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November 27, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with David Hale

David Hale
  (11:05 AM)

Aloha, folks. Sorry for a slightly late start. Thanks to the construction of the indoor practice facility, parking is impossible to find near the stadium now. Anyway, let's get started.

Matt (Winston-Salem)

David, IYO, did FSU give up on the run too early against UF? Also, do you think Wilder stays at RB, or is FB or LB calling his name? Thanks!

David Hale
  (11:07 AM)

Good question, Matt. Jimbo seemed to indicate he wished they'd have run more but said the passing game was simply having more success. I'm still not sure a few more runs wouldn't have been worthwhile. But the latter part of your question is interesting: We haven't seen nearly as much of Wilder the past couple weeks as you'd expect, and given FSU's struggles on third-and-1 against UF, it raises some eyebrows. I highly doubt he moves from RB -- he's shown he can have success there -- but I'm curious the extent of his role on the offense.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Bowl Game will Florida State play in this season?

David Hale
  (11:12 AM)

Hey Chris... I guess Jimbo would tell you Orange Bowl, and if it's anything less, things are going to get really ugly really fast around here. FSU cannot lose to Georgia Tech without a significant backlash from the fan base. IF they do lose, however, the consolation prizes aren't all that exciting. GT would end up in the Orange, Clemson would still be in the CFA (I'd guess) and FSU would likely slide to the Russell Athletic Bowl (formerly Champs?) in Orlando.

Noah white, Russellville al. [via mobile]

Who is gonna be the player on defense, and offense to step up and be the impact player? I mean we had Greg Reed he was good but with our recruiting class I'm waiting for that one player either def. or off. Who do you think will be the next Deion sanders? Or the next warrick dune?

David Hale
  (11:14 AM)

I'd say there are some real impact players right now -- with Bjoern probably topping the list. But he'll be gone next year most likely, so I'll answer the question this way: Of the players we haven't seen a ton of yet, who is the next big-play guy? I think Ronald Darby on defense has a chance (and could work his way into the mix as a return man, too) along with Karlos Williams. Both have athletic talent that's through the roof. On offense, Kelvin Benjamin showed flashes this year, but he can still build a good bit on his potential and become one of the elite WR in the country.

Jacob (Ocala, FL)

Should FSU be ranked even lower in the BCS because they play in the ACC?

David Hale
  (11:15 AM)

Let's just say that the ACC didn't do much to support Jimbo's case that the computers were screwing his team this weekend. The fact is, the ACC is terrible -- and I'm not sure it gets better next year even with Pitt and Syracuse joining the mix.

Ron (ATL)

FSU's loss to the Gators was a real body blow and will linger for awhile. My question is do you think Jimbo has taken FSU a sfar as it can go? Does he begin to enter what I'd call "the Mark Richt Zone" where FSU continually wins 9-10 games a season a pair of ACC Championship but no national titles, does his seat start to get hotter with the boosters?

David Hale
  (11:18 AM)

I see where you're coming from, Ron (and having covered UGA for 5 years, I'm familiar with "the Mark Richt zone") but I think it's probably a bit premature to think that way. For one, Mark Richt might get his national title this season. Secondly, Jimbo had a much bigger job here than Richt did at UGA, and he's steadily moved the right pieces into place. But I think your overall point is accurate -- Jimbo was definitely the right guy to build the program, but the clock is now ticking on whether he's the right guy to lead it once it's been built. It used to be that all coaches got 5 years to build a program, and obviously that's not the case anymore. But I think Jimbo has done enough through his first three to deserve at least two more. If after Year 5, FSU is still a fringe top-10/15 team, then maybe you look in another direction.

David Hale
  (11:19 AM)

Of course, the other thing I always point out when fans complain about their coach is: Who else are you going to get? FSU is a strong program with a rich history, but there are financial concerns and conference-affiliation worries that keep it from being a job that will land a marquee coach.

