Florida State Seminoles

New Chiefs

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Here are my latest observations about the Seminoles after their 3-0 start this season.

1 — This team’s toughness is legit. Every time things begin to look bleak; these guys find a way to fight back. Whether it’s the defense making a stop or creating a turnover or the offense stepping up to make a play.

Remembering Norvell’s Memphis teams, when we learned that FSU was targeting him for their vacant head coaching job in late 2019, what stood out most was how hard Memphis competed snap by snap.

They were physical on both sides of the ball, and seemed unfazed by the score or situation. Whether ahead or behind, Memphis seemed to play with the same high level of energy and intensity.

It’s such a positive thing to see a strong program battle back after challenging years. FSU fans should be falling in love with this team.

They know there will be times this season when the offense sputters or the defense has major lapses — heck, that’s already happened in the last two games (double heck, this ain’t even pro football! Kids mess up all the time). However, toughness is something that shouldn’t come or go. You have it or you don’t. Grit is absolute.

2 —Trey Benson’s break out. Even though he had 100-plus yards in the season opener against Duquesne, I didn’t think we saw the real Trey Benson in either of Florida State’s first two games.

I don’t know if maybe it was taking a little time to get acclimated to the speed of the game against teams like LSU and Louisville. If that was the case, it would be understandable. Remember, he missed nearly all of last season due to a catastrophic knee injury when he was at Oregon.

Maybe he’s just still getting comfortable with Norvell’s offense. Whatever the case, the guy is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and built differently than everybody else FSU has in the backfield.

FSU got game(plans). As much credit as Florida State’s players deserve, the coaching staff prepare excellent strategies.

Despite the fact that QB Tate Rodemaker struggled several times in critical situations, Norvell was convinced that he would eventually turn the corner. Rodemaker may have actually done just that.

Injuries + Recruiting. Florida State has been dealing with several injury concerns. Then the list got much longer during the trip to Louisville, with QB Jordan Travis, DE Jared Verse, DL Malcolm Ray, OT Robert Scott, LB Tatum Bethune and others either leaving the game completely or missing time.

I also see the drop off in recruiting the past three years costing the Seminoles for the remainder of this season. With injuries mounting, the lack of depth will hurt the Seminoles as they navigate the remainder of their schedule.

FSU is off to a great start. The was the last time FSU had a 10-win season was 2015.

Will Norvell lead the Seminoles back to glory or will their lack of depth have them come up short?

War Path

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Florida State football program has suffered a severe fall from grace over the past few seasons. With that newfound mediocrity, comes an automatic lack of promise entering this season.

Can the Florida State Seminoles take advantage of a manageable schedule and return to some relevance as a result? Or, will they once again fall victim to bigger fish in the Atlantic Coast Conference? Let’s find out.

Vs. Duquesne (W)

Sure, the Florida State Seminoles have seen better days than the ones currently surrounding them, but they haven’t fallen so far that this matchup is a toss-up. Anything less than a 40-point win here would be a darn shame, even for a season opener.

Vs. LSU (L)

The LSU Tigers may have seen a downgrade in 2021, but they will be led into New Orleans by new head coach Brian Kelly. With that said, there is a very small chance that the Noles come out of this one with a win. Kelly should take this one by two or three scores, making an early impact in his still-young tenure at LSU.

@ Louisville (L)

Following a dog fight in New Orleans with LSU fails to make things any easier. The bye week placed between the games will help, but not really. The Noles will lose a close one here.

Vs. Boston College (W)

BC will be heading to Tallahassee while Florida State is desperate to make an impression. Expect a convincing Noles win from this one.

Vs. Wake Forest (L)

To put things delicately, the Demon Deacons were not nice to FSU last season. In a 35-14 loss that included a plethora of turnovers, the Seminoles were dealt what ended up being their worst loss of 2021. The Noles may not lose by 21 again, but a disheartening defeat is almost a guarantee, nonetheless.

@ North Carolina State (L)

Now FSU will travel to Raleigh, where they have not prevailed since 2016. If Wake Forest is going to down the Noles on the road, what NC State has in store for them at home the very next week feels almost unimaginable.

Vs. Clemson (L)

Boy, the punches just keep on coming. The Tigers are still expected to be a top-tier contender in the ACC for 2022. And especially with who all they will face leading up to this game, the Seminoles will fail to stay at Clemson’s level .

