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November 13, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with David Hale

David Hale
  (11:03 AM)

Happy Tuesday, folks. Believe it or not, we're down to the final two games of the regular season, but FSU can ensure it'll be playing a few more big ones with a win Saturday at Maryland. Let's get to your questions.

Bryce (PC Beach, FL)

Can you make any further comments about the Jimbo/Auburn rumors? Either from FSU camp or Auburn camp. Seems these are weighing more each week(recruitng).

David Hale
  (11:05 AM)

I can't say much on it except that a.) Auburn still has a coach as of right now, and b.) Jimbo has explicitly said he will not consider offers until the season is over. My personal opinion, based on no insider info, is that he'd have to be blown away by an offer at Auburn (or virtually anywhere else) to leave where he's at. It wouldn't surprise me if he sort of let those rumors simmer for a bit and turned them (plus an ACC championship) into a decent raise at FSU, but at this point, I'd be pretty surprised if he went elsewhere.

David (Olustee, FL)

What is going on with the BCS??? How does a two loss team be ahead of a one loss team???? LSU is not great, UF continues to struggle at home against mediocre teams, and I don't even wanna talk about South Carolina and Texas A&M. Are we going to have to embarrass UF to show the nation, we are not weak???

David Hale
  (11:06 AM)

Having watched a good bit of LSU and Florida this year, I can't disagree with you, David. Both teams are very flawed offensively. That said, both have some better wins than FSU has, and neither has a loss that could be considered bad, as FSU does.

David Hale
  (11:07 AM)

I completely agree that if you just watch the teams play, there's little argument that FSU hasn't looked better than Florida or LSU for much of the season. But you also can't just rank teams based on looks. The problem remains that the ACC is garbage, and FSU suffers because the rest of the conference can't get its act together.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

I have a gut feeling that if Jimbo reverts to his uber-conservative playcalling, the Noles will really struggle to score against UF. Are my thoughts valid or am I overestimating the gators on D?

David Hale
  (11:09 AM)

I think the Gators' D is legit, but their offense is also pretty terrible. Field position could be a big thing -- and it should favor FSU. My biggest concern, however, would be how much FSU can run against Florida's D... in which case, there's going to be a lot of pressure on Jimbo to NOT be conservative and air it out a bit to try to keep Florida from loading up against the run.

David Hale
  (11:10 AM)

Believe it or not, Maryland may actually be a good test in advance of Florida -- another team with a lackluster offense, but a solid D, particularly against the run. Plus, it's on the road where FSU has struggled. Let's see how they handle this one, and I think it'll tell us a good bit about how they'll handle Florida, too.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

With the Nevada situation in flux next year, any chance we could fill that void with a service academy? That would really be cool and I'm sure Spetman could pull some strings with his alma mater (AFA).

David Hale
  (11:11 AM)

I'd love to see that happen, Andre, but from what I'm told it's unlikely. There have been heavy discussions on a replacement for Nevada, but things are coming to a head. It may be that Nevada simply has to play the game but if they don't, it doesn't sound like a service academy is going to be the replacement. Of course, there's also another open date on the schedule thanks to the ACC's switch from a 9 to 8-game slate. That may open the door...

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the worst College Football Game that Florida State has Played this season?

David Hale
  (11:13 AM)

Your questions never disappoint, Chris. Let's see, if I was ranking the games sheerly by excitement/fun to watch, this would be my list (most to least exciting): 1.) Va Tech, 2.) Clemson, 3.) NC State, 4.) Miami, 5.) Wake (just for CT4's long runs), 6.) USF, 7.) BC, 8.) Duke, 9.) Murray, 10.) Savannah State.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Will more/less players leave early for the draft in FSU wins the Orange Bowl? Particularly fringe guys like Joyner and Jones...

David Hale
  (11:15 AM)

I think there are some guys who probably let accomplishments dictate their decisions (sort of like Jenkins last year), but I think most simply decide based on what is best for them professionally and financially. In Joyner's case, I do think he's a guy who prioritizing playing above all else. I'm not sure how much an Orange Bowl would swing the vote though. I think he (and several others) would still be thirsty for a national title -- even if that may not be the most realistic expectation for 2013.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Although the chances of it are small, if GT represents the Coastal in the ACCCG, do you see their offense giving FSU any problems?

