Tag:Bobby Bowden
Posted on: March 28, 2011 11:25 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 11:29 pm
  •  
 

Spring Practice Primer: Florida State

Posted by Chip Patterson

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Florida State , who started spring practice last Monday.


Pegged as early favorites for the ACC (and possibly National) Title in 2011, are the Seminoles for real?

In a word? Yes.

From 1987-2000, the Seminoles did not have a single season without double-digit wins. From 2001-2009 Florida State only accomplished that feat once. One of the purposes for utilizing a "coach-in-waiting" is to limit the negative effects of transition in a coaching change. For Florida State, giving the head coaching seat to Jimbo Fisher was a much-needed upgrade.

Fisher has not just returned Florida State to the double-digit wins club, he has rejuvenated the entire program. For the first time since conference expansion brought Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, Florida State is entering the 2011 season as favorites to win the ACC. If you have any wonders as to why so many people are high on the Seminoles, just look at what returns from 2010.

Florida State returns eight starters on offense and defense as well as both specialists from their 2010's ACC Atlantic Division Champion squad. They won four of their last five, only losing 44-33 to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game and finishing the season with a Chick Fil-A Bowl win over South Carolina. One of the main reasons so many experts favor Florida State in 2011 is the return of so many of the same players who stood on the podium in Atlanta on New Years Eve.

For example, take a look at the running back position. Florida State never put up dazzling numbers with their ground game, but their running back-by-committee attack wore teams down and consistently became a factor late in games. Junior running back Chris Thompson (846 yards, 6 TD) led the way in 2010, but Ty Jones (527 yards, 5 TD), Jermaine Thomas (490 yards, 6 TD), and Lonnie Pryor (112 yards, 4 TD) will all be back and looking to increase their workload in 2011. Thomas recently rejoined the team after serving a suspension resulting from a driving with a suspended license arrest, reuniting the group once again on the field.

"I love Jermaine to death and it just feels good to have him back," Pryor said after Thomas' return. "We need all of us again to do the same things we did last year."

Thomas may be back from suspension, but the Seminoles still have an extensive list of inactive players for spring practice due to injury. While many people have high expectations for the Seminoles in 2011 because of all the returning talent, the look of spring practice has been much different. Fisher hopes that the extra attention for the young talent will help the Seminoles in the future.

"We got a lot of issues going on," Fisher told Seminoles.com. "Hopefully, we'll develop our top 22 guys out there. We know the guys that have started that won't be in there, but develop some of these young guys and some depth."

One position that will undergo major development for Florida State this spring will be quarterback. The Seminoles may be returning 8 starters from each side of the ball, but there will be a brand new starting quarterback under center. Except, the thing is, he's not really brand new.

E.J. Manuel saw his first action on the field as a true freshman in 2009, taking over for the injured Christian Ponder for the final four games of the season. Manuel was wildly inconsistent, but finished the season 3-1 as a starter and was named MVP of the Gator Bowl. The win secured a 7-6 record for the Seminoles, avoiding the only losing record in the Bobby Bowden era at Florida State.

He was asked to do the same thing in 2010, filling in for Ponder who struggled through a nagging elbow injury all season. After falling behind early, Manuel put together one of his best individual performances against Virginia Tech in the 2010 ACC Championship Game. Manuel was not phased by the big stage, calmly completing 23 of 31 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. He carried that momentum into the Chick Fil-A Bowl against South Carolina, when he was once again asked to take over for Ponder in the second quarter because of injury. Manuel threw for 84 yards and ran seven times for 46 yards to hold off the Gamecocks.

With two bowl games under his belt, it is easy to forget that Manuel is just now completing his first spring practices. He injured his hand in his first spring practice two years ago, and missed all of 2010's spring drills while recovering from shoulder surgery. Now he will have to get used to running the offense on a full-time basis with two starting tackles sitting on the sideline and new faces at guard and center.

"It's a big difference, not having Ponder there," running back Chris Thompson explained. "He was a big leader on our team. But E.J. has stepped right in on that. With him stepping up, being a leader - like when we are going through workouts and fourth quarter drills he has always been vocal with us - it's been a real help for us."

