The final score may not show it, but the Alabama-Florida State game was VERY competitive.
Both teams have, as we say, “a bunch of dudes”. Athletes all over the field. The Crimson Tide and Seminoles are littered with future NFL players.
Both are also very talented and well-coached. Bama’s Nick Saban and FSU’s Jimbo Fisher are considered the two best in college football. After all, there is a reason why both were considered the best teams in college football for a reason.
However, all of Seminole Nation were down after hearing about starting QB Deondre Francois’ season-ending knee injury. If this were any other team, I would share in FSU fans’ sorrow and frustration.
Except I don’t think all is necessarily lost for Florida State.
People tend to forget that Fisher is a QB whisperer. He has tutored the likes of two #1 overall picks in JaMarcus Russell (albeit a colossal bust) and Jameis Winston. He also developed the likes of Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel and Rohan Davey – all very good college players.
Francois is well on his way to becoming a college football star. With Francois out with the season-ending knee injury, Fisher has a young highly touted QB that is ready to lead the offense.
James Blackman is a freshman who is now the Seminoles’ starting QB. He was three-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class. However, he has the physical tools (6’5″, 185 lbs), has the poise and accuracy the coaches rave about, and is very athletic.
And last I checked, Fisher has done well with freshman QBs at Florida State (see Winston and Francois).
To me, the biggest problem the Seminoles have is that porous offensive line. They didn’t give the RBs holes to run through, and didn’t do a good job protecting Francois. You think Fisher didn’t light into their asses after the game? Once Fisher fixes the O-line, that would make their skill players more effective (more on that in a minute).
Here’s another glimmer of hope for Seminole Nation: as I said before, FSU has a bunch of athletes and play-makers who can get the job done.
Their defense is elite, led by do-it-all safety Derwin James. The front seven is going to be among the best in the country again.
Their offense is led by freshman RB Cam Akers, who may make some noise in the Heisman race this season. Their other skill players are very talented, albeit young.
And again, they are coached by Fisher.
The good news is four out of FSU’s next five games are very winnable. The Seminoles’ next game is with UL-Monroe at home. While Miami figures to be a little tough, FSU gets NC State (whose coach can’t lead ants to a picnic) at home, and goes to Wake Forest and Duke. At the very least the Seminoles should finish that stretch 4-1, if not 5-0 since they’ve own the Hurricanes as of late.
And sure, the Seminoles may finish with two or three losses. That may be considered a “down” year for FSU, but I don’t think the sky is falling. Hell, I won’t be surprised if the Seminoles beat Louisville and finish the season at 10-2 (there’s no way in hell they will win at Clemson late in the year).
Who knows, if things break a certain way in the ACC, Florida State may be the first team with two losses to make the College Football Playoff? College football is a VERY crazy sport, and that wouldn’t surprise me one bit…