David Hale
  (11:17 AM)

I think anything is possible, and particularly because it's a tough offense to prep for without much advanced notice. And, it certainly could be a tough matchup a week after what figures to be a very physical game. But I think FSU's linebackers have really improved at staying on assignments, which is key against an option team like Tech, and FSU's D ends are as well suited athletically to matchup with GT's style of play as anyone. Plus, GT just isn't that good this year. It'd be a more interesting matchup that Duke or Miami, just because we've already seen how that will play out, but I don't think it's a huge obstacle.

Toon (Charleston, SC)

With OSU revealing there alternate nike jerseys, do you think FSU will do the same for the big game vs UF? I think it'll give us a little more oomph to help us a pull away with a big victory

David Hale
  (11:20 AM)

I suppose it's possible, but the whole alternate jersey thing seems incongruous with the mantra Jimbo has preached this year about ignoring distractions and focusing on the game. It's just not something he cares about or buys into. Now, is it possible some of the veterans push for it and he does it as a reward? Sure. But I have to think he (like many fans) views Florida as a game that will be a referendum on this season for FSU, and I don't think he's interested in tinkering with what's worked thus far.

ATS (Jville Florida)

I think Fisher should have been silent on the ranking issue, but the reality of his statement is so true. I don't believe that FSU have played like a top five team, but you can't hide the truth that human polls drive the BCS. A little research will show you that of the 6 top ten SEC schools in the BCS, only 2 out of conference games have been against ranked teams, and only a couple others have been against BCS Conference teams. Their strength lies in the fact that human polls have them rated high in the polls, but only playing each other ? There is almost NO strength of schedule in 2012 that shows the SEC has dominated other quality teams.

David Hale
  (11:22 AM)

I tend to agree with you on most of this, although Jimbo's point was that computers are faulty and humans know better. And the problem is, we get into a paradoxical situation: Why is the SEC's strength of schedule better? Because they play other SEC teams. But how do we know those SEC teams are so good? Because their strength of schedule is good. Is it possible that the SEC isn't that good but it's insulated by only playing each other? Sure... but the conference has also done pretty well in bowls, etc. over the past few years.

David Hale
  (11:24 AM)

Anyway, bottom line: Jimbo makes some fair points, and any computer ranking that has Michigan or Washington or even Clemson ahead of FSU should be automatically discounted because it's not realistically accurate. Having said that, if ALL the computer rankings discount FSU, then there may be a chance human polls are overstating the Seminoles' case some, too. Jimbo certainly didn't do himself any favors by saying he has FSU ranked ahead of Alabama as the best one-loss team. If they all played, that might end up being true, but there's just no real logical case to be made for that, which undermines his belief that coaches will vote without bias.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

There should be a study on teams wearing new uniforms in big games because I bet there is a negative correlation to it.

David Hale
  (11:26 AM)

As someone who covered UGA's black out game against Alabama in 2008, I'd 100 percent agree with that statement. The best thing a team can do is be consistent. That extra "boost" -- if it exists at all -- can either be a distraction early (because guys are too amped up) or lead to a dip in enthusiasm later (because it's impossible to keep that energy level up through 60 minutes based solely on uniform color).

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Jimbo is making the Boise argument. Yes they know they have a weak schedule but you have to look at how they are beating teams. They aren't just beating inferior teams they are demolishing them. You can look at that and there is a strong correlation to how good you are in regards to how well you are beating inferior teams.

David Hale
  (11:28 AM)

That's a fair point, but I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to say that a 40-point win over Boston College is the same as a 10-point win over Texas A&M, is it? And, for that matter, if we believe that HOW you win matters, then the games against USF, Miami and Virginia Tech should be something of a strike against FSU. And, in fact, Jimbo sort of made the opposite case saying that coaches deserve the only serious vote because they appreciate the value of ANY win rather than looking too deeply at style points (as he suggested the media does). Jimbo's ultimate point may be correct, but he mixed too many messages during that rant to have swayed a lot of folks straddling the fence on the notion.

nathan m (redmond or)

in your opinion do u think the ducks have a good chance on winning the bcs championship game

David Hale
  (11:30 AM)

I think Oregon is a very good team and certain CAN win a national title. I wonder how that style of offense holds up against teams with physical, athletic defenses that can provide better matchups. I think K-State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia and FSU could all give them trouble. In other words, yes, they're in the mix as a potential championship team, but I don't think there's any clear cut favorite at this point.

