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!!!
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. :/