Florida State Seminoles

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.

Sharpened Spear?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

After a very rough first year under Mike Norvell, the Florida State Seminoles looks to rebound behind UCF transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton.

Coach Norvell had a year to replenish the Noles’ roster with high profile transfers, and the Seminoles are hopeful for a substantial improvement over last year’s 3-6 record.

The transfer of star quarterback McKenzie Milton was the story of this offseason and it is a foregone conclusion that he’ll be the starter.

Milton was a Heisman contender at UCF, but he hasn’t played a game since sustaining a career threatening leg injury in 2018. A star in status may not return with star-level skill after something like that.

Due to some disastrous games in the 2020 season, Vegas does not think very highly of FSU, giving them just a 15.5% chance to win 6 games. With those odds, let’s take a look at their schedule:

Sept 6 vs Notre Dame: The Noles open the season on prime-time TV versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Sunday night at 7:30. The home crowd should help the Noles play with a lot of energy, but the Fighting Irish have too much talent and will leave Tallahassee with a big win. ND 48 FSU 24.

Sept 11 vs Jacksonville State: The FCS Jacksonville State Gamecocks should be a win for FSU. Florida State has 3 games they must win if they want to be bowl eligible. This should be a walk in the park for the Noles. FSU 56 JS 13.

Sept 18 at Wake Forest: First road game of the season and FSU has more talent than Wake Forest. This is the first of a few toss up games for the Seminoles and should be a battle between McKenzie Milton and Sam Hartman, I anticipate a high scoring affair. FSU 48  Wake Forest 42  

Sept 25 vs Louisville: The second of four total toss up games and a must win for the Noles. This was a tough outing for FSU last year, ending in a 32-point blowout. FSU should look at this as a revenge game. FSU 38 Louisville 23

Oct 2 vs Syracuse:  If this was basketball, then there’s a need to be worried. This is football and this should be an easy win for the Noles. FSU 36  Syracuse 17

Oct 9 at North Carolina: Last year FSU shocked the Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium, but either way I look at this game, it is not good for the Seminoles.

Sam Howell leads a high-powered North Carolina offense and the game will be played at Kenan Memorial Stadium.

This will be a respectful L for FSU, one that hopefully welcomes them back as a competitor in the ACC. North Carolina 44 FSU 20

Oct 23 vs UMass:  The Seminoles face their second FBS team, UMass happened to go 0-4 last season. This will be a blowout Homecoming special. FSU 64 UMass 13

Oct 30 at Clemson: Oh-NO!! After last season’s COVID canceled game, Dabo will take it out on Norvell. The Noles will wish this year’s game was also canceled hours before kickoff. Clemson has too much Champion-tier talent and it will trash FSU’s game plan from start to end. Clemson 52 FSU 13

Nov 6 vs NC State: Another toss up game. Thayer Thomas and the Wolfpack travel to Tallahassee and hand the Seminoles another home loss. NC State 38  FSU 24

Nov 13 vs Miami: The Hurricanes have dominated the Seminoles in the last four seasons, and the trend will continue this season. The U comes to town and leaves with another no doubt victory. Miami 57 FSU 27

Nov 20 at Boston College: Game four of the four toss up games. Milton and the Noles are too much for the Eagles. FSU 38  Boston College 16

Nov 27 at Florida: This is probably one of the biggest rivalry matchups of the season. The Gators have more talent on both sides of the ball and will show FSU no mercy. Florida 58 FSU 24

Record: 6-6

The 2021 season will be a turning point for FSU. Can they meet, or exceed expectations?

I believe the ceiling for FSU is 8 wins and the floor is 4. McKenzie Milton is the key to the season. If he stays healthy, FSU can reach their ceiling, if QB1 is QB done, expect 4-5 wins.

Foundation Rebuilding

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Florida State ended a hectic month of June with supreme style, landing four public commitments from the final weekend of official visits before the Dead Period began.

The Seminoles moved to number 3 in some recruiting rankings and that’s top in the ACC.

