FSU Continues to Come Up Short On and Off the Field

Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire

After starting the 2017 season out with high hopes for a playoff appearance and ranked at No. 3, the FSU Football Team is now 2-4, winless at home, and basically falling apart at the seams. This is the second worst start in program history in the past 40 years. With how things are looking for the Noles right now there is not even a solid chance of them making it to a bowl game. But at this point, it is hard to even tell if the players care about their streak of 35 straight bowl game appearances, or anything at all honestly.

It is hard for fans, even the die-hard Seminoles, to care as much as they usually do about this team when the players do not give it their all and most of the time act like they don’t even want to be there. Yes, this season has been weird and full of adversity. But, that happens every year, to every team. What makes a team a great one is how they handle all of that adversity.

Is a great team able to bounce back from the loss of your starting quarterback in the first game of the season and immediately start supporting your 18-year old, brand new freshman quarterback? They should be. Is a great team able to stay hungry and motivated after not having football games for three weekends due to a hurricane far out of anyone’s control? They should be. Is a great team able to go to practice day in and day out to work their hardest to be able to climb their way back into the rankings, knock off strong rival opponents and all around show everyone just how talented they truly are? They should be.

But from what we have seen this season is the complete opposite of all of those things. In his post-game press conference after the loss to Louisville, Coach Fisher sounded like he was trying to convince the fans, and himself, that his team still cares about playing and actually wants to be there. He said, “we’re not quitting on you, please don’t quit on us.” While this is the stuff that every fan wants to hear, it is getting harder and harder to believe if it is actually true. I, and many other fans, see questionable things happening after games from the players, but even worse a lot of those questionable things are happening during the games as well.

After Louisville kicked their game-winning field goal this past Saturday, it was seen by other members of NoleGameday that there were some players on the FSU sideline rightfully unhappy with the outcome. But what was most surprising (was it really that surprising?) was the fact that there were multiple players on the FSU sideline laughing and smiling after the field goal was made. I don’t know about you, but if I saw my teammates or my players laughing after losing an important game like that, I would be furious.

The lack of leadership on this team is disappointing. In the first game of the season against Alabama, it looked as if the defense would be the Noles’ saving grace. But now since then, it has been the reason why every game has been decided by seven points or less. Players like Derwin James and Tarvarus McFadden, or literally anyone else, could and should be stepping up to take over that leadership position on defense.

Players in the past that have been that leader on the defense are who everyone looks up to. When other players see one of their teammates stepping up, leading a team, and making great plays, it will make everyone else around them want to be at that level and play just as great. Those two, in particular, were hyped up so much in the preseason to carry this defense back to its’ 2013-like glory and it is a shame that they have not been playing as well or as hard as everyone expected them to.

Although I am not trying to solely call out the defense when honestly there just is a lack of leadership on and off the field. This team just does not have that “family” feel that we are used to seeing. This will come naturally when players compete every day at every practice. It will happen when players build each other up, play as a team, and start playing more aggressively. As fans, it is hard to not compare this present team to past great teams like the one who won it all in 2013 or almost any team that was coached under Bobby Bowden. But one thing that this team lacks, among many others, is the fact they have no desire to dominate games. They play games safe, they do not take risks, they do not attack the offenses as intensely as they should. Other teams do it to Florida State, why are they not reciprocating that intensity and going out there trying to take command of games. While this comes mainly from the coaches who call the plays, it definitely helps when players step up and take control of their own game and play with that intensity and heart we are used to seeing.

To wrap things up, I know this might have sounded a bit harsh, but it is the truth. This team is making it harder and harder to care every week. Fans will stop showing up to games and the support of the team will definitely decline. Why the Noles aren’t out there dominating teams like Duke, Wake Forest, and even a Louisville team that they should have beaten is beyond me. It is tough to watch them lose or barely win against teams like those when everyone, including the players, knows how much of a better team they are compared to the others. I know I am not the one out there playing in the games and practicing every day, but if it feels like fans care more about this team than most players do, there is a problem and it needs to be dealt with. The effect this team could have on future FSU teams and the chances of getting those 4- and 5-star recruits could be costly if things are not changed. Hopefully, the team will wake up and see what is happening before things get too out of control.

Haylee Blitch
Writer at NoleGameday covering Football and Baseball. Media and Communications Studies major at Florida State University.

One Comment

  1. Tim Hayes

    October 26, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    I am sure future possible recruits to FSU are seeing the same thing that you are seeing week in and week out. Right now I would honestly rate us as the fifth best college football program in Florida, behind Miami, USF, UCF, and yes, even UF. The impact of this team will be felt far beyond just this season.
    I also agree with you that there is a real lack of leadership on this team. When the game is on the line there doesn’t seem to be any player who stands up and says, “Not now, not ever and not in my house!”

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