Hey kids, thanks for stopping by for this week's chat. If you missed the Jimbo Fisher chat, you can find the transcript here: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/48567
In Jimbo's chat, someone offered to buy him a drink at Level 8. Just an FYI... I'm also easily open to bribes.
Any updates on the AD search?
I spoke with Dr. Barron last week, and he said the search firm had put together a long list that was still being narrowed down and that formal interviews had not yet begun. I'll be checking back on that soon, and we've got a couple good stories on the docket over the next week or two that should also provide some good insight into the search.
Do you expect Tim Jernigan and Eddie Goldman to have big years in 2013?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: I think it'll be interesting to see which of the two has the bigger season. Jernigan should blend flawlessly into his new role, but it is worth watching how he handles the bigger spotlight, especially with a potential spot in the first round of next year's NFL draft in play. Goldman has yet to even earn the starting job, but his potential is sky high.
Did I miss something? It seems the Coverage of ACC's Media Day (outside of Clemson) was lacking. I wanted to hear Jimbo and the other Coaches talk about the up coming season. I had my fingers crossed for one of the reporters to ask Jimbo about his thoughts on choosing an OC.
You missed something! Seriously, I wrote a bunch of FSU stuff for our Nole Nation site, so hopefully you got a chance to check some of it out, and we've been continuing that coverage into this week (with lots more to come as we get close to fall camp). As for the OC stuff, Jimbo answered again the same way he has: He's not interested in handing over play calling at the moment, and as such, he has no desire to give anyone the OC title. My guess is that title will be kept in his back pocket in order to help keep a coach in the next year or two (it's a good counter offer if another team comes calling) but I think he likes calling plays and it'll take some serious pressure or a seriously good coach to change his mind.
I know you have no say in where College Gameday makes their stops but lets say FSU and Miami are unbeaten when they meet up, any chance CGD stops in Tally?
Well, you're right... I don't have any say in the decision, and in a lot of cases, it comes down to logistics and other outside factors as much as it does the "big game" feel. But right now, all we have to go by is that big-game dimension, and other than Florida-Georgia, which is a CBS game, Miami-FSU looks to be easily the biggest one on the schedule that week. There are a few other decent games (SC-MSU, WV-TCU, TT-OSU) but right now you'd have to like FSU's chances.
Is there another program out there we could lose Jimbo too? I dont see a spot at LSU or Bama opening up anytime soon, but if a USC type spot opens, should we be worried?
For Jimbo to leave, three things have to be in place: 1.) There has to be a chance for him to win quickly, so it couldn't be a program under NCAA investigation or with problems on the administrative side, 2.) It would need to be a program with at least a similar prestige as FSU and a bigger checkbook for things like assistant coaches and recruiting, and 3.) $$$$$$. There's a VERY short list of places that fit that bill, and given Lane Kiffin's history, I'm not even entirely sure USC makes the cut. If the right opportunity does come around, it wouldn't surprise me if Jimbo kicked the tires -- particularly given FSU's reluctance to add another year on his current deal -- but I don't think it's likely he leaves.
When will Training Camp Open for Florida State?
One week from today!
Who is the under the radar team in the ACC?
I've gotten some mixed reviews on my pick, but I like Maryland. It's taken a while for Randy Edsall's philosophy to really take root there, but I think they're close to turning a corner. I think there's some extra motivation, given that it's their last year in the ACC. The QB picture is much clearer than a year ago, Stefon Diggs is a legitimate star, and the D was really good in 2012. They lost some good players, but they've brought in some talent, too. I'm not saying a 10-win season, but 8-4 isn't out of the question. I expect a bounce back at VT too.
How will the TE situation shake out given Cristo's transfer and Nick's bike accident?
Good question, and I'm not sure there's an answer yet. Fisher's going to have to work with what he's got, which isn't much. I think we'll see an extra lineman in on some formations, we'll maybe see a bigger role for Chad Abram than we'd originally thought, and maybe Jimbo will open things up and go four wide more than he did before. The biggest piece though is O'Leary, who should be fine after the bike accident, but he really needs to take a big step forward in his production, both as a blocker and a receiver.
With so much offensive talent at RB and WR and Jimbo saying this is the best O-Line yet, Do you expect big consistent performances each week with ether Coker or Winston?
I expect a handful of big performances, yes. But consistency is going to be the key, and that's tough to find in a freshman (assuming Winston gets the job). Even look back to Manziel's season last year, and it's hard to say he was consistent. There were great weeks, good weeks and a few bad ones. I'd expect similar for Winston.
I'd also say that, while there is some talent at WR, I'm not sure that position is quite as deep as everyone thinks. After Rashad and Shaw, I'm not sure I'd bet the house on anyone else to deliver big numbers. Benjamin, Jesus Wilson, Haulstead, Green, Haggins are all capable guys, but all come with big question marks too.
Which do you think is more likely to happen this season: KB blossoms into a legitimate # 2 receiver, or KB still can't put it together and ends up buried on the depth chart?
