Me and @aadelsonESPN spent 4 months talking to more than 4 dozen people for an autopsy on FSU's fall from dominance. I hope you'll read the story. But wanted to share a little more insight here, too. A quick 🧵……
@aadelsonESPN First, this story is unique to FSU because Tallahassee is a unique place & the Seminoles are a unique brand. But many of the lessons of FSU's downturn are evident in what's happening at Texas, Michigan, Nebraska and elsewhere. Making a CFB program work at an elite level is HARD.
@aadelsonESPN The key to success is two-fold: You have to have the right people win the right roles, and all those people have to be pulling in the same direction. That sounds simple but it's not. Think of the motivations for each power player in FSU's story...
@aadelsonESPN AD's goal is comprehensive excellence for all sports, managing a $150M budget.

Coach's goal is to win championships at any cost.

Boosters goal is to raise $ & placate donors.

President's goal is manage image for entire school.

Donors’ goals are to get return on investment.
@aadelsonESPN That’s a very fragile ecosystem. The Venn diagram of each person's vision will inherently have some overlap, but also a bunch of individual and often conflicting goals.
@aadelsonESPN Add in the egos involved, and it should never be a shock that a combustible situation arises. Again, see Texas, Michigan, etc. We should prob be better at celebrating when it all works. Example: Jimbo & Dabo wanted same things - one was better at getting others to buy in.
@aadelsonESPN Or just think of the different personalities and backgrounds for a school president with a PhD, an AD who’d been at Duke and ND, a coal miner’s kid coaching a football team who worked for Nick Saban… Those guys don’t all end up at the same bar sharing beers in the real world.
@aadelsonESPN So big question at the end of FSU story: Who's the bad guy? It's the wrong question. There are no bad guys. Jimbo, Willie, Andy Miller, Wilcox, Thrasher and dozens of others there all wanted to see FSU succeed. But the definition of success and the path to get there diverged.
@aadelsonESPN Other big question: How long will it take for FSU to get back? Again, wrong question. FSU desperately needs to stop trying to placate the message boards. That's letting the tail wag the dog. The turning point will be getting the right people in place to sell a unified vision.
@aadelsonESPN I think FSU made real progress in that direction. Nearly all we talked to praised Mike Norvell but said he can't succeed without patience. Perhaps more important though was the praise of Michael Alford, who is actively working on defining and selling that unified vision.
@aadelsonESPN The guy I wish we could’ve written more about was Monk Bonasorte — the one guy with zero ego and only cared about seeing FSU be great. He could take a tongue lashing from Jimbo and still smile, could hear Boosters’ budget concerns and explain them to the son of a coal miner.
@aadelsonESPN Monk’s wife told me a great tidbit that, on their 1st date, Monk took her to an FSU booster meeting. That’s what he did for fun. At their wedding, he slipped an FSU champ ring over his wedding band. People trusted him because they knew he had FSU’s best interest at heart always.
@aadelsonESPN Every program needs people like that to succeed, and perhaps that’s the piece FSU is still looking for. Monk died from brain cancer in 2016, and every source we talked to noted the timing.
@aadelsonESPN So here's the real takeaway: There are great folks @ FSU. They're smart people who care about their school & program. To put all that talent & effort into a single vision for success will take the program a long, long way. Just got start pulling together & give it time to work.
And I say all this hoping I still have a few friends left there after this story and we can go grab a beer and a burger with me at Bird’s next time I’m in Tallahassee. 😬🍺🍔

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More from @ADavidHaleJoint

16 Oct
Hi, Coronabro here. Let's talk a bit about how things are going with college football and the virus. A thread...
With the Saban news & another round of game postponements, it's getting tougher and tougher to suggest this is all going well. But is it going badly? Was playing a bad idea? It's hard to say because we have no established metric for success. That's by design.
But lets start with Saban. Could he coach on Saturday? It's funny that this was not a question when Mike Norvell had to sit out, but here's what @CFBHeather wrote yesterday.
Read 35 tweets
15 Oct
Highest % explosive plays (vs FBS, min 2 games)