On the defensive end the Seminoles are not only returning eight starters, but also several reserves that saw quality minutes in 2010. One of the focuses on the defense hasn't been on trying to fill out a depth chart, but instead players trying to win the few starting spots available. Not a bad problem to have for defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

"We got everybody coming back from last season with a lot more experience," said defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel. "Coming together as a defense, we know what it takes and the high standards. We set the bar last season, and now we know in spring everyone is going to come out ready to practice."

The high standards demanded by head coach Jimbo Fisher include constant effort and an always-present toughness. The fast-talking West Virginia native wants to practice fast and hit hard. He is never hesitant to criticize his team when he feels they deserve it, but he will also sing praises when they have been earned.

"I was very pleased," Fisher said after Florida State's first practice in full pads on Saturday. "We had toughness and we had effort today which I questioned the other day and I was very pleased. That was one of the first real practices we've had. I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball - kids competing when everything wasn't right, guys making some plays on both sides. Effort was good. I thought we had a good day on special teams. I liked the way we practiced today."

Are the Seminoles legitimate contenders in 2011? Absolutely. Unfortunately their status as national contenders could be determined before the the end of September. Before they even have to face their first conference opponent, Florida State hosts the Oklahoma Sooners in Tallahassee on Sept. 17. The Sooners are also considered to be among the top contenders in 2011, making the game a "must-win" for both teams with BCS dreams.

Florida State does not have all the tools in place to win a championship yet, but returning 18 starters and a Gator Bowl MVP quarterback is a great way to start.

Click here for more Spring Practice Primers
Posted on: February 17, 2011 2:55 pm
 

Sail the Caribbean with Jimbo Fisher

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hey there, Florida State Seminoles fan. Do you love the Florida State Seminoles?  I mean really love the Seminoles? Have you spent your entire time on this planet following the Seminoles, and worshipping at the feet of Bobby Bowden? Have you now shared your heart with Jimbo Fisher?

Fantastic! So how would you like to spend seven days with Jimbo Fisher on the high seas? That's right, international waters, where there are no laws! Go ahead, take a recruit with you, buy him drinks, there is no NCAA here!
Seminole Fans' Special Events - Welcome aboard cocktail party, autograph party, recruiting report, coaches' party with photo opportunities, FSU highlight films, spirit party, questions and answers with the coaches and their wives, complimentary Seminole goodies and more!
Award Winning Service - Guests are pampered at every turn, with every need attended to and even anticipated. Your cabin steward will spoil you from breakfast in bed to turndown service at night. The friendly staff will make you feel like royalty.
Along with the special events and award winning service, you'll also experience fine dining, fabulous entertainment, golf and did we mention Jimbo Fisher? He just got a raise, so drinks are on coach!

The cruise leaves Tallahassee on June 5 and returns June 12, so get your tickets now before it sells out. You don't want to miss the chance to see a drunken Florida State fan tell off the quality control coach, do you? Tickets range from $949 per person to $3,639 per person. Call now!
Posted on: December 14, 2010 10:55 am
 

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We'll forgive you if you want to take this Washington Post report concerning the vacant Vanderbilt head coaching position with enough salt to make the Morton girl jealous, what with their last effort -- you know, the one that said the Commodores only had to iron out the details before Gus Malzahn took the job -- not exactly standing as a beacon of journalism.

All the same, there's no doubt a reporter writing under a blog named "Terrapins Insider" has better sources on the Maryland end than the Vandy end, and so it's best to pay attention when he writes this:

James Franklin , Maryland’s offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, is expected to become the next head football coach at Vanderbilt, according to two sources close to Franklin with knowledge of the negotiations.

Contract details are being negotiated today, and barring an unforeseen road block, Franklin could be announced as Vanderbilt’s head coach today or tomorrow.
This would make a lot of sense for Vandy: Franklin was by all accounts their second choice all along, and if he's not bothered by the school's preference for Malzahn -- and why would he, given that he can now demand a salary at least in the same ballpark as the 'Dores blockbuster offer to Malzahn, reportedly in the neighborhood of a guaranteed $15 million over five years -- there's no reason to start the search over again elsewhere.