Most fans pay attention to the details of their own team, and look at rival teams with a broad stroke. Assuming the worst for their rivals, fans don’t get into the details of why or how very often.

So… Florida State: they hired Mike Norvell from Memphis, who went 3-6 last season. Fans ignore the state of the roster and lack of coaching time mostly due to COVID, meanwhile Gator and Cane fans have laughed about “Memphis Mac” for about a year now.

If you watch video from his time with the Tigers, you will see a dynamic offense. Most Florida State fans assumed that would translate immediately to their program, and they were left hopeful after the North Carolina game.

FSU fans ignored the roster and lineup changes during the season and any improvement on the offensive line. All they saw was three wins! That only reinforced FSU’s rivals on social media that Norvell can’t coach or recruit.

Norvell is building his FSU team inside out. He currently has 14 total commits and 7 are offensive and defensive linemen. The class is led by the number 2 player in the country Travis Hunter from Suwanee, GA and Sam McCall is the other five-star commit from Lake Gibson, FL.

Now the inside players, FSU currently has 4 offensive linemen committed.  Antavious Woody a 6-3, 291 guard out of Lafayette, AL, Qae’shon Sapp a 6-5 320 tackle out of Leesburg, GA, Aliou Bah a 6-6, 325 tackle out of Memphis, TN and Kanaya Charlton 6-5, 351 guard out of Brunswick, GA.

Norvell and staff are currently addressing their need on the o-line and I think FSU will try to add two or three more linemen to this class, Norvell has his sights on Elijah Pritchett, Julian Armella, and Daughtry Richardson.

With the way things are going, it’s probably safe to say the Seminoles will land a top class of offensive linemen, in pursuit of rebuilding. One of many steps in multiple recruiting cycles to acquire competent depth; sounds like a good coach.

As Florida State gets closer to the start of fall football practice, the offensive line may be the most intriguing unit. They weren’t great by any means this past season, but there was notable growth. With the entire group returning, there’s cause for optimism in the depth chart’s rotation.

Norvell must win more than 5 games this year, or these recruits will portal to another, more successful campus to call their home.

Game Changer

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Recruiting at all levels is very important, but programs still need to recruit the high priority positions to recruit real game changers.

The most important game changing recruit is the quarterback, for example. And if your team does not have a great quarterback, then your team will be at a huge disadvantage no matter how many blue chips you have on the rest of the roster.

I saw an article where the “Blue Chip” ratio was given for schools and the top schools were as follows: Alabama 84%, Georgia 80%, Ohio State 79%, Clemson 67%, LSU 66%, Oklahoma 66%, Texas 66%, Florida 66%, Texas A&M 61%.

The SEC led the way with six schools, followed by the Big Ten (3), Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC with two each.

The article defined Blue Chip using the composite star ranking and four and five-star count. The article counted transfers and high school recruits.

For the first time since 2018, the Florida State Seminoles did not make the top ten in Blue-Chip Ratio. Once a recruiting juggernaut, Florida State ratio has fallen below 40%.

The Seminoles currently have 91 players on scholarship and 34 are Blue-Chips. That includes 33 guys who were four or five stars out of high school and UCF transfer McKenzie Milton.

Florida State still has more blue chip talent than most of the ACC (North Carolina State, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Louisville, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, and Virginia Tech).

FSU has recruited a lot of Blue Chips since 2018 but they haven’t lived up to their billing, that’s about the same with every other school as well.

The Seminoles haven’t had a game changer at quarterback since Jameis Winston in 2014, however that will change if McKenzie Milton can stay healthy.

Coach Mike Norvell targeted Milton for several reasons, and his in-game experience was the top of the list.

Milton was the first quarterback commit under Scott Frost and earned the starting job as a true freshman. Milton’s freshman season was a rocky road amassing a 6-7 record.

After that season, Milton and UCF blazed through their schedule, and Milton did not lose another game as quarterback for the Knights.