1 Bama, 21.65%
2 UNC, 18.91%
3 Miss, 18.61%
4 UF, 18.03%
5 Clemson, 17.92%
6 BYU, 17.89%
7 VT, 17.14%
13 GT, 14.63%
36 Okla, 12.4%
28 UGA, 12.13%
42 Pitt, 11.84%
66 UVA, 8.56%
68 Cuse, 7.66%
72 Cincy, 6.43%
Lowest % explosive allowed
1 Marshall, 5.15%
2 Baylor, 6.37%
3 UGA, 6.77%
4 Army, 7.45%
5 Miss St, 7.46%
6 BYU, 7.52%
8 UNC, 7.52%
9 Clemson, 9.18%
10 Arkansas, 9.88%
15 Pitt, 10.42%
25 Miami, 11.73%
48 FSU, 13.27%
50 Aub, 13.51%
65 Lville, 16.3%
71 Wake, 20%
72 Miss, 21.92%
Net explosive play rate
1 UNC, 10.46%
2 BYU, 10.37%
3 Bama, 9.79%
4 Clemson, 8.74%
5 Marshall, 6.88%
6 ULL, 6.77%
7 UF, 6.12%
8 UGA, 5.36%
17 ND, 3.32%
19 NCSU, 1.96%
20 Miami, 1.94%
31 VT, 1.09%
50 A&M, -2.07%
54 FSU, -3.01%
67 UVA, -6.32%
71 Navy, -9.5%
72 Wake, -11.08%
Read 4 tweets
14 Aug
Spoke with Miami U president Julio Frenk today. He said Miami has had zero positive tests in last 3 rounds of testing. Some other tidbits... (thread...)
Frenk is former Minister of Health in Mexico. On the current situation: "I've had a long career in making decisions and this is the toughest because of all the unknowns we still have and how dynamically this is evolving."
On the future of the season: "I don't think we've made any final decisions. ... We're aware that the pandemic is still a huge and very serious threat. If we see things changing, we're ready to change and be adaptive. We're not locked into a rigid decision making frame."
Read 14 tweets
15 Jun
This tweet got me thinking a lot about how we tell the human stories of college athletes and it’s really required me to take a hard look at the process. Adam’s larger issue is 100% right but I want to address "tragic stories overcome” trope, which runs deep. A (long) thread (1/x)
First, since he's mentioned in Adam's tweet, let me say that there's no nicer human in this biz than Tom Rinaldi, so NONE of this is a critique of him. Rather, its a critique of me and (hopefully) a point to consider for all of us who tell stories for a living (2/x)
I like to fancy myself a feature writer. Maybe not a good one, but it's the part of the job that gives me the most satisfaction. The best advice I've ever gotten is that all stories are stories about people & features let me tell the best people stories. (3/x)
Read 28 tweets
2 Dec 19
Quick thread on the ACC’s terribleness.

Wake Forest had 10-win talent this year if it stayed healthy. It didn’t.

BC had 10-win talent last year, but there were holes, too, and it fell short.

NC State was very good in 2017 but not quite at Clemson level.
Those results shouldn't be surprising because while smaller ACC programs have done a great job of developing talent, it's nearly impossible for them to develop talent AND depth, so everything has to go perfectly for them to approach Clemson.
Cuse, Miami, FSU, UNC & VT have all had 10-win seasons in the past 5 years & UVA could do that this year. NC State, Lou & GT have had 9 win seasons.

The problem is, outside of Clemson, it hasn't been repeatable.
Read 12 tweets
15 Aug 19
So I want to weigh in on this story, not in any way as a jab on the author or to argue that Dabo is entirely right here, but to address a seemingly growing narrative that I just don’t get. So let’s dig in, shall we?…
First off, there’s a distinct diff in getting a champ ring after being traded (team’s choice) vs leaving of your own free will (player’s choice). There is no precedent. Guys don’t quit title contenders midseason. So let’s not act like it defies logic not to give KB a ring.
Dabo didn’t “banish” or “purposefully keep” a ring from Kelly. The subject never came up until Kelly was asked and said, “sure I’d take one.” But to Kelly’s credit… HE DOESN’T CARE. Is it worth discussing whether he deserves one? Sure. But there’s no malicious intent here.
Read 23 tweets

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