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2 posts from October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

FSU's Fisher Reacts to BCS Ranking, Laments Dependency on Computers

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Before anyone jumps the gun and starts labeling Jimbo Fisher a Luddite, he was kidding today when he more or less compared the BCS computer polls to Skynet. But it was a surprisingly candid moment from the Florida State head coach when he was asked about his team's ranking in the BCS, particularly how he felt about the computers determining so much of the season.

Fisher started with the partyline. 

"The [BCS rankings] are what they are, we've just got to play our schedule," said Fisher. "We've still got a lot of ball left this season. A lot of ball."

Fisher, and quarterback EJ Manuel both professed to have little knowledge of the rankings. Manuel claimed to have not seen them at all and even asked reporters where FSU was in the first batch of rankings. Fisher meanwhile said he got a print-out but didn't bother to look it over much.

Respectfully, I'm calling mularkey on both counts. Fisher and Manuel are far too competitive to not even check where their team ended up in the first batch of rankings. They may not care, they may not want us to think they care, but they knew.

Fisher actually opened up a little when pushed about the computer rankings though.

Florida State's strength of schedule is like a pair of concrete sneakers and the BCS Computer polls are like the Hudson river right now. Both Florida State and Clemson, the lone ACC schools even in the vicinity of national relevance, are both ranked an average of 29th by the computers. Florida State can hope to improve its SOS with some late season games against UF and potentially in the ACC championship game, but they can only do so much.

So I followed up and asked Fisher how he feels about computers having so much say over the rankings.

"It's just scary the way the world's going sometimes, we're taking the human element out of things," said Fisher. "Not just in [football] I mean in general. We've become so dependent on computers and everything else, I thought people made computers.

"The way our world is going, I always say that about social media, all the things that go on, I mean that's all great and it has its place too for the development of everything that's gone on. I mean I'm not trying to go back on technology but I think still there's got to be a human element in some things. And I'm not just talking about computer polls, I'm talking about life."

Then Fisher joked the way things are headed soon we might all be obsolete as people.

While Jimbo was clearly kidding about how much of a role technology plays, hewas hitting on a point that many coaches have made, computers cannot take into account intangible things that exist outside the context of a stat sheet.

It's a long season, Florida State can only control what it can control, but Jimbo Fisher also made it clear today he doesn't expect the BCS' computers to do the Seminoles many favors.

The Early Read: Florida State 14th in BCS, Miami Week Begins

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Last night the BCS rankings came out for the first time all season and Florida State was back at 14th. Some Florida State fans are surprised but the Seminoles are penalized by the computer polls which ranked Florida State an average of 29th. 

As I wrote yesterday, the Coaches' poll has FSU as 10 and the AP has them at 12. The AP is meaningless though, it doesn't factor into the BCS, the other poll of note is the Harris which has FSU 8th. Instead the computers have Florida State (and Clemson) weighed down by virtue of their lack of strong schedule. The ACC hurts both and FSU's first two games do them very few favors either.

It's not really a big deal because a lot of teams will moves and things will change between now and the end of the year. But it does reinforce just how hard it would be for a one-loss Florida State team to get into the conversation at the very top. Florida State would need Clemson to keep winning, UF to keep winning and whoever they would play in the ACC title game to have a very good record. 

Then again Virginia Tech could lose to both Clemson and Florida State and still have a decent chance to win the Coastal division at 7-5 provided they beat Miami this year.

So bottom line, it's early, but Seminoles fans shouldn't get their hopes up about the computers being a whole lot more generous.

But, that's also a segue into one of the most passionate weeks in Tallahasse, Miami week. There's little love between the Seminoles and 'Canes. While a lot of people in the FSU fanbase will tell you that Florida is the bigger rival (and I tend to agree), that doesn't diminish this rivalry one bit. FSU-Miami over the years has been one of the biggest rivalries in college football.

Recently it's fallen on hard times, FSU has been through a rebuilding and Miami has had a rough streak as well. But with both programs seemingly trending upward it seems as though the great games of old may be on their way back.

Today, we'll hear from Jimbo Fisher about the Seminoles' initial BCS ranking and also for the first time about Miami. So far Fisher is unbeaten by rivals, going a perfect 4-0 in-state. On the Miami side, they'll need to make a determination on Stephen Morris who hurt an ankle in the loss to UNC last weekend. 

So there's plenty to pay attention to in what should be an extremely exciting week.

I'll be posting a lot this week, so keep checking back for regular updates from FSU-Miami week...


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