Milton’s play can help cover up some of the issues the offensive line may have. Milton’s quick release and pre-snap reads of the defense would be two noteworthy traits that make him a difference maker.

I expect Jordan Travis to get snaps because he’s very dynamic running the football to keep Milton off the field.

However, I’m curious to see how Coach Norvell uses his two quarterbacks to their best individual abilities. Let’s hope Norvell is creative with the talent he’s given

There’s an old football cliche that states, “IF YOU HAVE TWO QUARTERBACKS, YOU HAVE NO QUARTERBACK.”

It has been a long time since FSU’s Blue-Chip Ratio has been this low but the Seminoles have a game changer at quarterback, who goes by the name McKenzie Milton.

Dumpster fire

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As you look around the Southern college football landscape you see the Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and Georgia’s of the world playing a very good brand of football, but you can also look around and see some programs not performing very well.

We have a few programs in our geographical region that currently look like dumpster fires. Let’s take a look at my top five programs that have fallen on hard times.

 

  1. Georgia Tech: The Jackets were number one on this list two years ago. Now they are about remove themselves from lists like this. Georgia Tech is doing the right things to not be included on lists like this much longer.

Teams 1-4 on this list need to follow the Jacket blueprint. The Jackets land here as a motivational tool for 2021.

 

  1. Florida State: My how the mighty have fallen. This once proud football program has sunk to an all-time low.

Gone are the days of ruling the ACC with an iron fist, and now we see FSU backing out of playing home games against Clemson and using Covid-19 as an excuse after Clemson had already made the trip.

FSU used to be a recruiting machine and now they fight Georgia Southern and South Alabama for 3-star athletes.

FSU will be back eventually but how in the hell should a program of this magnitude ever appear on a list like this?  It cost Clemson $250K to travel to Tallahassee for a pre-game meal, but they got to see a top five dumpster fire in person.

 

  1. South Carolina: Are you starting to see a pattern of the SEC East yet?

South Carolina is a State with good high school football, Columbia is 80 miles from Charlotte and less than 3 hours from Atlanta. The recruiting base is there.

South Carolina’s biggest problem is that they are Clemson’s little brother and they can’t shake that label.

You mention that to the fan base and they get fighting mad. How can Clemson be so good and South Carolina be so bad currently? I just don’t get it and many football observers in the south don’t either.

Will Shane Beamer fix this dumpster fire?

 

  1. Vanderbilt: Vandy has never been very good in football. We all understand that the academic prestige of Vanderbilt presents some competitive challenges for this fine University.

Derek Mason has been fired and been replaced by Clark Lea from Notre Dame.

Vandy needs to get back to work of becoming a competitive football team. The Commodores did not win a football game in 2020, and decided they were just not going to show up and play Georgia in their final game of the season. That mentality alone has to go and makes Vandy a dumpster fire.

 

  1. Tennessee: How did we get here Vol fans? You are the biggest dumpster fire in college football currently. A ten-year-old boy and Tennessee fan asked his father “What is it like to beat Alabama dad?” Dad answered “I don’t know son we are Vol fans.”

Tennessee just suffered through the worst decade of football in its proud history. Six head coaches in 12 years.

Now apparently Tennessee has as many as 30 level 1 and level 2 major recruiting violations. Rumors of giving away cash in McDonald’s bags and so on.

Due to NCAA sanctions forthcoming it may be 2025-26 until Tennessee has a full complement of scholarships to offer (they could lose up to 30 over next 4 years).

This program is about to be on life support. Tennessee is having a mass exodus via the transfer portal.

Memphis is the best college football program in the State of Tennessee right now.

Damn, just damn, Big Orange nation you are the biggest dumpster fire in all of college football.

Florida Grades

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The college football season is over and Alabama has regained the throne.

For the Big Four in the State of Florida, its year-end report card time.

The biggest question when I go to grade these teams is expectations versus on field performance.

Florida State: The buzz surrounding Florida State Football has been steadily building with the arrival of Mike Norvell. The Seminoles kicked off the season against ACC rival Georgia Tech and ended with Duke.