Vs. Georgia Tech (W)

Finally, we can see a rainbow through the storm. Most GT fans will probably end up praying for this one to end as soon as possible.

@ Miami (L)

Nothing about this matchup leaves the Seminoles with a positive outlook when entering it. Yes, they won the 2021 battle, but the Hurricanes have new head coach Mario Cristobal and they also look like the better team.

Due to the stigma of any big rivalry, the game will probably be closer than it should be. However, Miami should still be the victor by the time the game clock hits zero.

@ Syracuse (W)

This won’t be a blowout, but the Noles are a better team.

Vs. Louisiana (W)

The game should start out good, but FSU will most likely pull away in the second half.

Vs. Florida (L)

The Gators have also won the last three meetings with the Seminoles. The Gators will keep Florida State out of the bowl season again. The Gators are more talented and better coached. This game will not be close.

Conclusion:

The Florida State Seminoles will finish their 2022 regular season slate with a final record of 5-7. It will be their 3rd-straight season without a bowl appearance, and their 5th-straight season with a losing record.

The Real Question:

Will Mike Norvell keep his job if my predictions come true?

Buyer’s Remorse?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Through two seasons (one impacted by the pandemic) things have been disappointing for Mike Norvell at Florida State University.

In his third season as the head man in Tallahassee, Norvell is already setting high expectations. “We have great expectations,” said Mike Norvell. “The daily expectation with the season expectation is for us to go out there and do our best to improve daily, to go out there and not only be competitive, but to push to new limits of where we are and also where we’re going.”

“To see this team come together and to play as one. Those are the things that we’ve seen in laying that foundation this last year and to be able to see the growth, to see the confidence that our players have. I’m going to put no limits to what these guys can accomplish.”

To fix issues on the roster, Mike Norvell has leaned heavily on the transfer portal. He’s hoping that those players will be able to fill gaps.

The rest of the team is filled out by players Norvell recruited and developed. It’s a group that Norvell has a lot of confidence in.

“I’ve got an unbelievable amount of confidence in them,” Mike Norvell continued. “But ultimately, for us, it’s about us showing up every single day and going to perform and to execute at that level with an incredible level of consistency throughout that process. We have great expectations as a program.”

Through his first two seasons, Mike Norvell is 8-13. Florida State fired his predecessor, Willie Taggart part-way through his second season for going 9-12. The pressure is on Norvell and his players to win at Florida State, and win now.

“When you are at Florida State, that’s part of it. You don’t choose to come play at Florida State, you don’t choose to coach at Florida State unless you embrace that opportunity and embrace those expectations to go out there and play at an extremely high level on a day-in and day-out basis.”

Last year, Florida State played Miami and Florida as they were going through internal turmoil. They managed to beat the Hurricanes at home while losing to the Gators on the road.

Based on these spreads, Las Vegas clearly expects Miami to be the toughest challenge for FSU in 2022.

LSU, despite the game being played in New Orleans, has tons of question marks to answer. FSU has not played the Tigers since 1991.

At Florida, new head coach Billy Napier has tried to lower expectations in year one, pointing out challenges in rebuilding.

Whether or not FSU can win these key games will determine if their season is successful and disappointing.

New Path

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

McKenzie Milton has decided to officially hang up the cleats, announcing his retirement from football on Thursday.

The former UCF star returned from a catastrophic leg injury to play for Florida State in 2021, providing one great story last season.

But now that the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, Milton explained on Instagram that “my days of playing football have come to an end.”

Milton had a 27-6 record as a starter for UCF, after starting 4-6 his freshman season, he led the Knights to 23 consecutive wins. He contributed to two American Athletic Conference Championship teams, but that fateful injury in the regular season finale back in 2018 cost him the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Milton graduated from UCF and transferred to Florida State, where he was able to get on the field for six games with four starts during the 2021 season.

After participating in a pro day at Florida State and UCF this spring and not getting drafted, Milton can celebrate his recovery and still know he gave the NFL his best run.

In his announcement on social media, Milton made reference to the “what if” questions that might include whether his NFL Draft outcome might have been different without the injury. But he says his outlook is focused on his growing family, as he and his wife are expecting a boy this summer.

