The blame is certainly going around following Saturday's 17-7 home loss to USF. But when the ball is fumbled four times and come away with zero points after getting inside the USF 10-yard line three times, FSU deserved to lose.
Rumors of tension among the coaching staff is certainly not helping matters. Players are being said to have difficulty knowing which coach to listen to: Bobby Bowden or head coach in-waiting Jimbo Fisher. It doesn't help that linebackers coach Chuck Amato is also the "Executive Head Coach" or offensive line coach Rick Trickett is the "Assistant Head Coach" or defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews is the "Associate Head Coach." What is the difference between an "associate" or assistant?" Are the egos of the coaches getting in the way?
The big picture question for Florida State football is Bobby Bowden hurting Florida State football by staying as the head coach but letting the position coaches make the decisions? The fans and media may not know how much coaching or an influence Bowden actually has over the players but watching games and practices, when Bowden is seen standing at a distance from the action or up in his tower at the practices, his unofficial title of "figurehead coach" is justified.
The debate comes into play if FSU should allow Bowden to retire on his own terms or will athletic director Randy Spetman approach Bowden at the end of the season (Bowden signs one year contracts now) and tell him "I'm sorry but it is in the best interest for the team that we go ahead and promote Jimbo to head coach."
Where is the line drawn in allowing the coach who turned FSU into a powerhouse to retire on his own terms or letting him go and allowing Fisher to hire his assistants?
Or is this season a player's issue? Is the talent at Florida State football just not there? Christian Ponder is obviously a better quarterback in 2009 than in 2008. His performance at USF was plagued by a knee injury that he downplayed to the media prior to the game but it obviously affected his performance as he was noticeably limping off the field.
The season for Florida State is not over. The 'Noles have yet to get into the heart of their ACC schedule and from the looks of how the ACC games have gone already in the first four weeks, the ACC will be wide open until late in November again.
An ACC title would certainly erase the September woes of the 2009 Florida State football. When it looked like the BYU game was the wake-up call the team needed after the 19-9 "win" over Jacksonville State, Jimbo Fisher said the team "crossed the line" and it looked the 2009 Seminoles would be dominant. The team clearly hasn't. The blame can be shared by the coaches and the players. The coaches didn't fumble the ball four times against USF but the player's didn't call a defensive scheme that allowed the safeties to get burnt on a long pass play.
The team, the fans, the media head into October with no idea anymore what to expect from the team. Optimists would like to think the USF loss would spark a wake-up call in the team but then the mind drifts back only two weeks before when the team was in a similar situation. "Uncertainty" is the one word to define this team. No one knows how the next game will go for the Seminoles and until they muster up a winning streak, it'll be hard for the confidence to be seen from the team and the fans.