<
>
Insider

National links: The Jimbo Fisher dilemma

10/31/2014

Thursday night's game provided several reminders about Florida State.

1. This team, unlike its predecessor, is at times more lucky than good.

2. The Seminoles are still pretty darn good, even with all their injuries.

3. Jameis Winston is an excellent crunch-time quarterback.

4. FSU likely has too many warts to repeat as national champion.

5. Jimbo Fisher is an unquestionably brilliant coach.

Let's focus on the last item. Fisher's coaching acumen often gets overlooked, often because of what Fisher says and does away from the sideline.

He out-coached Louisville's Bobby Petrino in the second half Thursday, pushing the right buttons, especially on a third-and-6 from Louisville's 35-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Winston found a wide-open Freddie Stevenson, who scooted in for an easy, euthanizing touchdown. It's another reminder that Fisher is at the top of his game.

Fisher's clout as a recruiter also showed up as three freshmen, led by running back Dalvin Cook, reached the end zone. And his Seminoles team, despite myriad mistakes and continuing controversy, won its 24th straight game.

So why is it so hard to celebrate Fisher? Because of the other stuff.