It’s Bobby’s fault.
No, it’s Jeff’s fault.
Wait a minute, it’s Mickey’s fault.
Actually let’s blame it on Chris Rix or even Jared Jones.
That’s the game that’s going on in Tallahassee: Who’s to blame? Perhaps the blaming should stop (it won’t) and the hand wringing could take a small break for a quick analysis of what’s going on with the FSU football team.
Start at the top if you like, with Bobby Bowden. He didn’t all of the sudden forget how to coach, or motivate or lead. He didn’t get stupid overnight. Bowden is still one of the best coaches in college football, seemingly ageless. Perhaps a little less patience with the media, but still a solid coach, leader and recruiter. Talk football with Bowden for about two minutes and it’s obvious he’s very involved, very much part of what’s going on when it comes to game planning, strategy the Seminoles mind-set.
If there’s one area that’s I’ve criticized in the past, it’s whether Bowden has the energy left to discipline a large group of young guys, particularly guys with the personality to play college football. Outside of that, Bowden has no downside, except that he’s created a situation where he’s nearly impossible to replace.
Bowden can call his own shots at FSU, stay or leave, coach or retire when he chooses and have a large hand in who his successor will be. Bowden isn’t the type who’s inclined to walk away when the going gets tough and will only leave with his legacy intact.
Bobby has come under a lot of criticism for putting his son Jeff in charge of the offense as the coordinator. The plays look fine and the sequences of plays aren’t the problem. The problem is execution and that’s where a coordinator takes the heat.
FSU likes to throw the ball downfield, and they’re still doing that. They like to try and hit the big running play, and that’s been hit or miss. Which brings the focus on the offensive line. The Seminoles will start their sixth different compliment of offensive linemen, having lost three starters since the beginning of the year. No team can be successful with that kind of change unless their skill players continue to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
FSU has had a continuous flow of surprises at top positions, particularly at quarterback. The latest was Wyatt Sexton’s bout with Lyme disease that put him out of the lineup for the year. Drew Weatherford won the job, beating out Xavier Lee, and believe it or not could actually set all kinds of records this year for first-year quarterbacks in the league, eclipsing Phillip Rivers’ marks set at N.C. State.
Weatherford has taken a lot of heat, like Jeff Bowden, but as he said this week, when the plays work, they’re great, when they don’t, they’re not. It goes with the territory.
They could lose to Virginia Tech and possibly get beat in whatever bowl game they play in, finish the year 7-6 and out of the top 25. But they won’t panic and they won’t throw up their hands and walk away. They’ll get back to work; they’ll recruit harder, play better and return to the national picture with Bowden at the controls.
And that’s when he’ll walk away.