« The Early Read: Karlos Williams Breaks Out | Main | Going Polling: Florida State Remains 12th in Final Regular Season Coaches' Poll, 13th in AP Poll »

Thoughts From the Morning After: Congrats on the Title FSU, Your House is Collapsing


That headline may be a little melodramatic (it is) but it underscores a greater point, there's a ton of stuff to get taken care of this week as Florida State moves towards the Orange Bowl.

This week will be vital to the future of the program.

Last night FSU beat Georgia Tech 21-15 and won their first ACC Championship since 2005, it was their 13th total since joining the conference back in 1992, Florida State trails only Clemson [14] for the all-time lead. While this is a big triumph for the program in their quest to return to college football's elite it's important the people running things remember the 24-hour rule they impart to the players after games.

Enjoy this one for 24 hours because there's a ton of work to be done.

As soon as Jimbo Fisher gets going this week he's likely going to need to spend some time recruiting. Last week Fisher lost ground with the news his DC was leaving and the preparation for the ACC Championship game preventing him from hitting the road.

Will Muschamp– who had the week off while his Gators watched the SEC Championship game– hit the pavement and made visits. So did Al Golden. Fisher was in Tallahassee answering questions about Mark Stoops and preparing for Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile a lot of the verbals that FSU has locked up are getting new attention from opportunistic coaches who may smell blood in the water with Stoops leaving.

Recruiting is absolutely vital to the long-term success of a program. I personally find it boring trying to delve into the thinking of an athletically gifted 17 year-old, but that doesn't change the fact that programs are built on a coach's ability to recruit.

A huge part of that is having a power structure in place and a sense of stability.

Right now Florida State has question marks with both, which is why Fisher's not going to have much time to spare in his search for a new defensive coordinator. 

Fisher can try to retain DJ Eliot by offering him a promotion from within or he may end up looking outside the program for a replacement. There are a number of good candidates out there but Fisher needs to think about how ambitious his next pick is or else the Seminoles could be dealing with this situation again in a few years.

Either way, the sooner a decision can be made the sooner Fisher can sell that certainty to the kids he's recruiting. Right now other schools are using that against Florida State.

Where the headache for Seminoles fans will start to get worse is with the potential pursuit of Jimbo Fisher by an SEC program. Right now Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas have vacancies and there have been calls to look at Fisher from all three fan-bases.

Fisher is rumored to be on both the Tennessee and Auburn short-lists.

For his part Jimbo has remained adamant that he's happy where he is, he loves Tallahassee and he isn't looking for another job. But anything is possible.

It's likely at least one school comes at Fisher with a substantial offer and that will only inject instability and muddy recruiting and the search for a replacement DC more.

Personally, I don't think Fisher would go. He just broke ground on a 15-million dollar practice facility, he's got the backing of the school, Florida State is a good job and thus far he has been able to bring a few very good recruiting classes in.

But there is a flip-side too, a devil's advocate card to play. Nobody knows how Fisher really thinks, even amongst the media he's friendliest with he keeps it very close to the vest. If he's not confident in next year, if he believes this was the year to take the shot and that things may take a step back next season (after all, Clemson is loaded, UF is trending upwards and the 'Noles will be breaking in a new QB), then he could sell high.

This would be the time to do it.

Fisher says he's happy at Florida State but everything about him screams SEC, he recruits like an SEC coach, runs a program like an SEC coach, he's from the SEC, if the right offer came along– with him coming off a conference title knowing how things could regress next season– he absolutely could jump at it.

Now, again, that's not what I think happens. FSU is pretty loaded talent-wise and I tend to take Fisher seriously when he says he likes what he's building here. I think worst-case for Florida State fans he leverages an offer for a nice fat raise.

But would it shock me if he left?


So think about that potential turmoil swirling around up top while the Seminoles try to replace a defensive coordinator and potentially several assistants and make up ground in-state on the recruiting front all while defending their verbal commits from the Sabans and the Meyers of the world. 

Then add the fact that Athletic Director Randy Spetman is going into the last year of his contract (he received a one-year extension earlier this year) and his status for the future is potentially tenuous. So if the house of cards collapses he may not even be the guy the school wants picking the cards back up.

That only makes the FSU power structure appear murkier and raises a potential nightmare scenario where in the absolutely-worst-case the 'Noles could be without a head coach or a viable AD.

Oh, but congratulations on the ACC Championship.




Powered by TypePad