Duden (Germany)

Do you think Bjorn Werner is a first round pick 2013? or will he waiting for the 2014 Draft?

David Hale
  (11:31 AM)

Yes, I think he's a first-round pick, but his stock has dipped some from where it was about a month ago. Teams are focusing on him, and his sack numbers are down as a result. BUT, it has also opened things up for Tank Carradine, who has also probably worked himself into the first round discussion. I'd expect to see both of them go in the first round in 2013.

Ray (S.C)

100% agree with ATS! We are told the SEC is strong by the voters and we are supposed to believe it because they said so...? Shouldn't their unbelievable lofty ranking actually merit some accomplishments against quality teams not in their conference??

David Hale
  (11:33 AM)

Well, yes and no. Past is precedent in this case, and the SEC has shown in recent seasons that it wasn't all hype. Is it hype this year? I think with teams like Florida it probably is. BUT... we'll get an answer to your latter point shortly, right? Florida gets FSU. South Carolina gets Clemson. And the bowl games will tell us more. And at this point, no SEC team is in line to play for a BCS championship anyway -- and that still hasn't helped FSU's cause any.

Ray (S.C)

Past performance should not automaticaly guarantee lofty undeserved rankings! Agree??

David Hale
  (11:34 AM)

Let me ask this then: If we base rankings ONLY on what has happened this year, without looking at reputation and speculating on the values of conferences, etc... how would we do it? How do you rank teams without looking at any of that? What would be your top 5 right now if you didn't take that stuff into consideration?

JASON (VEGAS)

IS THERE ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE NOLES WOULD BE BETTER NEXT YEAR WITH A YOUNG INEXPERIENCED QB?

David Hale
  (11:36 AM)

There is a lot that EJ does both on and off the field that is driven by experience and has made FSU better. That said, there's no saying that a guy as talented as Jameis Winston, for example, couldn't do something similar even without experience. If we also figure the O line, running backs and WRs all get better (really, they're only losing Rodney Smith and Lonnie Pryor among major contributors) then it's certainly possible FSU's offense is as good or better next year with Trickett/Coker/Winston at QB. I wouldn't wager on it necessarily... but can't say for sure it won't happen.

Dapper Dan (Some Where in FLA)

I recently read where UF has the toughest schedule in the nation. Where does FSU's stand next to their's?

David Hale
  (11:39 AM)

Well, again, these things are all so arbitrary in a lot of ways, but according to Sagarin's rankings, FSU has the No. 7 strength of schedule, and FSU is No. 90.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Did you read that Yahoo article about how FSU could cost ND a shot at the National Title game as they best them in the bowl game thus having a lower ranking. And people say bowl games don't matter...

David Hale
  (11:41 AM)

I saw that. I don't know how accurate it is or how things will play out, but it does underscore the convoluted nature of the process.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

You shouldn't really be going by Sagarin's ratings. You know how bad those are.

David Hale
  (11:41 AM)

Fair... just the first ones that came up when I searched to double check.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Odd question but who do you think is going to be a better NFL QB. Geno Smith, Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson?

David Hale
  (11:43 AM)

I'd probably go with Barkley. Smith has tools, but there's such a danger with "system" QBs. I like Wilson and he has a big arm, but I'd give Barkley the edge as a more refined passer. He's not Andrew Luck, but he's got potential to have a lot of success pretty early with the right NFL team.

Ray (S.C)

K-State, Oregon, N.D., Bama, FSU3-Undefeated folowed by what appear to be the best one loss teams

David Hale
  (11:44 AM)

I don't have a problem with that... although I think UGA/FSU is something close to a toss up. They've both been up and down teams, looking VERY good some weeks and shaky in others, with tons of NFL talent on defense and veteran QBs capable of making (and occasionally breaking) a game.

Vinny (Boston)

Diehard 'Noles fan here. Pumped to have this site around! Did Winston redshirt this year? If so, would that make Trickett the likely frontrunner for starter next season seeing that Jamesis will have 3 years left of eligibility after 2013?

David Hale
  (11:45 AM)

Glad you found the site and thanks for reading... Yes, Winston redshirted. And as for next year's QB... that's a story I'm working on for this week (so stay tuned). But, short answer to your question, I'd say Trickett is the favorite, but hardly a sure thing. Winston will be in the mix.