Geoff (New Port Richey, FL)

Is there any chance FSU will leave the ACC for the Big12 or the SEC if they come calling?

David Hale
  (11:22 AM)

Yes, there's definitely a chance. I think the key here on both sides is to have a plan -- a vision for the future. I just haven't seen that from the ACC. So much of their plan appears to be reactionary and/or crossing their fingers Notre Dame decides to join (which, given that they're playing for a national title as an independent seems unlikely in the near future). So if the Big 12 can come to FSU and say, "Here's where we think this conference can be in 10 years, 20 years, etc." and that's a plan that fits what FSU wants to do -- jump. If the SEC asks, it's probably a no-brainer. But the flip side is, FSU needs a plan of its own. What is the future of this program in the new landscape of college football? The teams and the conferences that are forward thinking, have a detailed plan and are aggressive in implementing it will be big winners in all of this. The teams and conferences constantly chasing the tide will fall far behind.

Carlos (Jacksonville, Fl)

How soon do you think Jimbo gives up the play calling? Do you think he hires someone to take over or hands the reigns to someone currently on staff? If he does hire someone, who are some potential candidates?

David Hale
  (11:24 AM)

I will be somewhat surprised if Jimbo hands over the riens completely for 2013, but I wouldn't be surprised if a plan is put in place. Jimbo doesn't trust easily -- and I'm not certain he has someone on staff right now that he views as a play-calling successor. But I think he's looking to next year as a transition season (with a new QB, too) where he can work someone else in to take over full time in 2014. Thats a reasonable plan, I think. As for who the right guy is though -- no idea.

Scott (Atlanta)

Any chance we will see a change in OL coach. Trickett just doesn't seem to be able to get continuity in developing a good Oline

David Hale
  (11:25 AM)

Say what you will about the O line right now, but it's still miles ahead of where it was last year, and it landed 4 players on first or second team All-ACC which is astonishing given how bad the unit was a year ago. There are flaws with Trickett to an extent. As a player, he's the kind of coach you either love or hate. That's always going to be the case. But he knows his guys, his guys trust him, and he's got a strong track record of putting together good lines. I don't think a change there makes much sense -- at least not right now.

Bill (Tampa)

What do you attribute FSU's let down to be this past Saturday? Was UF really that much better? or did FSU just not show-up to their potential as they did against Clemson?

David Hale
  (11:30 AM)

Was it really a let down? I mean, for the most part, FSU played pretty well, but 5 turnovers would kill any team. Looking back on the season, FSU started slowly against pretty much every good team they played (except NC State, where they finished slow) and turnovers have been an ongoing problem. It's just that Florida was too good of a team for FSU to overcome that stuff. In the end, it was a game FSU could easily have won, which is encouraging, but it's also a game it lost because of its own mistakes, which is discouraging. It's probably all in how you want to look at it.

Matt (Winston-Salem)

David, Devonta Freeman's per carry average speaks for itself, why is Jimbo so hesitant to just lean on him a bit? Say, 20 carries? You think that'll be in the cards against GT to give the D a rest?

David Hale
  (11:34 AM)

It's funny, you'll hear from some people that Wilder needs more touches and others that Devonta does. I think it's about finding the right role for both. Freeman really flubbed a third-and-1 last week, dancing outside when all he needed to do was pound it up the middle for a first down. Wilder, on the other hand, can be a little too happy to find contact. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and it's been something of a learning on the fly situation for Jimbo in the weeks since Thompson went down. Also, it hasn't helped that game situations against VT and Florida have sort of dictated more passing attempts. This week will be interesting because time of possession is a good way to keep GT's option in check.

Andy (ND Country)

Hey, at least FSU can say they are the last team to beat the Irish! That counts for something, right?

David Hale
  (11:34 AM)

Silver linings!