“A lot of people will wonder what if he never got hurt, what if this what if that? I asked myself those same questions for a while too,” Milton wrote in his announcement on social media. “It wasn’t until November 23, 2021 (three year anniversary of my injury) where I saw my son for the first time on ultrasound and then understood why I went through what I went through. It took three years to put it all in perspective. I get goosebumps thinking about how divine it is that three years to the day I get hurt, is the same day I see my baby boy for the first time.”

While Milton was working out with NFL aspirations, he simultaneously got active in the name, image and likeness business.

Dreamfield was founded in the summer of 2021 by two then-active college quarterbacks, McKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King. At the time, both had transferred to Florida schools after great AAC careers. Both said they wanted to take advantage of the new opportunity that was NIL.

Through their Dreamfield platform, they did things like releasing NFTs or non-fungible tokens, which are blockchain-based assets that allow college athletes to easily monetize their NIL, build their brand, and authentically connect with their fans in new and unique ways.

They also brought in other student-athletes, who wanted to use the platform to help find NIL deals.

Today, they offer numerous resources for the athletes who they’ve partnered with, including help with taxes, compliance, and brand building. Meanwhile, they help brands identify the right athletes for them and track the success of their campaigns.

They also exist to help boosters in the NIL era, as they try to begin crowdfunding and things of that nature.

Dreamfield works to bring student-athletes and brands together for the purposes of NIL. They do so without pairing up directly. Instead, they team up with the athletes themselves.

Among those athletes who they have teamed up with are Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham and Washington quarterback Michael Penix.

Now, with these new brands, they will be able to help those brands partner with more student-athletes in deals moving forward.

We may have seen the last of Milton on the gridiron, but he made his impact in college athletics.

Rising Spear

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Florida State NIL collectives Rising Spear and Warpath 850 announced Thursday they were consolidating. The move is believed to be the first “collective” merger in the Name, Image and Likeness era.

Collectives, which are independent from a university, pool funds from boosters and businesses, to help facilitate NIL deals for athletes.

They also create their own ways for athletes to monetize their brands. Every Power 5 school is expected to be affiliated with at least one collective by the end of the year.

As part of the merger, Kristi Dosh (Business of College Sports) reported athletes already working with Rising Spear will have access to the Dreamfield NIL platform. Dreamfield formed Warpath 850 in March, while Rising Spear launched last December.

Additionally, several NIL observers believe more collective mergers in the future. The experts say consolidation makes sense and helps the collectives build a larger presence for recruiting and retention efforts.

Collectives and the NIL have become a lightning rod in college athletics over the past few weeks. Coaches say NIL disguises “pay-for-play” deals choreographed by collectives. Coaches say the groups are using money to persuade recruits and target players on other college teams.

A recent poll of around 80 athletic directors in the Football Bowl Subdivision revealed an overwhelming majority are concerned collectives are using NIL payments as improper recruiting enticements, both for high school prospects and players in the transfer portal.

Bob Davis and Alan Flaumenhaft, former members of the executive board of directors of Seminole Boosters, founded Rising Spear.

There are two NIL options as part of Rising Spear.  Rising Spear finds a booster-owned company and enlists an athlete as a sponsor. For Garnet Spirit, boosters donate to a charity and get a tax write-off. Athletes make charitable appearances to earn compensation.

“This exciting merger between Rising Spear and Warpath 850,”  reports Matthew Quigley, CEO of Rising Spear, “It will create a strong, unified membership platform to benefit Seminole student-athletes. To our knowledge, this groundbreaking merger is the first consolidation between NIL collectives representing student-athletes from the same institution. We look forward to welcoming all Warpath 850 subscribers with a reminder that the student-athletes receive 100% of all donations collected by Rising Spear.”

Additionally, Corey Staniscia, Dreamfield’s Director of External Relations, said “It is the first time the industry is seeing two groups that were on parallel tracks in the same town now team up in a peaceful way to further benefit the athletes at the institution,”

Furthermore, Rising Spear recently partnered with MarketPryce. Who aims to create a larger number of NIL deals for FSU athletes.

Rising Spear is a third-party entity not affiliated with Florida State University. The organization provides a platform to create and develop NIL opportunities for FSU student-athletes in cooperation with businesses and sponsors.

Under current state law, Florida universities can educate athletes on NIL opportunities. But they cannot help facilitate or promote NIL deals. It follows NIL guidelines, and it is totally compliant.