I don't think he'll end up buried. He's too much of a mismatch to keep off the field entirely, and I think he's a guy that could survive on natural ability alone and still put up another season like he did last year. But I remain a bit skeptical that he'll blossom into a star. It's been two years of obvious maturity issues, and KB was older even when he got here than most of his counterparts. So I guess I'm hedging on an answer... If forced though, I'd say there's a better chance of his emerging as a consistent guy than falling off the edge.
Do the Noles get over the hump this year in Death Valley? Or do I need to suit up on special teams again and help out Coach Fisher?
I'm sure Jimbo will take you, Leroy... not sure what the NCAA will say about it though. It's obviously far too soon to say what will happen at Clemson, and I do understand why people like the Tigers so much in the preseason, but I'll ask this: Aside from QB and the location of the game, where does Clemson have a distinct advantage? Now, those two things are BIG advantages, but just look at the preseason all-acc teams and it's clear FSU has plenty of talent, too.
Can the Seminoles win the ACC if they lose to Clemson on October 19th?
Anything's possible, I guess, but I wouldn't feel good about their chances. Clemson would need to lose two ACC games (and FSU would need to win the rest of their conference games) in order for it to happen, and I just don't see two more ACC losses there for the Tigers. The rest of the Atlantic should be pretty winnable, and they get GT and UVA from the Coastal -- both winnable games. Possible, but unlikely.
Are the Noles set at defensive tackle after the two recent commitments? Or is there another prospect FSU would to like to lsee come to Tallahassee?
That's a question probably better put to our recruiting writer, Corey Dowlar, but that position is awfully deep. It may be a situation where it's tougher to lure another top guy even if they wanted one than it would be to wait until next year to spread the wealth a bit.
Is there an expected timeline as to when Dent's situation will be resolved one way or the other?
No, not at the moment. I was told last week that nothing has changed on that front, and Jimbo certainly talked like he was preparing to play the season without him.
Christo's decision to transfer seems very odd on the surface given the certainty of playing time, so did something happen that made him transfer?
I think there was a lot at play here. 1.) He was very close to Coley, who left for Miami. 2.) Yes, he was guaranteed playing time, but that was part of the problem. He had offseason shoulder surgery, and he wasn't sure he'd be ready to start the year. 3.) He's a California guy and I think he wanted to be closer to home. If he was going to miss a number of games to start the year anyway because of injury, why not transfer now and sit out 2013 and be ready to go -- healthy and eligible -- in 2014?
Which player should we look out for?
I'm probably not breaking any news when I say that I think Telvin, Wilder and Karlos will take big steps this year and become top guys in the conference. That's an opinion widely shared. The guy players and Jimbo talked most about at ACC kickoff was Jesus Wilson. He's apparently been very impressive in 7-on-7s. And then, of course, the obvious answer for all purposes is Jameis.
To follow up on Leroy's statement....I think FSU has more of an advantage playing Clemson this year...Boyd is very good, but he will get consistently different looks from the FSU defense. Clemson also lost 2 of their big playmakers on offense at RB and WR. I just like the idea of FSU jamming WR's at the line of scrimmage and throwing off timing just enough to rattle Boyd. LSU and South Carolina has success doing that.
I think you're on the money -- though I also think putting that plan into action may be easier said than done. I also think the complexion of the game could change a bit of Clemson loses in Week 1 to Georgia. It's a long fall from the top, and as FSU fans have seen first hand, there can be a real hangover effect for teams that get a ton of love and then suddenly have it taken away.
Jimbo mentioned that there was already a plan for some players to have "duel roles" during his chat in response to a question about Christo transferring. Do you know who he is talking about?
I don't specifically know what he's referencing, but my guess is that he'll have at least one lineman who can essentially work as a blocking tight end, and it wouldn't surprise me to see someone from the D line be ready to move over to offense, too.
Which of the FSU receivers will challenge for ACC honors? And is this group as a whole back to the lofty Seminole standards of the 90s?
Not sure I'd put it in a group with some of those great units of the 1990s, but I think Rashad establishes himself as an elite guy this year, and obviously KB is capable.
How much of a loss is manuel?
I hate to join the chorus of FSU fans who have happily moved on from EJ, because I think it severely undervalues what he contributed to this team. But I will say that FSU is in as good a position as possible to replace an established, successful QB. They return veterans at the skill positions, have a strong O line and have a guy waiting in the wings at QB who is extremely talented and really smart. I envision a few hiccups along the way -- but you had those with EJ, too. I think if Jameis matches EJ's numbers from last year, fans should be thrilled because it won't be easy. But I also think it's entirely possible he does that.
Who is more to blame for the offense's sporadic regression at inopportune times (e.g. NC State) Jimbo or Manuel?
Honestly I think it's a little bit of a chicken-or-egg argument. EJ made some bad decisions and bad throws at key moments, and that affected how Jimbo called a game. Jimbo didn't always make the best play calls and often undermined EJ's confidence, which affected how EJ might play. So what caused what? I'd say both could've done a better job, particularly against NC State last year and Virginia the year before.