Eric (An office building in New York City)

How do you think the UF game damaged EJ Manuel's legacy? When FSU fans look back at the EJ years, how will they characterize his play? Will he be planted firmly in the Chris Rix/ Drew Weatherford bracket? Or something murkier like the Christian Ponder bracket? No way he touches the Charlie Ward/Chris Weinke bracket of course.

David Hale
  (11:35 AM)

It's funny -- EJ and Jimbo are both so closely tied and both so mixed in how the fan base appreciates them. No one would say either is a failure, but I'm not sure either has exactly won over the masses either. The Florida game was a perfect example of why.

David Hale
  (11:36 AM)

I think EJ is WAY beyond Rix/Weatherford class. He's been a winner -- just perhaps not as consistently as you'd like. And if he wins an ACC title, that alone stands for something. He's definitely not in the Ward/Weinke/Weldon class either (because, of course, his last name doesn't begin with 'W' -- it's always about the W's, right?).

David Hale
  (11:37 AM)

The Ponder vs. EJ debate is maybe an interesting one though. Talent-wise, EJ definitely has the edge. In intangibles, I'm guessing fans would take Ponder. In terms of wins -- big ones or otherwise -- they're about the same, right?

Zach (Davenport)

What impact did the lose on saturday have on recruiting

David Hale
  (11:42 AM)

Well, it didn't do them any favors, that's for sure. But I'm not certain that it kills them either. I think one game rarely makes a huge impact on recruits, who are generally more concerned with potential playing time, rapport with coaches, proximity to home, etc. And UF and FSU aren't fighting for a lot of the same recruits this year. But a loss is remembered in the short term, and a win can win over some hearts and minds, too. It's more of a missed opportunity than a major blow.

Dave (Lakeland)

Who would you like to see at QB next year?

David Hale
  (11:43 AM)

Well, the one I'm MOST interested to see is Winston, just because he has so much talent and we haven't seen him yet. But I think what we WILL see is that Trickett will get every opportunity, and it wouldn't surprise me if he was the starter at least to open the season.

Duden (Germany)

Hi David, only one question by me today and this is why i can't find bjorn werner in the nfl.com draft tracker 2013? EJ Manuel,Cornelius Carradine and Rhodes i can find but why not werner? do you maybe know the answer?

David Hale
  (11:45 AM)

Hmmm... that's strange. Trying to look into it now but the internet here is TERRIBLE. Anyway, if Xavier is listed, it shouldn't have anything to do with class. Regardless, I can assure you he's widely considered a top-20 pick right now, and his performance against Florida should have helped him quite a bit.

Bob (orlando)

What are the chances Jimbo leaves to go coach AU?

David Hale
  (11:50 AM)

Sorry for the delay, folks... got booted off the internet.

David Hale
  (11:51 AM)

Anyway, on the Jimbo rumors: I'd be SHOCKED if he ended up at Auburn. He went on something of a tangent just yesterday talking about the off-field concerns there -- academic, NCAA stuff -- and I'm guessing he knows more about the situation than we do and isn't interested. Just me reading between the lines.

Matt (Winston-Salem)

David, you said it best in your player rankings...Lamarcus Joyner didn't quite have the 2102 season he - and most of us fans - would've predicted. Reasons?

David Hale
  (11:52 AM)

I think in part he hasn't been tested quite as much -- teams have stayed away from him. I think there have been a few times (like vs. VT) when his size was exposed just a bit. He's been very good -- and the fact that he hasn't been great has been a mix of opportunity and small hiccups along the way.

Zach (Davenport)

Will Karlos Williams make the transition to linebacker like Nick Moody did in the offseason. The guy is just so athletic not to be on the field.

David Hale
  (11:53 AM)

That's an interesting question, and I don't know the answer, but the problem with your plan is that if he transitions to SAM, he probably won't see much more action than he does now. Against spread teams, the SAM doesn't play much, which is part of the reason we haven't seen a ton of Moody this year. Williams' skill set could be huge at safety, and I think they'd like to keep him there -- depends where the jobs are though.

