Jimbo Fisher and the Challenges That Await the New Florida State Head Coach
When Jimbo Fisher steps on the field as the new head coach for Florida State in the fall of 2010, there will be a handful of streaks that FSU fans are hoping come to an end.
These losing streaks have become so heartbreaking for FSU fans, that they were willing to part with the legendary Bobby Bowden to see if Fisher would do any better in bringing FSU closer to the dominance it had in the 1990s.
Fisher wasted no time in forming his staff, as running backs coach Dexter Carter was told he would not be retained and running backs/special teams coach Eddie Gran was hired from Tennessee. It is still unknown if Gran will coach running backs, special teams, or both.
In what used to be a matchup dominated by FSU, the tide has slowly started to turn. Clemson has recently gotten the better of FSU. The 'Noles have only managed to beat Clemson in 2002, 2004, and 2008.
The 'Noles did keep it close in 2009, going into the fourth quarter with a 24-21 lead, but the injuries to starting quarterback Christian Ponder became noticeable as Clemson took over and eventually won 40-24.
Since Boston College joined the ACC in 2005, FSU has never beaten the Eagles in Tallahassee and has a 2-3 record against them since BC's ACC membership. The wins came in 2005 and 2007, both in Chestnut Hill.
Although FSU did win 41-28 at Wake Forest in 2009, 'Noles fans want to make sure it stays that way after losing to them from 2006-2008.
With Wake Forest senior QB Riley Skinner departing and a FSU offense returning most of those who won in 2009, it looks promising for Fisher to return the 'Noles to dominance over the Deacons.
After Miami opened the decade owning the 'Noles, FSU started to gain leverage in the rivalry with wins in 2005 and 2006. But the rivalry has started to even back out, with Miami winning in Tallahassee in 2007 and 2009, and FSU winning in Miami in 2008.
With FSU going to Miami in 2010, Fisher needs to make sure the 'Canes don't win a second one in a row. They stand to gain leverage in the rivalry and the heavy recruiting wars that happen between the 'Noles and 'Canes in South Florida.
This is the one streak FSU fans badly want to end. FSU has not beaten the Gators since 2003, but many are optimistic that 2010 will be the year.
Gone will be Tim Tebow and UF's defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong. Though any kinks the Gators could have with John Brantley taking over the quarterback spot should be worked out by the end of the season when the 'Noles and Gators meet up.
The new FSU defensive coordinator will have to do a complete 180 of the talent he will inherit and luckily has the entire season to make it work.
FSU QB Christian Ponder has not been healthy for this matchup in his two years as the start. He had an injured back in 2008, causing him to leave the game and he was already out for the season prior to the 2009 matchup.
If the offense remains healthy in the 2010 season, then look for Fisher to make this the most balanced FSU/UF game since 2006 when UF won 21-14 in Tallahassee.