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SPORTING FOOLS ON FSU/UF '05

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We have our own breakdown of the vivisection FSU endured in The Swamp on Saturday, but first the second half of our exchange with FSU blogger and all around sports savant, Corey from Sporting Fools. Corey was man enough not only to answer our questions following one of the worst regular season defeats for FSU in recent memory, but gave superb detailed answers to our questions. Cheers, Corey--frankly, we hope it's a closer game next year, since there's something inherently wrong with watching FSU put up less of a fight than Vandy did.

OS: There's been a cottage industry of picking the instant defined as "FSU Officially Enters Decline." Is this it? And why or why not?

SF: This is more like the instant defined as "FSU finally realizes how serious it's decline is". You know guys, we did a fun questionaire earlier this week and we really weren't trying to take the game seriously because it didn't mean anything in the great scheme of things. This game was hard not to take seriously in the end because it was such a shot in the head about how badly things have begun to fall apart. If I needed to find a point where I'd say FSU's stuff finally hit the fan it would've been in last year's FSU-Florida game. In this series it's a rare day that the road team wins the game by sheer determination and last year Florida did that. The teams were about even, but Florida wanted it so much more. The problem was no one wanted to admit the program was in trouble, now there's nowhere left to turn. The people who pay the bills for this program are finally going to step up and demand change. In all honesty I wish FSU wouldn't have scored that touchdown, 34-0 was much more indicitive of the game.

Moreover this team lacked pride yesterday. Early in the game Jeremy Mincey took a cheap shot on Weatherford well after the whistle blew. When that happened I looked at the offensive line and none of them seemed to be aware that their QB got creamed were afraid to get into his face. I'm not one for cheap shots, but if I'm on that field, I'm taking a personal foul on the next play to send a clear message to Mincey and the rest of the defensive line. I'm not talking ripping a guy's ACL, but definitely an innocent knee to the nuts. Unfortunately the FSU line seemed to be content with being bullied around.

OS: From the other side...how did this Florida team look in your first game in the Urban era?

SF: Defensively they look great. Florida has never really had a nasty defense in my opinion until now. They aren't consistently nasty, but these guys get after it. Guys like Mincey, Siler, Nelson, those guys are the truth. The defensive line is stout and what the secondary lacks in experience they make up for by knocking the shit out of people. Ask me who the team's MVP is and I'll say Charlie Strong, he went back to the drawing board and got things right on this defense. He could've run away to Illinois like everyone else but he gutted it and he deserves a lot of credit.

Marcus and Scoop ask: Are you not entertained?

Offensively I think they still have a ways to go, Meyer probably needs to do away with a lot of the trickery because it doesn't work at the highest level. When they ran the basic counters and isolation plays they were much more successful than option pitches and inside option handoffs and fake pitch to the reciever or whatever else they did. There are too many things involved in the offense that have nothing to do with getting the ball down the field.

OS: Will this game really have the watershed effect on recruiting that pundits say it will?

SF: Has it ever? People don't realize that maybe 3-4 kids are REALLY torn between the two schools. Tim Tebow wasn't considering FSU before the game started and Myron Rolle isn't going to take a second look at Florida.

No one game has the effect on recruiting that a depth chart does. FSU will get a ton of offensive line signees because they have to, Florida will get a good share of speed and skill players because they have to. Recruiting wars aren't won on the field, they are won at the dinner table.

On that note both programs need to send UConn a thank you note because USF was two steps away from using the BCS to spotlight their rising program and added an unwanted fourth member to Florida's Big Three.

OS: What are the chances Bowden changes anything on his coaching staff?

SF: Slim. But if you ask what are the chances that TK Wetherell and Dave Hart change something on Bowden's coach staff, I'd say excellent. Bowden has put himself in such a corner with his offensive staff that he has probably lost a good bit of his power to make decisions. Last year his offensive staff didn't get raises, this year they might not get paychecks. On hand one would think that if Bowden was making the choices that Daryl Dickey would be this year's sacrificial lamb, the QB play has been below average. But the bottom line is he needs a new offensive staff. I don't believe he has the heart to fire his son, but his bosses do.

So if you ask me I fully expect a new offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and I don't think Bowden will have the autonomy to choose because the guy they hire will probably be his replacement.

OS: Weatherford this morning: peeing blood, or just iced up?

SF: Both. He got hit a lot, some of them could've been avoided. He's not as good as people would like to believe and there is no way in hell he's in a 34-0 game taking hits unless the coaching staff is trying to drop "subtle" hints to his backup Xavier Lee. Bowden said one was the starter and one was the closer, well Lee must be more like Donnie Moore and less like Mariano Riviera.

OS: Does FSU have a snowball's chance in the upcoming ACC championship?

SF: Maybe if Virginia Tech's plane lands in Jacksonville, N.C. instead of Jacksonville, FL....It'll look good for a half but they will lost by three scores.

OS: What positives do you take away from this, if any?

SF: I'm positive this coaching staff will change or I'm positive I won't be renewing my season tickets. I'm also positive that unless guys like Fred Rouse, Richard Goodman, Kenny O'Neal, Lamar Lewis, Xavier Lee and Antone Smith are featured players in this offense next year it'll be another 6-7 win season. I'm also positive that the defense gave their all for more than three quarters and they deserved a lot better fate than what they got.

OS: Finally--what miasma is surrounding the FSU defense, the cornerstone of their program?

SF: This Bowden conglomerate offense is the poison of FSU's defense. Bobby Bowden, Jeff Bowden, Daryl Dickey and Billy Sexton are the problem with FSU's defense. All four of them call plays and all four of them have been terrible at it. I can't fault this defense, there's a lot of talent there but they can't play the old-style aggressive FSU football without the offense putting points on the board. Also they could use some more depth on the line and experience in the secondary, but Mickey Andrews has a strong staff between himself Odell Haggins, Kevin Steele and James Colzie and I have faith that they will get their end of things correct.

Thanks to Corey for being such a chivalrous fan. Check out Sporting Fools for quality CFB and other sports commentary.