Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back to mediocrity

Well, that was fun while it lasted. After three weeks in the Top 20, the Seminoles are back to mediocrity, losing this week to North Carolina State. Not that the Wolfpack isn't a team to be reckoned with, especially at home, but Seminole Nation has come to expect a lot more since joining the basketball conference (aka ACC).

Let me couch my complaining in historical terms. Those of us who attended FSU in the glory days, and cheered the team onto two national championships, are not content to watch the team barely eek out a winning season, or lose at home to the Wake Forest's of the college football world (that 30-0 game was an all-time low for the team, the program and the legendary coach). After all, we're not a lowly Big Ten school (or Notre Dame).

I was there for the building of Bowden's Dynasty. I watched the erector-set stadium of the early Bowden Era morph like a Transformer into the castle it is today. I saw them dedicate the larger-than-life bronze statue of Bobby. I cheered the 'Noles to victory under the Superdome in 1999.

Then the end came.

The end of an era. The end of a dynasty. The downward spiral of the program from greatness to mediocrity. So you think I'd be used to the idea of underachievement by the Noles. After all, this has been the decade of lowered expectations. Still, every year, by some great miracle from on high, I believe that things will be different. With the passing of the torch from Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher, my hopes were revived. Then, with the hype that preceeded the 2010 College Football Season, I actually allowed myself to dream once again. But those dreams were short lived. They came crashing down the second week of the season, when FSU got drubbed by Oklahoma, only to be revived once again by six straight wins, the fifth of which came against hated rival Miami.

It was mid-season. The Noles were 6-1. They had vanquished the Ibis, and sat atop all Florida schools as the lone Top 20 team, ranked #16 in the AP Poll. I was beginning to believe once again that FSU was on the mend, that the program had turned the corner (which it actually has, I'm just being dramatic). So going into this weeks game, in hostile territory, mind you, I had the Seminole flag waving in the wind on the front of the house. I turned on the big screen TV and settled in to watch the annual NC State-FSU shootout. Senior Quarterback for the Noles, Christian Ponder, seemed to overcome some early game jitters and miscues and had the offense poised to strike the death-blow with under a minute remaining. Then, he drops back to pass, fakes to the fullback....and FUMBLES the DADGUM ball!!!

Game over.

Not only does the Wolfpack win, they virtually eliminate FSU's chance at the first ACC title in five years. Goodbye BCS bid. Goodbye Top 20 ranking. It was nice while it lasted. I guess I'll wait to see what the Noles can put together next year, but I'm not too hopeful. They lose a veteran offensive line and their QB. It'll be a couple years before the highly touted 2010 recruiting class is able to make a big difference. So, again, I wait. Slowly acclimating to the new dynasty of mediocrity, I wait. :/

Monday, October 11, 2010

Noles Improving, Set Sites on Boston College

After dominating in-state rival Miami, the Seminoles are 5-1 and ranked #16 in the Associated Press Poll. Their next victim, Boston College, has to play in front of a sold-out Doak Campbell crowd in the midday, Florida sun. If the noise and the heat doesn't get 'em, the swarming Seminole defense will!

Yes, it is still early in the season, but this Seminole is already dreaming about the postseason possibilities. A loss to Oklahoma early in the season served as a wake-up call. And now that the defense is getting comfortable in new coordinator Mark Stoops' scheme, they are tearing up the opposition. As the bleacher report aptly noted,

The Seminole defense laid gruesome hits on the Canes all night. It seemed every time a receiver came across the middle or a running back tried to gain any yardage between the tackles, a Seminole or two were there to crush Miami’s skill position players. The physical beating took its toll. UM players needed extra breathers on the sideline throughout the contest, especially in the second half.

FSU Tops Florida in Poll
After the mighty Gators fell to LSU, at home no less, they dropped to #22 in the national poll. Miami fell out of the Top 25, thanks to the drubbing they took from the 'Noles. That leaves FSU as the highest ranked, and only Top 20, team from the Sunshine State. Of course, everyone in Seminole nation has the last game of the season circled every year as THE ONE to win. Fortunately, the Gators have to travel to Tallahassee this year to face the surging 'Noles.

But first things first, the Seminoles have to take care of the Eagles this Saturday, and continue building on the momentum. Since spotting Oklahoma 47 points earlier this season, the 'Nole defense has only given up a total of 47 points to their other 5 opponents, an average of just slightly more than a touchdown per game. Not too shabby. Maybe they can hold BC to a field goal...and then block it! :)

Well, this Seminole is happy to revel in the moment, and dream of a BCS bowl bid.

GO NOLES!!! >>>--------,,,->