FSU finished with three wins and six losses. The Noles had three games canceled due to COVID. The signature win was against number 5 North Carolina 31-28. Many fans were excited that the program had finally turned the corner and FSU football was back.

But a week later Louisville routed the Seminoles 48-16.

Florida State has long been considered one of the Elite programs in the country, but if last season is a gauge of the program’s direction, it is in big trouble.

Team stats: Passing 159 for 292 for 1,771 yards, ten touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Rushing 352 attempts for 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns. Receiving 159 catches for 1,771 yards.  Defensively the Seminoles allowed 257 yards passing per game and 199 yards rushing per game.  FSU scored 232 points this season and allowed 324.

The few bright spots from this season were Jordan Travis, Lawrence Toafili, Amari Gainer and Emmett Rice.

Mike Norvell’s first season grade: F

UCF: The Knights entered 2020 with the goal of winning the AAC. That goal was not accomplished.

The Knights blew two big halftime leads to Tulsa and Memphis. That set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Central Florida finished with a 6-4 record but that did not meet the expectations of the program.

Offensively the Knights did put up record breaking numbers led by Sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel and wide receiver Marion Williams.

Gabriel was 248 for 413 for 3570 yards, 32 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  Williams recorded 71 catches for 1039 yards and ten touchdowns.

UCF was very defensive in 2020. The Knights gave up 299 passing and 192 yards rushing (average per game).

In UCF’s four losses, the Knights allowed Memphis 41 first downs and over 700 yards of total offense, they also allowed Tulsa 23 first downs and over 450 yards of total offense. Cincinnati had 28 first downs and over 500 yards of total offense and BYU had 34 first downs and over 650 yards of total offense.

UCF fans have great expectations but realize that 2017 & 2018 are long in the past.

Josh Heupel’s grade: C+

Miami: The Canes finally had a standout starting quarterback in D’Eriq King and he helped bring some of the swag back to South Florida.

The Hurricanes took strides forward from Manny Diaz changing the culture in Miami.

Miami finished 2020 with eight wins and three losses.

King was a difference maker for the Canes. He was 211 of 329 for 2,686 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, only 5 interceptions, 538 yards rushing, and 4 touchdowns.

The Hurricanes struggled against top tier ACC teams with blow out losses to Clemson (42-17) and North Carolina (62-26).

In these games, Miami was plagued with errors whether it be penalties, missed assignments, drops, or lack of effort.

The offense took a step forward, but Miami’s defense looked unmotivated, porous and undisciplined.

Despite great performances against Duke and Florida State, the defense surrendered too many yards on the ground to North Carolina (554).

They also allowed Oklahoma State’s quarterback to throw for 300 plus yards and four scores.

Manny Diaz grade: B

Recruiting Wars

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I am handing out grades to the following teams’ recruiting classes following the early Signing Period for the class of 2021.

Considering the challenges all coaches have to deal with while recruiting during the pandemic, there is plenty of praise and blame to go around for Miami, UCF and Florida State.

Recruiting has three periods: Early Signing, National Signing Day, and Transfer Portal. I’ll be looking at the Early Signing Period and Transfer Portal.

Grading any recruiting class is a subjective venture. I determine grades based on the balance of talent level that is brought in, alongside with how the class addresses needs on the roster.

Miami: The Hurricanes earned the signatures of 21 players during the first day of the Early Signing Period. When the dust settled, the Hurricanes had the 11th class in the nation and 2nd class in the ACC.

Miami put a big emphasis on locking down the best players from South Florida (15 of the 21 signees are from Miami-Dade and Broward County).

The keystones of this Hurricane class are five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and safety James Williams.

Miami also flipped four-star quarterback Jake Garcia from USC. The Hurricanes still need to add a couple more offensive linemen and cornerbacks. I’m giving Miami an A-.

UCF: The Knights had 19 players sign and one transfer. The Knights rank 61st Nationally and 4th in the AAC.

