY, SIR!!!!"

Oh, and the Colts are 1-2. They came back last week to win late in the game...and in the process may have lost their franchise QB for several weeks.

The problem with my Noles, despite a 4-0 start against nobody's--from Texas State to Wake Forest--can be boiled down to one guy: DC Charles Kelly. His porous defense last year was hardly excusable, with no improvement from game 1 to the CFB Playoff Game vs. Oregon. But I decided to give him a pass for his first year. He's a smallish guy. What, did he play defensive back or something? I want a Derrick Brooks, a Shadetree Jones or someone of that girth and intensity on the sidelines...not some smurf with a scowl! And what of his porous defense? Well, in the last two weeks, we've given up more passing yards, playing a weak prevent zone most of the game. Linebacker play is improved over last year, I'll give him that...but I wonder if that's more our talent there being improved. I just don't like his schemes, the lack of D-line pressure or the percentage of blitzes. AND I FREAKING HATE ZONE DEFENSE!!! That rarely works...and the few times it does is because of great pressure up front. We DID pitch a shutout at Boston College, but C'MON, it was BC! We've played nobodies...and yesterday nearly lost to Wake Forest. Had they not shot themselves in the foot inside the red zone or settled for so many FG's, we surely would have lost up there in the rain! I know it's early in his second year, but I've grown impatient with the little guy. About ready to start the "FIRE CHARLES KELLY!" chant at the next home game.

On the offensive side of things, I'm quite disappointed with the dropoff in Everett Golson's play and decision making. He's a fifth year senior, for crying out loud, but too often he plays like a rookie. Yesterday was no exception. His first series of the first game was a thing of precision and beauty. His passes were lasers and ropes, right on target! He's never looked as good since. I don't get it. Maybe there's a reason Notre Dame wasn't sorry to see him go?

Okay, I'm done venting. Hopefully, the rest of the season bodes better for both of my teams. Otherwise, it's going to be a VERY long year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Will we be Luck(y) again?

Today is a big day and a huge national stage for Luck. Will he shine brightly, again, as he did against Peyton Manning's Broncos? Will Tom Brady and the Pats pose a much bigger challenge?

I'll be glued to a multitude of TV sets today, that's for sure. LETS GO BLUE!