Beating The Odds

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

McKenzie Milton had quite the college football journey. After breaking out at UCF, Milton suffered a gruesome leg injury and was thought to be in danger of never playing again.

However, he recovered and ended up transferring to Florida State, playing the 2021 season.

Milton had a unique helmet for the Hula Bowl, a postseason college football all-star game. Ironically, it is held in Orlando, Florida, home of the UCF Knights. Milton debuted his helmet, sporting both the UCF and Florida State logo on each side. As far as Milton’s future in football, he said he was holding out hope to make it in the NFL.

“Honestly I have no idea,” Milton told reporters when asked what is next for him. “To me, I shoot for the NFL. Hoping that opportunity will come, but we’ll see. It just depends..”

Later the reporter asked if a coaching career is in his future, Milton said his current focus is on playing at the next level, though he does anticipate entering the coaching industry when the time comes for him to hang up his cleats.

In total, Milton finished his college career with 9,458 yards, 75 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, a 61.3% completion percentage, 1,065 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns.

He led the Knights to a 27-6 record as a starter, including an undefeated 2017 season, and two American Athletic Conference championships.

The Hawaiian high school star suffered a catastrophic knee injury during the regular-season finale in 2018 which forced him to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

After multiple surgeries and several years of rehabilitation, Milton took over as quarterback for UCF’s scout team.

After graduating from UCF and completing a long road to recovery, Milton transferred to Florida State to close out his college campaign. Appearing in 6 games for the Seminoles, Milton threw for 775 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 6 interceptions while making 4 starts.

Milton was named the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award winner, which honors the league’s ‘most courageous’ football player and is named for the former Wake Forest and Chicago Bears running back.

Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton capped off a stellar college career by being named one of three winners of the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award on Tuesday.

Milton’s focus is now on the future, particularly one in the NFL, as he looks to make an impression on some of the 100 scouts on hand for this week’s game.

“You’ve just got to go out there and be yourself,” Milton said. “Perform as if thousands of people are watching, which is how it is in the game. So, it’s nothing different. “Everything you put on film is your job interview as well. So, it’s just trying to maximize every rep, even when I’m not in there, get mental reps, too. But it’s been a good learning experience for sure.”

Milton has no idea what’s in store for him, but he plans to participate in FSU’s Pro Day and possibly one at UCF. “I’m just hoping that opportunity comes,” he said. “It just depends on if it’s right for me and if it’s right for my family, so we’ll see.”

McKenzie Milton will be finishing his college football career where it all began: the Bounce House.

Prime Time Recruiting

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Travis Hunter, the country’s top recruit, spurned Florida State during the early-signing period. The prodigious athlete abandoned his long-time commitment to FSU in the final hours of his recruitment for Jackson State, an FCS program led by Seminoles’ legend Deion Sanders.

Sanders, who’s led the HBCU in Jackson (Miss.) since 2020, promised to shock the world during the Early Signing Period.

He didn’t disappoint, but broke the hearts of the FSU fan base in the process. Hunter announced his decision on Wednesday during a signing ceremony at his school, tossing an FSU hat to the side while putting on a Jackson State hat and shirt.

Hunter, the five-star prospect out of Collins Hill (Suwanee, Ga.) was one of the highest-ranked recruits in the history of recruiting services with a Composite Grade of 0.9999. He grew up an FSU fan and was committed to the Seminoles since the spring of 2020.

But Jackson State’s late push, believed to be backed by Name Image Likeness, doomed FSU’s chances late.

It’s a critical blow to the recruiting efforts of Mike Norvell and the 2022 recruiting cycle. FSU was pushing for a Top 10 class, but losing the prodigious prospect derails that hope and puts the future of the Norvell Era in a tenuous position.

FSU’s staff was viewing Hunter as a two-year player, who could help out immediately on either side of the ball as a true freshman.

In the last three seasons, Hunter had 19 interceptions while also scoring 46 receiving touchdowns (in addition to recording 3,807 receiving yards).

In addition to bolstering FSU’s class rank, Hunter was an alpha dog for FSU on the recruiting trail as he helped guide various prospects to the Seminoles — including five-star defensive back Sam McCall — and weather the storm after an 0-4 start to the season.

