As a rule I try to keep my thoughts to myself on FSU. I find I'm usually in the minority on a lot of the things that happen with the Athletic Department (Translated: I usually agree with the AD). Couple that with the fact that years of working on the phone with the general public has led me to believe that said General Public are complete idiots and are sheep. Since most fans won't really think for themselves and just believe whatever ESPN tells them to believe so there's no point in discussing any of the changes at FSU that will come in the next month or so with them.
With all that being said I urge every FSU fan to evaluate the decisions in the coming months for yourselves. Take a look at the players coming in, look at game film, talk to people who have seen these kids play. Also look at the results the coaches that will be brought in produced at their previous stops. I believe that Jimbo will set FSU on the right coarse.
I have a few thoughts about the direction the football program will be heading in the next month or two that I'd like to share, as well as some thoughts on Bobby:
1 - I love Bobby Bowden, but I have no context with which to give any really deep insight. Born and raised in Tallahassee for 26 years all I ever knew as an FSU fan was Bobby (he was already here when I was born). I don't take him for granted, but I just can't appreciate what kind of a situation we are in now that we are losing him. I'm sure the next few years will give me some perspective on Bobby. I know what he's meant to the program, the university, and the city of Tallahassee. For all of that he can never do any wrong in my mind, long live the King.
2 - Jimbo was tagged as Bobby's successor for a reason. He was Brian Kelly and Kirby Smart and Turner Gill 4 years ago, only he was even more highly touted than all of those guys. He was also more successful than all those guys. Taking into account the fact that Jimbo has elevated an FSU offense that was almost DEAD LAST in the nation (with Jeff Bowden as OC) to (prior to Ponder's injury) the best in the ACC and one of the best in the nation. The offense is the only piece of the puzzle that he's had control of and it's consequently the only piece of the puzzle that has shown improvement. Let's all have some patience and faith in the school and in Jimbo to make the right decisions and set us on the right path.
3 - Jimbo has done his work with the offense with a cupboard that is relatively bare. He's taking 2-stars (Ty Jones), 3-stars (Jermaine Thomas) and 4-stars (Christian Ponder) and putting them into position to play like all-americans. Recruits have started to take notice as some very highly touted players have signed on to play for us over the past couple years. Over the past two weeks since Bowden announced his decision the stability that results from that decision has convinced some very big chips to fall in the Seminoles favor, including:
* Our first 5-star of the year Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner also dropped an interesting tidbit in a post commitment interview concerning the future makeup of FSU's defensive staff: "I don't know everything but I was told personally by the coaching staff that maybe the Arizona coach was going to get the job, I think it is [Mike] Stoops."
* The player that I think will be the best of the class, 4-star Jeff Luc (has been compared to Ernie Sims, only bigger)
And some very promising, very early commited players for 2011:
* Eric Beverly, RB, Jacksonville First Coast (5-11, 205). Eric also included this interesting bit about himself. "My biggest strength is running between the tackles. I take a lot of pride in finding the gaps and exploding through them." In my opinion between tackle running has been the one key ingredient missing from our offense that could elevate us to top of the heap nationally, not just the ACC
* Two defensive backs from Port St. Lucie, FL: Lamarcus Brutus & Keelin Smith that will help fortify our biggest area of need (which isn't close to being recruited for in 2010 either.)
4 - Finally, I'm excited to see Jimbo's choices to replace the assistants that will not be retained following the Gator Bowl. The coaches leaving are: Executive Head Coach Chuck Amato as well as running backs coach Dexter Carter, defensive ends coach Jody Allen and strength and conditioning coach Todd Stroud.
Already he's brought in another Recruiting Coordinator from Tennessee that is said to have a huge influence in Florida: Eddie Gran, who has been an assistant coach in the SEC for the past 16 seasons (Tennessee, Auburn and Ole Miss). According to sources, Gran will not only coach running backs and special teams, he will also be named FSU's associate head coach. I think Coach Gran is a great choice and will do wonders to help broaden our recruiting reach with his multitude of stops along his coaching career.
The rest of the coaching search is proceeding as such, per Warchant.com:
"There continues to be speculation about who will be hired to take over for the retiring Mickey Andrews as FSU's new defensive coordinator. Alabama inside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri appears to be the leading candidate and according to several sources will interview for the position this week. A few FSU recruits, including commitment Mike Harris, said they have been told by Seminole coaches that the new defensive coordinator could be announced later this week.
As for the other openings on the staff, Warchant.com previously reported that current Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will interview for the defensive backs position. For the strength and conditioning coordinator position, current SMU strength coach Vic Viloria appears to be one of the top candidates."
No matter who takes over those positions and what our final recruiting class looks like for 2010, I'm excited for the future and the unknown that it is.