It also makes a lot of sense for Franklin, who no doubt had little interest in remaining behind Ralph Friedgen for another year in College Park and will be bagging a hefty raise in the process. Put both sides together, and there's no reason to think the WaPo is crying wolf at us again.

Franklin's departure also probably signals the end of the coach-in-waiting trend for good; with two high-profile desertions out of the coaching on-deck circle this week coming on the heels of last offseason's acrimonious Bobby Bowden departure and the NCAA's restrictions on the coach-in-waiting's recruiting efforts, at this point the potential boost to staff continuity doesn't appear to be worth the headaches that come with it.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:01 am
Edited on: November 23, 2010 11:02 am
 

Papa Bowden coming back to the Orange Bowl

J. Darin Darst

The Orange Bowl will welcome back a familiar face for this year's Orange Bowl as former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has been named honorary captain.

Bowden led Florida State to the Orange Bowl eight times during his 34-year tenure at the school, including his first national championship game win over Nebraska in 1994. Only Tom Osborne (11) of Nebraska and Barry Switzer (nine) of Oklahoma coached their teams in more Orange Bowls than Bowden.

From the press release:
 
"I am so honored to be invited by the Orange Bowl Committee to attend the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl and serve as an honorary captain," said Bowden.  The Orange Bowl holds so many wonderful memories for me, including, of course, winning our first National Championship there. But the memories of coaching against some of my dearest friends, and coaching the many great young men that played in those games make the Orange Bowl even more special."

Bowden will join the captains for the participating teams on the field for the coin flip prior to the Orange Bowl. The game will be on ESPN and pit the champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference against a BCS "at-large" team.  Right now, I project Virginia Tech vs. TCU , but depending on what happens in the Auburn at Alabama game, we could see the LSU/Arkansas winner or even Alabama in the Orange Bowl.

Posted on: October 29, 2010 12:00 pm
 

ACC doomed to go without at-large bid again

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's always one of the first factoids cited whenever the ACC 's lack of strength is a topic of discussion, even ahead of "Wake Forest won the league championship within the past decade": the ACC has never earned an at-large bid to the Bowl Championship Series . 12 years, 12 whiffs, 12 missed paychecks worth millions of dollars and 12 missed opportunities to grab some kind of foothold of respect within the sport.

The talking points in the immediate wake of N.C. State 's dramatic 28-24 win over Florida State last night were that the Wolfpack had stolen away control of the ACC Atlantic and that Russell Wilson 's sudden return to form means they just might keep it. But what shouldn't be missed is that the loss all but guarantees the ACC will go yet another season without an at-large BCS bid.

That's because the Seminoles were the conference's only halfway viable candidate. Virginia Tech has taken two losses already, one to FCS James Madison in the season's biggest upset to-date. Neither Maryland nor the Wolfpack have the kind of cachet to pull in TV ratings over similar programs from other conferences (not to mention their pair of losses each). Miami was embarrassed in defeats to Ohio State and the 'Noles. Etc.

After their early-season thumping at Oklahoma , you wouldn't have said the Seminoles were a favorite to land a BCS at-large berth, but as long as they kept winning, they would be in the mix. They still have name-brand recognition dating back to the Bobby Bowden glory days. They play an exciting brand of balanced offensive football led by a high-profile star in Christian Ponder . Most importantly, they had just the one loss and the remaining schedule (home against North Carolina and Clemson , at Maryland , home to Florida in what could be a key ACC-SEC triumph) to make the leap into the BCS top 10, even the top 5. If the 'Noles ran the table but lost in the ACC title game to, say, the Hokies, they would have received a long look from bowls like the Sugar and Fiesta .

But a hypothetical three -loss FSU team? With non-AQ bid snatchers like Boise State and TCU around, not to mention the likes of Ohio State, the Auburn-Alabama loser, or a Big 12 team like Nebraska or Oklahoma ? Forget it. This isn't the year, either, and every one that passes with the BCS millions going places other than the ACC makes it that much harder for the conference to break through next year.

It's fair to say the ACC powers-that-be weren't begrudging N.C. State their raucous celebration after the victory last night. But if any Wolfpack fans happened to stumble onto a sour and depressed-looking ACC official in the aftermath, here's to hoping they weren't begrudging that official his bitterness and disappointment, either.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com