McCall has already requested out of his National Letter of Intent and will be back on the market soon enough. Florida State is asking him to take a few days to consider.

The NLI is pointless at this point as it costs a counter if you force the kid to enroll and, until they enroll, it does not count as a transfer. Likewise, they can transfer anywhere immediately so it’s a mutually assured destruction situation where no one wins. This is what happened famously with Zach Evans and UGA.

More bad news for Seminole fans, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard four-star wide receiver Devaughn Mortimer has flipped his commitment from Florida State to Louisville and Tift County four-star defensive tackle Tyree West flipped to Tennessee.

Again, FSU is 5-7 and likely going to sign the best class for a team with a losing record in the early signing period.

This class is beyond impressive once you realize the hurdles the staff had to overcome, even if those hurdles were somewhat self-imposed. The jury is still out if this staff can recruit and it will be interesting to see what they can do on-field in 2020.

My final thoughts: has he done more damage to the FSU program in the last 4 months than he did to help FSU in the previous 35 years? Is Deion’s contribution to FSU now officially a net negative or a net positive?

Commit To The Spear

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It’s time to give Mike Norvell some credit. For the better part of the past six months, one of the biggest questions out there has been whether or not FSU will be able to hold onto the bulk of its No. 13-ranked recruiting class.

For a while, it looked like the answer was no, especially after Week 3’s stunning loss to Jacksonville State, but after FSU’s last-minute comeback win over their rival Miami, one would have to think that the Noles are in prime position to keep most of what it has committed.

Norvell and his staff decided to roll the dice and welcome a large group of visitors to Tallahassee for the showdown with the Hurricanes. Sure, there was bound to be plenty of energy inside Doak Campbell Stadium, but the Seminoles were in no way guaranteed to walk away with a W.

That’s why when Jordan Travis barreled his way into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown, a party broke out on FSU’s sidelines. The Seminoles not only snapped a three-game losing streak in the series, but managed to do so in front of nearly its entire recruiting class along with another dozen or so top targets.

Among the visitors Saturday, FSU had the nation’s No. 1-ranked overall prospect Travis Hunter. While the longtime FSU commit had his name linked to Georgia as a possible flip destination, yet he continues to say all the right things about the Seminoles.

Hunter was quick to celebrate Saturday’s win by sharing a 15-minute video from FSU’s locker room to his social media, which was capped off by Jermaine Johnson smashing a rock that had “The U” on it.

Given what’s happening with all the coach rumors at Florida and Miami, the Seminole must capitalize on these speculations. The State of Florida will be wide open for Norvell to dominate in recruiting,

This is the same opportunity Jimbo Fisher took full advantage of when Urban Meyer left. This 4 and 14 game could be the avalanche the Seminole need to build their roster with elite talent.

If Florida State can somehow manage to win out, I predict a top 7 class this season. But if the Seminole’s do not make a Bowl Game, don’t be shocked with a wave of “Respect My Decision” messages on social me

Norvell and the Seminoles aren’t going to sign all of those blue-chip targets. Heck, they might not even get one, but there’s no doubt that their win over Miami improved FSU’s chances with each recruit who attended that win, and that’s big for Norvell as he tries to build the Seminoles back into a championship contender.

The Bright Sunshine

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It has been cloudy in The Sunshine State for the Big Four (UF, FSU, UCF & Miami). All four teams recently suffered setbacks and the storm clouds are building up around a couple programs.

Miami and Florida State are on the list of programs with a name that inspires nostalgia and memorable expectations, but with little or no reference to recent big-time success.

Manny Diaz and Mike Norvell may not be on the “hot seat” right now, but with recent performances their seat will be red hot in no time.

Speculation about Diaz and Norvell seems sure to start. Who could replace them in Coral Gables and Tallahassee? If fans had their way, both would be gone immediately.

Here’s a realistic list of replacements, so you won’t see James Franklin, Deion Sanders, Mario Cristobal, or Urban Meyer on this list.

  1. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota head coach: Fleck has a 27-20 record with two bowl game wins that includes an Outback Bowl win over Auburn.

Fleck is known for his motto Row the Boat. I could see Fleck leaving Minnesota for a high-end job like Florida State or Miami. In some respects (as bad as things are at UM and FSU), Fleck could be rowing his boat in Florida water next year.