Who do you see as being likely candidates to get some reps at TE? Seems hard to imagine making it through a whole season with only 2.
I hate to even speculate, because I have no idea what Jimbo's thinking. The most obvious solution would be to try to get a walk-on ready to play a bigger role (largely as a blocker) but I don't know enough about those options to say who jumps out. I think a guy like Davarez Bryant or Giorgio Newberry could fit the bill, but FSU isn't exactly deep at DE either so not sure that's a real option. There's not really anyone on the O line you'd classify as an obvious candidate for that role, but I suppose it's possible we could see someone like Sterling Lovelady or one of the other younger guys get some reps as a hybrid TE/sixth lineman.
How big is the Pitt game this year? Also is that the first potential slip up for FSU? Seems like every year FSU loses to an opponent that they should have no problem with. Is that Pitt this year? and if not who would you say is that opponent?
It's huge. I look at it similarly to that Clemson-Georgia game I just mentioned. Obviously Pitt is no UGA, but I think it's a little bit of a perfect storm scenario for the Noles. New QB, road game, tons of build-up, prime time Monday game that gets them off a normal routine, and for Pitt, it's probably their biggest home game in years. And a loss in Week 1 could really undermine a lot of what Jimbo's tried to accomplish this offseason. I think it's really important for the QB and the new coaches to get off on the right foot.
Do you know who the mother is?
Barney in a wig? That's my best guess.
This is a general college sports question. What is your take on coaches being able to leave during their contract and not face any penalties, where players are at the mercy of their head coach if they want to transfer and if granted, are required to sit out a year in most cases?
I hate it, but I'm also not entirely sure what to do about it. The bottom line to all of this is that college football is run as a capitalist business for all parties concerned EXCEPT for the actual players on the field, who are held to a set of standards that no other employee would ever face in any other business. Personally, I wouldn't be opposed to a rule that says you can transfer out of conference without sitting out a year if your head coach leaves, but really all that does is punish the school and the guys who stay and encourage poaching from other schools. It's a no-win situation.
What about werner?
I think Werner is the biggest loss from last year's team. There's just no one else at DE who comes close to being able to do what he provided. He was an excellent speed rusher, but he was also a tremendous all-around defender. If you watch the film of what he did when he wasn't getting after the QB, it's perhaps more impressive than his sack numbers. Defending passes, stopping the run, freeing up rushers on the other side, containing the QB and collapsing the pocket -- he was just a really smart player. That's impossible to replace.
will fsu get a 5 star ol this recruiting year?
Maybe, but I wouldn't hold my breath and I don't think Trickett cares one way or the other. He has his own rating system for guys and he doesn't much care how many stars ESPN or Rivals or Scout gives a guy. He looks for "his guys" and that's about it.
Does Ronald Darby become a star this year in the ACC?
I think Darby is one of the best DBs in the conference, but I also think Joyner and Waisome and Williams and Ramsey and Hunter and Keeling and Blake all have a ton of talent, too. So how much time do they each spend on the field? That's what will limit Darby from being a household name, if anything. But yeah, I think he blossoms into a really good player this year, and potentially an all-acc guy.
My dad, brother and I are coming to the NC state game this year. Will there be a chance to get Bobby Bowden to autograph something and get a picture with him or will he be unavailable for that? How would we go about it?
I will say that Bobby isn't one to turn down a chance to mingle with the fans, but I'd also guess you'll be part of a long line of folks eager to spend some time with him. My best advice-- reach out to the FSU Booster Club and see what kind of events they have going on before and after the game. Pretty sure they're doing a golf + dinner event with Bobby that Friday, for example. It'll cost a bit extra, obviously, but might be your best chance to stand out from the crowd.
Have you heard anything about Walker this offseason? I know he got to watch spring but not play. He was supposed to be a very good player and could possibly play right away.
I still think there's a strong chance he plays early. While he couldn't get onto the field this spring, he was allowed to work with the strength and conditioning staff and work with other players, sit in meetings, etc. It wasn't a lost spring, in other words. Add in the lack of depth at DE and I still envision him being a part of the plan there for 2013.
With fsu's recruiting class filling up do you think their are a couple of guys they wish they hadn't offered? I know this is a tough q but I have to believe their is.
It's always a balancing act and there's usually room for a bit of overkill as some players will move elsewhere before signing day and new spots will open up. There can also be an advantage to having a big class of commitments as it adds something of a ticking clock to the guys on the fence. Jimbo can call Player A who he really wants and say, "listen, we've only got 3 spots left in this class right now, what direction are you leaning..." and maybe close a player that way.
Who will win the ACC?
OK, probably not. I joined the chorus picking Clemson, but I don't think it's nearly as overwhelming a choice as everyone else seemed to.
OK, folks, that's my time for today. I appreciate all the great questions. We'll do it again next week... when Fall Camp officially begins!