When the ACC released the 2009 FSU football schedule back in January, everyone knew this would be FSU's toughest schedule in years. Eleven out of 12 of their opponents went to bowl games last year. Yet, a 2-3 start for the Seminoles has created an unrest in Tallahassee not seen in years.
Divisions are formulating around the team: Bowden supporters vs. Jimbo supporters, offensive coaches vs. defensive coaches, young players vs. upperclassmen players. Everyone is picking sides. And where does Bobby Bowden see himself?
"I will determine my situation with Florida State University when my move has to come," said Bowden on Sunday.
Supporters of Bowden fight that he brought FSU to national prominence and he deserves the right to go out on his own. During the '90s when FSU was always a top-five team, Bowden was quoted as saying he knew it was his time to go when the team was a constant four to five loss team. Since 2003, FSU has consistently been that team.
Now the team is in shambles. The coaches are fighting amongst themselves. The fanbase is calling for change. And now the chair of the FSU Board of Trustees, Jim Smith, has come out and said it is time for Bobby Bowden to retire.
Supporters of Bowden question how effective Jimbo Fisher really would be at head coach. They point to the goal line instances against USF and Boston College when FSU was at the one-yard line and went for it on fourth down each time and came away with no points.
No one knows who Jimbo Fisher would bring in to complete his staff but with defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews retiring after this season, it is almost certain that linebackers coach Chuck Amato would not be on staff in Jimbo Fisher's team.
Where is the line drawn in allowing Bobby Bowden to retire on his own or not renewing his contract? Yes, he was the coach of 14 years of top-5 teams but the last national championship was ten years ago.
For fans of The Office, last week's episode strikes an odd resemblance to the state of the Florida State coaching staff. The episode revolved around the young Jim Halpert being promoted up to co-manager with Michael Scott.
Michael had a hard time dealing with this and delegated his duties in only handling "big-time" problems while Jim would handle the "day-to-day" aspects of The Office.
When Jim wanted to resolve how to handle a situation involving a decrease in pay raises, Michael avoided the situation entirely by demeaning Jim. When Jim tried to take control and deliver the news that only certain members of the staff would receive raises, it caused turmoil among the office staff.
It feels like Jim is Jimbo Fisher and Michael is Bobby Bowden. The episode did not end with any resolution between the two co-managers. They sat in Jim's office drinking gin while the members of the office staff were yelling outside.
No one has proof that Jimbo Fisher will revive the Seminoles into becoming a BCS team again. But the Seminoles have declined steadily since their last national title appearance in January 2001 against Oklahoma.
Bowden's comments about his retirement lately have been pointing that it seems he wants to retire when he feels it is right and not what is best for the team. The coaching staff is in disarray in delegating the authority since Bowden "coaches the coaches."
Fans of FSU are not going to budge in their opinions. Supporters of Bobby are dead set on allowing Bowden to retire on his own terms. And supporters of Jimbo will do anything to show their support for him. A Facebook movement has been ignited in which FSU fans are calling for an "unofficial blackout" to show that they want a change on the coaching staff.
As of the Monday after the Boston College game, all signs are pointing to a coaching staff overhaul for the 2010 season. With trustee Jim Smith calling for this being Bowden's last year, Jimbo's contract being finalized recently for a five year head coaching term, and Mickey Andrew saying he wishes to retire after this season, it looks like the Jimbo Fisher era is going to start soon.
But all the speculation and rumors are doing nothing but hurting Florida State. Players are said to be confused on which coaches to listen to, recruits are not entirely sure who they will be playing under, there needs to be certainty in Florida State.
Someone needs to come forward and state what is going to happen with the coaching staff because the longer everyone waits, the longer this 2-3 season can feel and turn into something much worse.
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