Jason (Bloomington, IL)

Hey David. Do you think it hurts FSU a bit that they are so "deep" at skill positions such as RB and WR? It seems alot of the best teams have go to guys instead of spreading the ball around so much.

David Hale
  (11:55 AM)

I don't really think so. When Thompson was healthy, he was a go-to guy despite the depth. Rashad has led the team in catches in like 5 of the last 6 games I think -- he's not been Randy Moss, but he's been close to a go-to guy. But most of the distribution issues are about Jimbo's offense and not the quantity of talent on the field.

Ken (Tampa)

In past several games EJ has looked horrible at times. He's taken sacks when he should have thrown the ball away, he's grossly overthrown wide-open receivers and rushed his progressions even when there was no pressure to do so. As a 5th year senior and 2 year starter isn't he still making rookie mistakes?

David Hale
  (11:55 AM)

No, he shouldn't -- but everyone makes them from time to time. But I think EJ does have a tendency to do just the types of things you said. As an Eagles fan, he reminds me a lot of Donovan McNabb -- a guy who can win you a lot of games, but that you never feel quite comfortable with in a big spot.

Bill (Tampa)

any word on Coach Fisher's appeal to ACC to grant Chris Thompson another yr. based on back to back injuries the past two seasons? What is the likelihood of such an appeal?

David Hale
  (11:57 AM)

That likely won't be decided for a month or so -- maybe more -- but from what I heard back from the NCAA when I looked into it, it's not a likely scenario that he'd be granted the waiver. I specifically asked if they had any similar situations that a waiver was granted and was told they were not aware of any.

Andy (ND Country)

Manti's official visit to ND was in 2007 vs. Syracuse. ND lost and went 3-9 that year. He also witnessed the students throwing snowballs at the team after the game. One of the lowest moments in ND history. My point is, losing a game doesnt always hurt on the recruiting trail. Its about getting the kid to see the whole picture.

David Hale
  (11:57 AM)

Excellent point.

jack b (fort walton beach)

As a As a Fla. fan I think that FSU is too talented to play in the ACC. When you only play 2 or 3 close games during the year you're resolve is not tested as much. If FSU came into the SEC with their athletes and coaching I believe it would make them more of a national championship caliber team.f

David Hale
  (11:59 AM)

I think this is the case many people are making now. The ACC is just dead weight right now. I read the other day that FSU is likely to provide something like 3/4ths of the postseason money the ACC will earn this year. That's a recipe for a team to head elsewhere.

Jason (Cleveland )

Giving me a healthy Ponder vs. a healthy Manual wouldn't you have to give the edge to Ponder? Ponder when healthy played really really good for FSU. The problem was he had some health issues that he tried to play through his senior year and he probably should have been out.

David Hale
  (12:01 PM)

Honestly, I could probably be convinced in either direction, and it's sort of hard to fairly evaluate. Ponder didn't have the pedigree of EJ, and he probably didn't have the same talent around him either. So yeah, I guess on the whole, that's probably fair.

Eric (An office building in New York City)

THE W's!? Don't start creating undue buzz surrounding Jameis Winston or anything.....

David Hale
  (12:02 PM)

Hahaha... ummmm... no comment?

Dave (Lakeland)

With expectations so high for this year and not delivering on them what would you consider a successful 2013 to look like?

David Hale
  (12:04 PM)

Good question, and I don't really know. A lot probably depends on a.) which juniors leave, b.) what the conference looks like, etc. I think with big turnover on defense combined with a new QB, it's hard to think national title contender again. But in this conference, they should still be a favorite in the ACC.

Trent gibson (tallahassee)

What will marylands buyout be and when do you think it will be annoced. Cant stand the acc its such a basketball confrence i would love being able to be in the sec because we could actually drive to road cames rather then drive 10 hours to virgina

David Hale
  (12:05 PM)

That's the $50 million question. I think the ACC knows that if they don't go to the mattresses over the buyout, more teams will be out the door soon.

