Sunday, October 10, 2010

Florida State Transforms From Inept to Competent, Almost Back to Relevancy

And so ends the beginning to an appealing chapter in one of the most inter-state clashes in college football. In the midst of an eventual upset, as crazed activities materialized in South Beach on the night women dressed in sexy attire and fanatics hosted tailgate parties, the Miami Hurricanes were supposed to deliver with an enormous win.

It’s impossible to sugarcoat Florida State for shocking the nation, taking control early with a 21-0 lead in the first half and eventually coasting to a 45-17 win. Every coach has a starting point and flashbacks in his career.

By waiting patiently behind legendary Bobby Bowden, who imprinted a signature on a prominent football program as the second-winningest coach in major college football history, his successor Jimbo Fisher symbolizes aspiration at Florida State.

The Seminoles, tired of being described as inferior, weren’t surrounded by mediocrity or anguish on Saturday, bound to win 10-plus games this season. So now Fisher, a recognizable guru, had been the voice of the program for the last few seasons, being groomed from the sidelines and watching the old-timer Bowden orchestrate his playbook. But eventually, you knew it would happen. And now, it has happened.

This week, of course, Fisher has a signature win in the Florida State-Miami rivalry. In my mind, clearly, he needed to pull off the biggest game on the schedule of the delighted and traditional program to declare citizenship. This week, in a convincing fashion, the Seminoles are dominant and haven’t suffered much despair in a season the team is bowl eligible, in a season the team is finally acknowledged.

By now, the Seminoles have vividly put aside the disillusionment, following a brutal, slaughtering rout. If ever there’s an appropriate moment for the Hurricanes to return among college football’s premier program, to leap into bowl contention, and to be discussed periodically, it wouldn’t be at this moment. A humiliating loss, a huge letdown, leaves behind a dubious notion in Miami.

And the likelihood of a Seminoles downfall is highly unlikely, given the compromising stance of Fisher and the infinite maturity of a sizable program. Ultimately, even without Bowden, the Seminoles cannot be ignored favored to win every game, until the final game on the schedule comes against the Florida Gators. The bragging rights clearly go to the Seminoles. On the same night the Gators were beaten by LSU in another breathtaking finish.

Even more than last year, when the Seminoles were distracted by Bowden’s retirement plans and coaching travails, Florida State owns three consecutive ACC wins recently. Deep down, as worthwhile as each victory inserts a strong hypothesis of superiority, Fisher is no longer coaching in the shadows of a legend.

For all the triumph of late, it initially restores relevancy and lifts the psyche of a program hallowed with tradition and cultural aspects. And, best of all, the Seminoles’ phenomenal turnaround shouldn’t be downplayed. Such is the reality of Florida State trashing Miami on the road in a rivalry game or having enough star power to reconstruct fortune in a regime.

Although the man he replaced, Bowden, oddly went against Florida State and picked Miami to win the game. He still dislikes the way his tenured ended. Eternally, however, he’ll pose as the iconic coach to ever lead the program, and we can argue that he never really desired to retire.

It wasn’t long ago, in a contest the Seminoles fell to the Hurricanes, when Bowden tried to diagram a play, but the coaching staff ignored his creative ideas. And still, Miami prevailed in the game on a last-second pass by the Seminoles that bounced incomplete in the end zone.

Given a chance to redeem dismay and erase the memories of heartbreaking defeats, the Seminoles prevailed while the Hurricanes wilted. If he’s presenting mental toughness and operating with his brilliant offensive tactics in his impressive tenure, Fisher, while mentoring in the shadows of a legendary coach, appears to be leading the Seminoles back to national title prominence.

If this happens to be the end of the twilight era and the beginning of a shinning age, as they persist in growing as ACC agitators and pose as a viable threat in the near future, the Seminoles could encounter a rematch with Miami in the ACC title game.

But, the school located in Tallahassee is good. And suddenly, the moment is here, but no one is enjoying the moment more than Fisher in his first season at the helm. With the vanity of sturdiness in an inadequate conference, the Seminoles easily can pull away and be crowned conference champs at the end of the season.

As the clock tickled down, Fisher was drenched in a Gatorade shower. It obviously cooled down the well-respected coach on a humid night, but it also was a nice birthday present. In celebration of his 45th birthday, he was presented with the largest margin of defeat in the series since Miami’s 49-27 win in 2001.

However, he’s not satisfied aiming for initiative goals, which is arising onto the national stage to win a national title and symbolize the meaning of football at Florida State.

“It was as good of a birthday present as I could have asked for, phenomenal,” Fisher said.

He tries to obstruct such sentiment because of his immense desires of inheriting the gleaming crystal balls in the future. Indeed, he’s well on his way. This time, the Seminoles buried the Hurricanes on their turf. The game was over, maybe before it even started and was controlled by the Seminoles invigorated ground attack, rushing for a total of 298 yards—the most against Miami since Virginia Tech had 272 yards earlier in the season in a 31-7 loss.

But more impressively, Ponder completed 12-of-21 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. More than ever, he converted 6-of-12 third downs. It was evidently the turning point in Florida State’s offense, just as their head coach is the critical juncture.

By jumping out to an early lead, the Seminoles’ defense had momentum and energy to make it miserable for a struggling Miami offense. Early on, FSU’s defense seemed fierce and violently pressured and sacked Harris. Of the previous meetings between 1983 and 2001, the Florida State-Miami rivalry has determined the national champ seven times in 19 seasons.

Though it was an imperative win, that is not to say they’ll win a national title.

I’ll guarantee that maybe Florida State wins the prize really soon.

So, watch in another year.