It's practically an annual tradition, FSU's football team going to a bowl game, but after a few meager seasons in the twilight of Bobby Bowden's career, I no longer take the invitations for granted. Last Sunday, the Noles, now under the leadership of Jimbo Fisher, were invited to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl where they will face South Carolina, led by former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier...a familiar nemesis to be certain.
It looks to be a great game pitting the 19th and 23rd ranked teams in the nation, each runners-up in their conference championship. Spurrier always brings a high-flying offense to the field, and Fisher will place a Charlie Ward-like quarterback at the helm. I'm talking, of course, about the red-shirt sophomore E.J. Manuel who is a dual threat. He went toe-to-toe with Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor in the ACC Championship Game and held his own against the ACC's Player of the Year, posting almost 300 yards of passing offense and 33 points on the board. Not too shabby for a guy that's only started a few games. But he's no stranger to the bright lights of the college bowl season, as he started in last year's Gator Bowl for the Noles and was named game MVP. I'm hopeful he'll be as impressive in this year's Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
During the news conference last Sunday, Jimbo Fisher was successful in convincing the Chick-Fil-A mascot to do the tomahawk chop (see pic below).