Brian (South Carolina)

Do you think Rhodes (CB) will be coming back next year or will he go to the NFL?

David Hale
  (12:05 PM)

I'd be surprised if he stayed.

guille (florida)

do you think fsu is still going to have a good recurting class this year better than 12

David Hale
  (12:05 PM)

Better than 12, but probably not top 5.

Brian (South Carolina)

What do you think the chance of FSU lossing Stoops this year is?

David Hale
  (12:06 PM)

Pretty high. He's got to be one of the top 5 assistants in the country in terms of likely HC candidates. He'll have offers and it's just a matter of whether he thinks any are the right offers.

Ricky (Chicago)

what are you hearing in Tally on FSU potentially being recruited to Join SEC or Big 12. Texas' rival site said Bama pushing hard fro FSU to join with Big 12 waiting in the wings happt to take them.

Trent gibson (tallahassee)

Was reading on warchant that Fsu might join the sec or the big 12, also when do you think maryland will know the price of ther buyout. Do You think fsu will leave the acc

Herbert (Campbellsville, KY)

Is there room in a crowded SEC for Florida State?

David Hale
  (12:08 PM)

I will say this: I think there may be more of a push to leave this year than there was last year, but it also depends who's offering an invite. The SEC would be a no-brainer in a lot of ways, but I'm not sure they're interested. The Big 12 has upside, but problems, too. It'll be an ongoing topic for a while I think.

Eric (An office building in New York City)

I find it interesting that you don't think that a FSU could score an elite coach: "Who else are you going to get? FSU is a strong program with a rich history, but there are financial concerns and conference-affiliation worries that keep it from being a job that will land a marquee coach."So then, playing the theoretical, "Jimbo isn't coach anymore card," who do you think would be considered for the FSU job should it be available right now? James Franklin? Charlie Strong? What class of coach do you think FSU could garner?

David Hale
  (12:10 PM)

Not saying they can't get a VERY good coach -- and the ones you mention would all be potential contenders I think -- but just not sure FSU would dish out a $5-7M/year salary or could promise the type of financial investment in the program RIGHT NOW that a Nick Saban-esque coach would want. But the flip side to that is, there aren't many Nick Sabans out there regardless.

Zach (Davenport)

Do you feel like Jimbo Fischer doesn't get as much out of his players as he should. Manziel and Mariota from Oregon look light years ahead of 5 year player that was ranked 2nd in his class by some websites. This includes a class that had Andrew Luck, Blaine Gabbert, and many other current NFL players. There are many other players on this roster you could say the same thing about

David Hale
  (12:11 PM)

Some of that is system, some of it is the QB himself. Jimbo has a strong track record of sending QBs to the NFL and he's developed some pretty good ones at the college level, too.

Jason (Bloomington, IL)

Who in your opinion should start at QB next season? Do you go with a decent/less flashy QB that doesn't have as high of a ceiling in Trickett or Coker or give it to Jameis right away since he has a higher ceiling and could be a star? Just kind of worried that Jameis will transfer if he doesn't start at some point next year.

David Hale
  (12:11 PM)

I'd like to see more of all of them before I could say for sure. My default position would be Trickett in the early going, but would be very open minded if I see solid progress from the others, who probably have more athletic upside.

Beavis (Nashville)

Let try and keep in perspective that Nole fans are spoiled with 14 top 5 finishes in a row (Thanks Bobby!). That was a special time.

Kevin (Florida)

The W's doesn't automatically equal fantastic FSU quarterback. See Drew Weatherford. Maybe you need a C first name and a W last name?

David Hale
  (12:12 PM)

Ah... now we have our answer.

David Hale
  (12:12 PM)

Jameis just needs to change his first name to Clark.

David Hale
  (12:13 PM)

Alright folks, we've got player interviews upcoming, so I've got to run. Thanks for all the great questions! We'll do it again next week (I think).