  1. Mark Stoops, Kentucky head coach: In his ninth season, Stoops has a 52-50 record.

The Wildcats are a basketball school, but Stoops has made them somewhat respectable. Stoops has ties to the last of Miami’s glory days; he was the defensive back coach under Larry Coker from 2001-2003.

Both teams would prefer Mark’s brother Bob, but among realistic candidates, they’ll settle with Mark.

  1. Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina head coach: Chadwell hit the national radar with an 11-1 record in 2020.

Chadwell has built his system quickly during his time as a head coach. Coastal Carolina went from three, to five, to 11 wins in Chadwell’s first three seasons.

Coastal Carolina couldn’t afford to keep Chadwell if either Florida State or Miami came calling. Chadwell’s track record of building a winner will bring Power 5 money, so watch out for his name.

  1. Lane Kiffen, Ole’ Miss head coach: Kiffen has been the head coach for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Volunteers, USC Trojans, Florida Atlantic Owls and his current gig with Ole’ Miss.

Kiffen is a relentless recruiter and offensive mastermind. His name will be thrown into discussion for every job opening in 2021.

He would be a perfect fit with both programs, because he knows the terrain and he’s a fierce competitor.

1.Tony Elliott, Clemson Offensive Coordinator:  This OC has been in talks for several jobs in past years.

He has been waiting for the right job and most importantly, a big-time job.

Elliott has the best resumé and accolades for a non-head coach. He is a respected recruiter in the South Florida area, and that is essential to building a college football program. If Elliott is to become a head coach, it will likely be a blue blood.

Getting the hires right for Miami and Florida State is extremely important for the trajectory of these once dominant programs.

Contrarily, this article can be for nothing if Miami and Florida State turn it around on the field with their current Head Coaches.

Fear The Spear?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It was a nightmare for Florida State football fans, it was their first EVER loss to an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) opponent, falling 20-17 to Jacksonville State, allowing a 59-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired.

It usually gets worse before it gets better, but Coach Mike Norvell has not shown anything on the field for me to suggest any upward trajectory. All Coach Norvell has done so far is apologize.

Coach Norvell said, “Did not have our team ready to play today.”  That was evident from the start of the game, UCF transfer McKenzie Milton had not one, but two touchdown throws dropped by Milik McClain and Keyshawn Helton.

The offense committed penalty after penalty and could not find a rhythm. For most of the game, Florida State’s defense was solid, but undisciplined; blown coverages literally cost them the W. Six days after the moral (losers) victory against Notre Dame, FSU suffered the worst loss in program history.

College football today is becoming the land of haves and have nots. Florida State: yes, the Florida State that was not far removed from being a dominant program in college football in the mid 2010s, finds itself a ‘have not’ in the early 2020s.

In truth, I don’t know where Florida State goes from here. If you feel they hit rock bottom, then up, but could the program fall into the lower ranks of ‘has beens’ such as Nebraska, Texas and Miami?

Since Jimbo Fisher departed from Tallahassee, Florida State has been in the dumps, both financially and on the field. FSU fired Wille Taggart near the end of his second season and have now made their bed with Mike Norvell, who has 3 wins in 11 games so far.

Can Florida State afford to even consider another change this early on in Norvell’s tenure? Mike Norvell’s buyout is $18 million. Most coaches are given at least three seasons before trajectory dictates job security, but Florida State has already set precedent with Willie Taggart that they are unafraid to pull the plug on a failing coach.

Florida State owes Willie Taggart about $17 million for his buyout. The next month is extremely important for Norvell if he wants to keep his job in Tallahassee.

I entered the season predicting Florida State would go 6-6, and I’m no longer convinced that 6-6 is attainable.

Florida State currently has the 10th ranked recruiting class in the country. Recruits are singing the right tune at this moment. Fans have to continue to hope this class sticks together. But I’ve heard this tune before and so has the transfer portal.

Is Florida State a victim of high expectations that are no longer realistic? Besides Clemson, the ACC is not a great conference; and winning 8-10 games a year shouldn’t be too tall of a task.

Due to economics, Norvell is not on the hot seat in 2021. Norvell is in his second of his six-year deal, and his buyout is 85% of his remaining base salary.

I fear that Florida State is entering a cycle where they’re going to be so deep in a hole that climbing out of it and returning to a consistently great standard is going to be an insurmountable task.