Quick thoughts on FSU…

This was never going to be a good football team. The hope was 6-6, a bowl game, and enough enthusiasm about progress to keep the 2022 class together.

After Sunday, that all seemed well within reach, if not entirely likely.

Then last night happened.
In a micro sense, the loss was inexcusable.

Yes, the final play. That goes without saying. It’s screwing up Football 101, which puts the heat squarely on Norvell. I get it.

But the limitations of this team were on display throughout. It never should’ve come down to 1 play.
So what the Jax St game showed was two glaring issues that have really dogged FSU for 5+ years.

1) In the moment, the coaching staffs (3 of them now!) have now blundered away games that even a bad FSU team should win. That undermines any sense of credibility.
It can be fairly argued that FSU fans set expectations too high compared to reality. But there is no reality in which FSU should even have to sweat a final play against an FCS team. Of course there was also Samford in 2018, so… it ain’t *just* Norvell.
Games like this give even reasonable fans cause to blow things up again, & that cannot happen. The most important - & also the most delicate — commodity Norvell had entering this season was patience from a fan base that understood (mostly) the job ahead. He blew that in 1 play.
But 2) the macro issues remain the bigger concern. How is it that this program has fallen so far, so fast and with so little obvious path to improvement? Jimbo’s acrimonious departure, locker room culture, Boosters, AD, fans, coaches… they’ve all changed and yet, here we are.
There will be an obvious chorus begging for more change, but what reasonable coach would walk into this situation? The AD job has been a “winner by default” situation for 15+ years. The Booster culture isn’t changing overnight, even if Andy Miller is gone.
The most immediate question is what happens in Week 3. Wake is not a markedly more talented team than FSU, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t always matter. But Norvell has talked about the improved locker room culture, built around veteran transfers. Can they weather the storm?
As much as it feels reasonable to judge Norvell off that brutal, inexcusable final play, the bigger test is if he can keep the locker room now. If so, there’s still reason for hope because, again, this was never gonna be a *good* team. If not… I really don’t know what’s next.
At this point, there are so many villains in this story, it doesn’t seem worth pointing fingers anymore. At the end of the day, someone — Norvell, Coburn, Alford, Batman — needs to identify a clear blueprint toward progress that everyone is on board with following to the finish.

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More from @ADavidHaleJoint

2 Aug
Let’s be real about Clemson & FSU...

1.) If a guy who isn’t a reporter has a “source” be very wary.

2.) There’s no reality in which “streaming” numbers matter here.

3.) ACC, SEC & Clemson all flatly deny conversations happened.

But none of that matters as much as…
4.) the Grant of Rights.

FSU, Clemson & every other non-ND ACC team are contractually obligated to forego their TV revenue through 2036 if they departed before then. In hard numbers, that's approaching a half-billion dollars -- or 5-6x what Texas & OU are on the hook for...
Yes, they'd earn more in SEC, which might help offset some financial damage, but it would also put them at a significant competitive disadvantage in their new league. If the rest of the SEC is flush with cash & FSU/Clemson are paying down a $500M debt... that's a problem.
Read 12 tweets
2 Aug
Nothing predicts success like explosive plays. Drives with at least 1 explosive play (run of 12+, pass of 16+) average 4.1 points. Drives without one average 0.5 points.

So, who are the players who create the most explosive plays? (1/8)
Explosive play%, returning P5 RBs (min 100 touches)
Robinson, Tex - 18.1%
Gibbs, GT - 17.5%
Vaughn, KSt - 16.8%
Smith, A&M - 16.5%
Jackson, OkSt - 15.1%
Ealy, Miss - 14.6%
Durant, Duke - 14.3%
Horvath, Pur - 14.1%
Explosive play%, returning P5 RBs (cont)

Bigsby, Aub - 13.9%
Conner, Miss - 13.2%
Brown, Ill - 13.2%
Spiller, A&M - 12.6%
Goodson, Iowa - 12.2%
Broussard, Colo - 12.1%
Knight, NCSU - 11.8%
Read 10 tweets
25 Jul
Me & @aadelson wrote this spring how the ACC can close the gap w/SEC/B1G. There were essentially 2 real answers from ADs we spoke to: Texas/OU or Notre Dame.

Well, Texas/OU appear off the table.

So let’s talk ND...

(very long thread… 1/x)

@aadelson First, let's clarify where things stand w/ND: When Notre Dame joined the ACC as a partial member (all sports but football + 5 guaranteed football games/year) it agreed to a.) the same grant of rights deal (through 2036) as everyone else (except for football) + a big promise (2/x)
@aadelson ND's deal with the ACC says that IF the Irish join any conference, it MUST be the ACC. I've confirmed this agreement runs concurrent to the grant of rights, so in place through 2036. Of course, there's a way out of everything in college sports, but it would VERY expensive. (3/x)
Read 34 tweets
23 Jul
Feedback from a longtime administrator on what comes next for non-SEC folks:
1.) Shore up own membership. Don’t get poached.
2.) Reach out to anyone who might offer value to see if they’re open to a move.
3.) Investigate strategic alliances… i.e. Pac-12/ACC/B12 partnership.
Multiple ADs I’ve spoken to today speculated that a 32-team super conference could be the ultimate outcome here, as it would be the only way to help offset the SEC’s massive power advantage, though I think a more diffuse alliance between leagues is the more likely option.
Idea would be that the sum > individual parts and by creating something of a negotiating partnership, leagues could squeeze for more TV money and better TV windows for games, whereas individually, none could touch the SEC’s sway.
Read 4 tweets
23 Jul
As @kbohls reported (and I'm told is accurate) the Texas/OU to SEC move is looking likely and would happen sooner than later. So probably time to be thinking about what this means in the big picture for the sport of college football, too. (Thread... 1/x)
@kbohls As we've seen with everything from COVID to NIL, there is no centralized body that says "here's what's good for college football and we need to work together for the larger enterprise." It's every man (or conference/school) for himself, which is what gets us here. (2/x)
@kbohls In a business sense, product isn't college football. It's SEC football, B1G football, ACC football. While fans might view them as complimentary products (i.e. a new UGA fan is also a CFB fan), as a business, they act as substitute goods (each new UGA $ is $ lost from B1G.) (3/x)
Read 9 tweets
15 Jun
What does expanded playoff mean for reg season?

Assume a P5 w/multiple Ls by end of Oct was pretty much out. Same for non-undefeated G5.

From 2014-19 that = 86 teams (thru 8 gms), avg 14.3/year.

Now include 2-loss P5 & 1-loss G5 = 178 teams, a 107%⬆️ in “playoff hunt” teams.
Essentially by Week 10 each year, we’ve eliminated 115 or so teams from playoff conversation (many well before that), leaving only about 11% of teams playing “meaningful” games. New playoff would more than double that, which is a great thing for the regular season overall.
In fact, the number is actually likely higher as there have been just 60 P5 teams that finished the regular season with 2 or fewer losses from 2014-19 — avg of 10/year. Since odds are 11 P5 schools will make the playoff most years, at least 1 3-loss team figures to be in the mix.
Read 11 tweets

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