Bowden’s Gone, But Will That Solve Anything For FSU?

So now Bobby Bowden has retired.  It’s obviously been a long time coming.  He’s had an amazing impact on the world of college football.  While he’s been past his prime for a while, his presence and positive attitude will still be missed.

What I don’t get about this whole thing is why Florida State is still sticking with its plan to replace Bowden with current offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.  It’s not like Fisher has been an innocent bystander during these past few seasons, when Florida State’s offense has lurched back and forth between inconsistent and abysmal.

This video nicely encapsulates what’s been happening with Florida State’s offense:

And yet, Fisher–the man responsible for this Keystone Kops exercise–is now the man in charge of the program.   There are a ton of very good coaches out there who I’m sure wouldn’t mind coaching at a place like FSU–names like Kevin Sumlin and Brian Kelly come to mind–so this looks like another missed opportunity for the Seminoles to right the ship. 

Maybe I’ll be wrong and Fisher will turn out to be a fantastic coach, but as of right now it looks like Florida State is going to take even longer to return to its former glory.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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8 Responses to Bowden’s Gone, But Will That Solve Anything For FSU?

  1. Anonymous December 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Actually, FSU’s offense has been decent this season and is the only reason they’re sniffing a bowl game – don’t forget they’ve played a brutal OOC schedule. If Christian Ponder hadn’t been hurt FSU would have looked a lot better against UF, but still lost.

    The O-line was doing this all day, but usually as a unit – on offsides plays they sat in their stance. They drew UF offsides quite a lot, which is unusual given the game was at Florida.

    It’s well documented that FSUs struggles are the defense…not the offense.

    I’m a Gator fan, so not just defending my team here.

  2. Heismanpundit December 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    Granted, FSU’s offense has been better this year–though still WILDLY inconsistent. But Fisher has been at FSU for a few years now and the offense has never been good under him.

    Further, the defense really didn’t collapse until this year. The offense has been garbage for quite a while.

  3. dvg December 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    I have been saying this for quite some time now. If FSU’s record is significantly better next year, my gut reaction would be to think that ol’ Jimbo has been dragging his feet the last few seasons to get Bobby out of his hair. It’s not like BB has been much more than a titular figurehead the last few years. Jimbo’s already running the show …
    If FSU suddenly looks terrific in 2010, I’d be pretty upset if I was Anne.

  4. Andy December 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    HP – good point about FSUs offensive inconsistency. I wrote the anonymous note and was trying to highlight their bigger problem and because Ponder is a talented player, but yah they need to improve their offense.

    The bigger picture for me is they’ve tanked since the ACC expanded to include two sometimes elite teams (Va Tech & Miami) and one smart hard-nosed mid-range team (BC) – more chances for a slip up, and when that happens you’re not ranked as high and you can’t recruit as easily.

    Being ranked in the top 5 for 14 years (or whatever it was) is impressive for any program under any circumstances, but that was greatly aided by controlling the ACC before expansion.

  5. Mike December 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Love this site FYI.

    Some stats on Fisher’s offense since arriving at FSU.

    2007 Offense Ranked 80th.
    2008 Offense Ranked 51st.
    2009 Offense Ranked 27th.

    The 2009 offense returns all but 1 starter in 2010. For the last 3 games, was playing with a backup QB (redshirt Freshman QB).

    This is with the worst defense in BCS as well.

    I think if you look at it deeper, you see FSU has improved greatly every year under Fisher despite Bobby’s interference.

    See http://www.tomahawknation.com for indepth analysis on this.

  6. V. Money December 3, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    HP, in response to your posted question, FSU has exactly 5 million reasons why they picked Fisher over Sumlin and Kelley, and why one of the choices they gave to Bowden wasn’t to coach. It’s all about the $$$, or rather, the $$$ that FSU won’t have to pay Fisher for keeping their end of the coach-in-waiting agreement.

  7. Mike December 3, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    How is it all about the money when this is the improvement FSU has seen on the offense?

    2007 Offense Ranked 80th.
    2008 Offense Ranked 51st.
    2009 Offense Ranked 27th.

    2010 FSU will have a top 10 offense because it returns all but 1 starter on offense (and almost every backup as well).

    Casual fans make comments, but don’t really now.

    FSU had a HORRIBLE defense (#98) and MUCH improved offense (improving every year under Fisher). It got blown out in 1 game (to #1 UF at Teabow’s last game….big surprise). How this equals Fisher isn’t the guy doesn’t make sense.

  8. V. Money December 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Mike, even if it isn’t only about the money, if you hired, say Coach X, and he coaches past the alloted deadline, FSU has to pay Coach X’s salary PLUS Fisher’s millions, and maybe even Fisher’s assistant coaching contract, too. And, sad to say, many athletic departments at many universities operate in the red, so given the school’s budget, forking over at least $6 million to $7 million when a fraction of that could be spent, that would be a big-time financial problem for the university itself. And, because the deal is legally binding, hiring someone else and not paying Fisher his buyout would be a bad idea. And even if they could skirt by on someone else without paying the buyout, you’d have to offer the guy a 1-year deal to make that work, and that would shoo off many of the top hires who will rightfully look for more stability

    It doesn’t matter if Fisher is the right hire or not. FSU backed themselves up into a corner by offering him the deal to begin with, and now, they have to live up to their word.

    So, yeah, a lot of it’s about the money.