Todd (Irish land)

Hi. Notre Dame fan killing time at work. Was hoping FSU, as a traditional power, would be "back." I see a lot of questions regarding FSU's ranking and the issue of strength of schedule. While the strength of the other ACC teams is beyond FSU's control, what about the non conference schedule. I see two FCS teams there - isn't that part of the problem? I can see why an AD or coach would want those games - easy win, get the team going at the beginning of the year, but is it worth it at the end? Also - what do the fans say about shelling out good coin to watch an over matched FCS team get destroyed?Thanks.

David Hale
  (11:47 AM)

Hey Todd... and I'm think the ACC is more eager than ever to have your Irish aboard to boost that strength of schedule a tad. Your point about the two FCS teams is fair, although FSU fans will argue that they had West Virginia slated for Week 2, but the Mountaineers pulled out at the last minute and left the Noles scrambling. I empathize with that rationale, but the bottom line is, the pollsters and computers can only rank you based on who you've played and how you've performed, so in terms of the end result, it doesn't matter if it SHOULD have been WVU because it WAS savannah state. Not FSU's fault... but still the reality.

Michael (Kansas)

Why not just join the Big 12 and not have to worry about SoS?

David Hale
  (11:49 AM)

Big 12 isn't always up... I can remember a lot of years when the Big 12 north was as much of a joke as the ACC Coastal is this year. And, there's obviously a lot more to the decision than just upping your SoS. For one, there are other sports to consider -- sports in which the schedule is much more alluring in the ACC. Second, there's the not insignificant matter of a $50 million buyout to leave the ACC. Third, there are all kinds of politics involved, and I think FSU should be wary of joining a league where Texas essentially controls the checkbook on everything.

Dapper Dan (Some Where in FLA)

Come on now....show me some love!

David Hale
  (11:49 AM)

Boom! Loved.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

I think the passing game might be better as Trickett understands the playbook and the small nuances of the game better than EJ as well as everyone on the OL returning. Big plays might suffer though with EJ's size and designed runs.

David Hale
  (11:51 AM)

I'm not entirely sure what to make of Trickett just yet. His arm isn't what EJ's is, but he is a smart QB (whose dad happens to be a longtime O line coach) and I don't think he'll have a problem galvanizing the team around him. But EJ was a 5-star talent coming out of high school. Trickett's not that. I freely admit... I just don't know how all this will play out in 2013, but I think it's an incredibly interesting story.

Herbert (Campbellsville, KY)

Would love to see FSU get Notre Dame back on the schedule. I know the Irish are supposed to play several ACC games in the coming years. What are the chances a FSU vs ND game is coming and what is the selection process for picking who ND plays?

David Hale
  (11:52 AM)

Notre Dame-FSU is coming... we're just not sure when. Beginning in 2014, Notre Dame will play 5 ACC teams per year. It will be a six-year, home-and-home rotating schedule meaning that FSU will get the Irish once at Doak and once on the road every six seasons. Not sure yet when those games might happen though, but I'd expect some decisions on that topic as early as next month.

Justin (Ontario)

Is there any scenario at all that lets FSU sneak into the BCS title game?

David Hale
  (11:53 AM)

Probably not because the computers have really doomed whatever small chance there was. I suppose a win over Florida in resounding fashion and losses by all the undefeated teams could bump FSU up enough in the human polls that there's a small chance, but I'm talking less than 1 percent. [Insert Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber reference now...]

DC_Nole (Washington, DC)

I don't think Werner leaves for the NFL his junior year. Education/degree is very important to European players and long-term he is right. He does well his senior year and he is again a 1st round pick. JMO.

David Hale
  (11:55 AM)

I'd love to believe you, but... he also saw what happened to Brandon Jenkins when he came back (and those two are VERY tight), and Werner is married and close to his degree already. Objectively speaking, there are more reasons to go than to stay. Doesn't mean he won't come back, but just my two cents.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Did Noles fans forget about Coker in regards to next years starting QB? Has a cannon of an arm and is a monster size wise compared to Winston and Trickett.

David Hale
  (11:55 AM)

No, no, not at all, just that the way some of those questions were phrased, it lent more to discussing Winston and Trickett. It's definitely a three-QB race.

Sean (Sarasota)

Any news yet as to what has become of Christian Green?

David Hale
  (11:56 AM)

Jimbo talked him up a bit yesterday, but I have to believe that's somewhat hollow praise. Guy was your No. 3 WR last year and he's been absent this season. Part of it is the ascension of Benjamin (which makes sense) but there's also a reason Green has been passed by Dent, Haggins, etc. on the depth chart, too.