UCF focused on the defensive side of the ball with 11 defensive players signing.

Anthony Hundley signed with the Knights after decommitting from LSU.  The Miami native had offers from Florida State, Michigan and Ole’ Miss.

Mikey Keene became the third quarterback to sign with the Knights since Josh Heupel took over. The Arizona native passed for 5,089 yards and 47 touchdowns during his time at Chandler High School.

Former Virginia quarterback RJ Harvey transferred to the Knights; however, he will play at running back.

UCF is a program unlike the others in this article, their recruiting budget is 1/10th that of the other schools. The Knights will add a few more pieces in February and use the Transfer Portal to fill out their class, but the grade for the Knights is C+.

Florida State: The Seminole fans hoping that the football program was going to take a dramatic, positive turn in the first year under new head coach Mike Norvell were in for a rude reality check.

The prized newcomer for the Seminoles won’t be a freshman, but rather, former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton. If Milton is healthy, this is a talented game changer for Florida State.

This is the first class in modern day FSU history that has not included a five-star player.

In addition, the Seminoles only have one player ranked inside the top 250.

Norvell is very clearly trying to revamp the FSU defense with 10 of their 16 commits on that side of the ball.

Hunter Washington is the Seminole’s highest ranked recruit, and he is a bit undersized at 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds. Hunter Washington, Malik McClain, Shambre Jackson, Omarion Cooper, Rod Orr and Patrick Payton anchor Novell’s second class.

Florida State ranks 22nd Nationally and 4th in the ACC.

The Seminoles have a lot of work ahead of them to raise the talent level of their roster. Norvell must utilize the Transfer Portal. My grade for Florida State would be a D- but the arrival of McKenzie Milton alone raises it to a B-.

Florida Recruiting Wars

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With the Early Signing Period less than a month away, I want to look at the Big Three in Florida’s potential recruiting classes for 2021.

The Current ranking for the Miami Hurricanes is 13th in the nation and fourth in the ACC with 21 commits.

The Canes currently have 1 running back, 5 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 4 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 defensive backs, 2 athletes and 1 kicker.

Coach Diaz has done an excellent job of keeping the top talent in South Florida to commit to Miami.

Leonard Taylor, the number two player in the state and ninth nationally, is the anchor to an outstanding class. The Canes have commitments for three of the five heralded players from Miami Palmetto (Taylor, Bashard Smith WR, and Savion Collins DE).

Miami has 19 current commits from the State of Florida and 16 of the 19 are from South Florida.

Key players in this class: James Williams 5-star safety, Romello Brinson high 4-star wide receiver and Laurence Seymore 4-star offensive guard.

Miami needs to find a quarterback, two or three more offensive linemen and 3 or 4 more defensive backs.

When the dust settles after the early signing period, I predict the Canes will be in position for a top 10 class.

The Florida State Seminoles are currently ranked 28th and in the ACC with 15 commits.

The Seminoles currently have 1 quarterback, 4 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 3 defensive linemen, 1 linebacker and 3 defensive backs.

Coach Norvell must think he is still at Memphis with the star power of the current class. FSU (Five Star U) has ZERO five stars in this class, four 4-stars and eleven 3-stars.

The Seminoles only have six recruits from the State of Florida.

The disaster on the field has affected recruiting. If Norvell wants to be competitive on the field it starts with recruiting top players in the States of Florida and Georgia.

Norvell may want to utilize the transfer portal this season to acquire some talented players who are dissatisfied with their current situation. The current roster has six five-stars and a top 10 composite ranking but only two wins on the field.

The Seminoles need to add 4 to 5 offensive linemen, 2 receivers, 3 defensive linemen and 2 defensive backs. Norvell sure looks to have his work cut out for him.

FSU will finish the 2021 with a class ranked around 25th. Maybe FSU fans are wishing they didn’t fire Willie so quickly!

The University of Florida Gators are currently ranked seventh in the nation and fourth in the SEC with 26 commits.

