Taggart Time Over
By: JJ Lanier
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
So, who had a year and a half in the “Taggart’s Time in Tallahassee” office pool? I had three years, so once again, I lose.
If you’re wondering why Taggart’s tenure at Florida State ended as soon as it did, there’s a picture making its rounds on the internet that sums it up pretty nicely.
The photo is one of a Miami Hurricanes player about to score a touchdown with a pair of Seminole defenders trailing on the play, both of whom seem either more interested in yelling at each other, or are in the midst of an intense game of “1,2,3 Don’t Blink”, than trying to make a play.
The picture really does encapsulate just about everything you need to know about what has taken place since Taggart’s arrival. Losing to an in-state rival? Check. Losing to a less than mediocre football team? Check. A complete lack of discipline? Check.
And if you’re curious as to how desperately they wanted Taggart out, Florida State was able to raise the more than $17 million dollars needed to buy him out, mostly from donors and alumni, quicker than Don Draper’s marriage vows when a beautiful woman walks by. (Sorry, I’m binge watching Mad Men at the moment.)
While the immediacy of Taggart’s dismissal may have come as a bit of surprise, I don’t think the ultimate outcome is. I don’t recall too many people feeling confident in the hire when it happened as much as taking a wait and see approach; not exactly what you would expect from a program like Florida State.
In fact, Taggart’s hire kind of reminds me of Cardale Jones and Mitch Turbisky. What I mean by that is scouts and analysts were fawning over how Jones should’ve entered the NFL draft after he led Ohio State to a national title, although he had played in only a handful of games. Instead, he returned to the Buckeyes the following year and people realized they were a little overzealous about his abilities after seeing a larger sample size.
And Trubisky was the first quarterback drafted in his draft after starting for only a year, even though there were more accomplished quarterbacks available. Now, it seems pretty obvious that he may only be the fourth best quarterback in that draft class.
In Taggart’s case, he did well at South Florida, but only spent one mediocre season at Oregon, so there wasn’t really much of a coaching history to justify the hiring at a school at Florida State, outside of just thinking he might be successful.
As to where Florida State goes from here, I have no idea. I vaguely remember them having difficulty before finally bringing in Taggart- something that certainly could explain his hiring- and I doubt his firing will make things more enticing than they were a year and a half ago; the product on the field certainly isn’t.
However, they are still Florida State and due to the timing of Taggart’s termination they will have ample time to hone in on one or two coaching candidates, making sure they are the right fit, before announcing a hire.
Right now, that Miami photo is only indicative of the Taggart years. If the Seminoles happen to miss on this upcoming hire, that picture could represent their program as a whole. And it may take less than three years for them to get there.