Duden (Germany)

Which players from FSU (except Werner,Carradine, Rhodes and EJ Manuel) and have the chance to be drafted in 2013? And which FSU Player comes first from the board in 2013?

David Hale
  (11:58 AM)

Right now I'd say Werner is first off the board, but I've read some recent scouting reports that actually have Tank as their best NFL prospect. I think both of them and Rhodes would go in the first round if the draft was held today. EJ will be probably the 4th or 5th QB taken (as of right now). If Christian Jones came out, he'd be a mid-round pick. Brandon Jenkins is a mystery, but he'll definitely be drafted. Dustin Hopkins will be taken by someone, too, likely as the first kicker off the board. Wouldn't be surprised to see sometime take fliers on Lonnie Pryor and Chris Thompson, too, though CT4's injury complicates matters a good bit. Dawkins and McCloud are most likely going to be selected, too. Am I forgetting anyone?

Crawdad (OH)

Any chance Darby gets a shot returning punts? WOuld be awesome to see him take one to the house in front of is family/friends. Or maybe I should just be hoping someone catches a punt...

David Hale
  (11:59 AM)

Asked Jimbo about this yesterday. He said he's open to anyone who can do the job, but that they've been looking at guys all year and Greene and Hunter were by far the top 2 options. Plus, Darby already is a starter on the PR team so it'd mean more shuffling.

AV (Orlando)

Notre Dame has no room to talk. Beat BC by 2 touchdowns? Noles won by what 6?

David Hale
  (12:00 PM)

Fair. Of course, one was at home and one was on the road. And as impressive as ND's defense has been this year, I would bet if they faced FSU on a neutral field, the Noles might be favored.

Matt (Kennesaw, Ga)

Do you think Clemson should be rejoicing that they have the possibility to play against UGA or BAMA in the Sugar Bowl, or should they be praying to not be embarrassed to heavily (as they were last year against WV)? Furthermore, is it better for FSU to play a team like the Rutgers and win big, or for Clemson to go against a Powerhouse SEC and lose?

David Hale
  (12:02 PM)

To answer one part of the question: I think the best thing for FSU to do is win out, beat whoever is in front of them, celebrate an ACC and Orange Bowl title and a 13-1 season. In 10 years, will anyone remember WHO they beat or that they won a conference and 13 games? As for Clemson, having them get thumped by an SEC team would likely only make FSU's schedule look worse.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

The Noles would be favored against anyone in the nation except Oregon & Bama per the bookies in Vegas FWIW.

James (Fishhawk)

What's going on with recruiting? The trail has been rather quite and I am not too impressed with the current class.

David Hale
  (12:03 PM)

It's a quiet time of year. More bluster will be coming eventually...

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Werner is already 23 and a Top Ten pick in most mock drafts. He gone @DC_Nole.

Crawdad (OH)

It was great to see RG80 have a big game (and seal it with the long TD). How do you rank our WRs? I would go RG80, KB1, RS84, KS81, GD15, CG89 and then SH12. Thoughts?

David Hale
  (12:04 PM)

I'd probably agree with that... though KB's talent has exceeded his production to a degree. He's been good, but you can just see how much better he can become. I'd probably put Smith ahead of him based on consistency right now.

Vinny (Boston)

Who is the underclassman that will be a household name among 'Noles fans next season?

David Hale
  (12:05 PM)

Oooh, good question. I think Darby has a very good chance to be that guy. Timmy Jernigan probably should be already, but he will take a step forward nationally next year. Maybe Wilder, too? That might be my top 3.

Wes (Williamsport, PA)

All of the 'legal issues' aside, do you believe that with all the on-field adversity Penn State has faced, there is optimism for the future in recruiting and post-penalty success? I, as a fan, believe with the players they lost 6-4 isn't really that bad of a record right now, what are your thoughts on what their future journey may hold as a team?

David Hale
  (12:06 PM)

As a Philly guy, I'd love to agree with you Wes... but I think things are going to get worse before they get better. I really commend the kids still there for how hard they've fought, but this season was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the NCAA sanctions.

Vinny (Boston)

SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE IS A CHANCE!

David Hale
  (12:06 PM)

Exactly!

David Hale
  (12:07 PM)

Alright guys... I've got players to interview. Thanks so much for the questions. It was fun, and we'll be doing it again next week.