The news is swirling that FSU is a hot pick to win this year’s BCS National Championship. But, the Seminoles have been at the top of this hype machine before.
Let’s look at a few reasons why this year’s hype mobile might wind up with a few flat tires.
Crystal balls are starting to pile up in Tuscaloosa because Nick Saban takes a fundamental approach to the game—his units dominate in the trenches. He has reminded college football fans that domination at the line of scrimmage is where success in football begins.
Enter Rick Trickett.
In five seasons as Florida State’s offensive line coach, Rick Trickett has not assembled one offensive line that could move the ball with any consistency.
In 2007, 2008, 2009, and in 2011 his offensive lines were embarrassed by quality teams—the statistics are available in FSU’s archives, and they’re not pretty.
In 2010 he had his most successful season but, even that year, his line could generate few rushing yards against quality teams.
In 2010—again, his best season as FSU’s offensive line coach—these were the Seminoles’ rushing averages against quality teams:
Against Oklahoma: 3.8 ypc.
Against Florida: 2.7 ypc.
Against Virginia Tech: 1.9 ypc.
Against Clemson: 3.2 ypc.
Against North Carolina: 3.3 ypc
When the Seminoles played other teams—teams like Samford, Wake Forest, and Brigam Young Univeristy—the rushing averages were higher, thus elevating the overall numbers.
In 2012—if the Spring Game was any indication—it may be getting uglier on FSU’s line.
Possibly worse than 2011, when FSU’s quarterbacks were sacked over 40 times. Because of Trickett’s inability to recruit, or lack of appeal to talented high school offensive linemen, only one current offensive linemen was rated a top-five prospect at his position, according to
FSU simply does not have much talent on the offensive line. It may not matter if they’re healthy or unhealthy—last year’s excuse for the bad offensive line.
When you have a coach who struggles to produce and players who are not inherently talented, it’s a bad combination.
Greg Reid is a fan favorite and will probably have a successful career in the NFL as a special teams player. His nickname is G-5 for a reason.
But, he is not tall enough to play cornerback. He is listed at 5’ 8’’, and he plays like it.
On the right side of the page are two examples of where Reid had perfect coverage on wide receivers but, because of his height, could not make the necessary play.
In the first video, Irish wide receiver Michael Floyd jumped over Reid and scored a touchdown in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl.
In the second video, Sooner wide receiver Kenny Stills out-jumped Reid and overpowered his smaller frame in Tallahassee, Fla.
Reid will always be a great Seminole, but he’s not a great Seminole cornerback. Reid’s diminutive stature will cost FSU dearly at some point this season.
Florida State lost a great player last year when First Team All-American punter Shawn Powell graduated and went off to pursue his dreams in the NFL.
Cason Beatty was chosen as his replacement but, after what Seminole fans saw at the Spring Game, there is cause for concern.
Beatty’s average punt went 34.5 yards, and that was without any pressure being applied. Though Beatty was supposed to be the heir to Powell’s throne, Fisher was quoted as saying it’s now between him and another player—redshirt freshman Dillon Kidd.
Beatty and Kidd are freshmen and will only get better in time, but if FSU’s offensive line doesn’t allow the offense to generate any production, the Seminoles’ punters may be put in some tough spots early in the season.
Powell bailed out the offense on countless occasions last year, and these rookie punters may be expected to do the same.