The Gators have 2 quarterbacks, 6 receivers, 5 offensive lineman, 5 defensive linemen, 2 linebackers, 5 defensive backs, and 1 athlete.

When Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville, he was not known as a top recruiter but he had made smart hires. The Gators will carry over the success on the field into recruiting.

The Gators snagged the two remaining players for Miami Palmetto in Jason Marshall and Corey Collier. The Gators currently have 18 commits from Florida and 3 from Georgia.

Florida may have lost a commitment from 4-star linebacker Chief Borders out of Franklin, GA to Sanford.

Players to watch for commitment are 4-star linebacker Xavian Sorey and 4-star safety Terrion Arnold out of Tallahassee, it’s a Florida – Alabama battle for both players.

The Gators are in good shape to finish with a top 10 class. My prediction is they will have the sixth ranked class in the nation.

Florida is one of the richest recruiting states in the country, and if the Big Three want to stay in the Big Three, they must recruit the State of Florida first.

Sunshine Saturday

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Here’s a Florida College football fan’s guide to this week’s games as the 2020 college football season is on its way into Week 12.

Last Saturday, Florida showed no signs of hangover from the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, by trouncing Arkansas 63-35.

Senior Quarterback Kyle Trask keeps breaking SEC records with his sixth game with four or more touchdowns.

The Gators travel to Nashville to take on the Commodores of Vanderbilt. Florida opens as a 31.5 point favorite.

Can Kyle Trask continue to play at an All-American level? Can the Gators put the game away early and rest some starters? My predictions: Trask throws for 5 touchdowns and they roll Vandy 45-13.

Last Saturday, FSU fans got a glimpse of their future. Chubba Purdy started the contest versus the North Carolina Wolfpack. Purdy played well, going 15 for 23 for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it still wasn’t enough as the Wolfpack dominated the Noles 38-22.

FSU hosts number four Clemson at noon in Doak Campbell Stadium and the Noles are a historic underdog in the contest.

The Tigers open as a 32.5-point favorite over the 2-6 Seminoles. FSU was a 26-point underdog to Clemson last season, which was believed to be the largest point spread in school history.

Clemson suffered their lone loss two weeks ago to Notre Dame without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Their signal caller is expected back and that means bad news for the Noles. Clemson is a national powerhouse and Florida State is a national landfill.

In my opinion, this is the worst Florida State team in program history! Clemson 52 FSU 20.

Last Saturday night in Orlando, UCF manhandled Temple 38-13.

The Knights opened the game with a strip sack and never looked back. The Knights offense did not look like it was clicking until the start of the 3rd quarter, when Dillon Gabriel found Marlon Williams for an air mail touchdown.

For UCF, standards this season have been disappointing. The Knights are 5-2 after being picked by many to win the AAC conference.

The Knights and Bearcats renew their revere on Saturday in the Bounce House. With very limited capacity, the Bounce House during the 2020 season has not provided their normal home field advantage.

The Bearcats come into this game looking to remain unbeaten and take another step towards a potential playoff spot.  Cincy opens as a 4-point favorite.

This is a battle between UCF’s offense and Cincinnati’s nationally ranked defense. The Bearcats are outscoring their opponents 212-57, with an average margin of victory of 31 points per game.

Those numbers are against quality offenses like Memphis, Houston and SMU.

UCF will score points, but Cincinnati is too legit this year. Give me the Bearcats 48 Knight 38.

The Miami Hurricanes game against Georgia Tech has been postponed due to COVID.

The Canes are coming off an impressive come from behind victory over Virginia Tech last Saturday.

D’Eriq King led a second half comeback to keep the Canes in the mix for the ACC title game. King makes Miami the U again.

So, sit back, buckle up and enjoy some college football this weekend.

If you are a Knight expecting a battle in the Bounce House, a Seminole praying for a miracle, a Gator witnessing a massacre or a Hurricane just waiting to troll the other fan bases, live college football offers us an escape during these stressful times.