The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: The 2013 Florida State Seminoles


I’ve often said being a fan of Florida State football is akin to being in an abusive relationship. Every Saturday during the college football season, I sit on the couch with bated breath hoping for victory. You’d think after winning 31 games against 10 losses, being defending ACC/Orange Bowl champs, having the No. 1 recruiting classes, and sending numerous players to the NFL draft would calm my fears, but no. There is no such thing as “calm” when it involves FSU.

For all the good Jimbo has done in his tenure, those 10 losses irk me. No, I don’t expect him to be Nick Saban (who isn’t undefeated, by the way), but some of the games Florida State has lost simply don’t make any sense to me. Like losing to ANY team from the state of North Carolina. How Jimbo manages a 4-1 record against the SEC, an undefeated streak against the Miami Hurricanes, but is 5-4 against teams from North Carolina boggles my mind. The most glaring of those Carolina losses coming while I was attending law school in Durham, North Carolina. Losing to UNC during homecoming and giving up a 16-point lead to NC State the following year just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. And therein lies the problem with being a fan of this team. We lose games we should win and find ourselves in uncomfortable situations with teams we shouldn’t have a problem beating (remember that game against NIU? Yeah. That.)

I started FSU as an undergrad student in 2003. Since then, I’ve watched Chris Rix, Fabian Walker (who never really got a chance to play before transferring to Valdosta State ... and winning a national championship there), Wyatt Sexton, Xavier Lee, Drew Weatherford, Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel suit up as quarterbacks for my team. I’ve never been excited for any of them. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I LOATHE E.J. Manuel. His inconsistency has caused migraines that the strongest of headache medicines couldn’t cure. Nobody was happier than me to see him leave for the NFL, and thankfully the Philadelphia Eagles looked elsewhere in the draft. I’d have no doubt renounced my fanhood if he somehow ended up in Chip Kelly’s offense. I was stuck with him for three years at FSU. No way I was going to spend my time watching him ruin my professional team as well.

Which brings us to our current juncture. The good, the bad and the ugly of the 2013 Florida State Seminoles.


The Good: Jameis Winston. Jeremy Pruitt.

After watching Johnny Manziel do the “Southwest Shuffle” on teams all last year, I’ve been praying to the football gods to send my team a quarterback who is capable of doing the same. I’ve been reading reports on our newly named starter, Jameis Winston, for over a year now. Everything I’ve read leads me to believe that we may finally be getting the superstar QB the FSU faithful has been waiting for. I don’t expect him to take us to the promised land his first time out. I just want to see that this kid has what it takes to hold up his end of the bargain. The hype for him is outrageous, but as long as I see improvement from week to week, I have no problem throwing my full support behind him as the leader of the team and the face of the program.

Jeremy Pruitt has also made a lot of noise. And rightfully so. Anytime you can steal someone working with one of the best defenses in the country, it is something to be celebrated. The defensive players have been ranting and raving about the overhaul Pruitt has implemented. Blitz packages, coverage changes, new schemes and a staggering 11 potential NFL players to work with, I’m hoping Pruitt makes the most out of his embarrassment of riches. I’ve always looked for the defense to hold us down when the offense stalls, and I hope Pruitt is the man who can not only keep us at our current standard, but push us to another level.

The Bad: Winston has never thrown a college pass in his life. Jimbo is still our play-caller.

For all the hype with Winston, it should also be noted that he’s never seen any game action at this level. While the standards and hype have boosted him to astronomical standards, I hope when he comes crashing back down to Earth, fans will keep in mind it’s still his first year. I figured he’d be the starter and will likely be who will be running the team for at least the next 2-3 years, but growing pains are exactly that. Pains. Though our offensive line is finally healthy and we have plenty of skill players to help him out, FSU is still being lead team by an 18-year-old kid in his first year playing at the collegiate level.

The second portion of this section is that Jimbo Fisher is still calling plays. Have you ever watched an FSU offense? It’s like watching a drunk bear walking through the woods. Slow. Powerful. Still has the possibility to kill you but can be woefully inept when the time calls for competency.

The Ugly: Season opener on the road against Pittsburgh. Offensive line concerns.

The season opener against Pitt is going to be a tough one. I don’t know much about Pitt, but I do know we’re starting a first-year QB. On the road. In a conference game. Did I mention this game is going to be on prime time television? I don’t know whose idea it was to not schedule our annual tune-up game, but things are going to get very real. Very fast. National title hopes be damned, if we drop this game at the beginning of the season we might not even get a chance to play in the ACC title game. It’s definitely a cause for concern.

Two years ago our offensive line was so depleted we ended up starting four freshman against Notre Dame in our bowl game. Even though we won, it took a while before they got their feet settled and I had been sitting on pins and needles the entire time I was thing them. Since then, we’ve lost a couple linemen to the NFL draft and, by all accounts, haven’t done a really good job of getting more recruits to fill in at the O-line position. If people start going down early, our season could turn into a mess. With that said, I’m currently auctioning the soul of my second unborn child to not see that happen.

With that said, there’s plenty to look forward to this year if you’re a fan of FSU. With a potential superstar at quarterback, two productive backs and the depth on the defensive side, there’s reason to believe FSU should be able to have a good chance of defending its title at this year’s ACC Championship game. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than it is to be good. I believe FSU is already good, and given the turnaround the program has seen over the last few years, I'm hoping luck will be on their side too.


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