Monday Mailbag: Bob Stoops, coaching search, and recruiting

Well, it’s been an interesting week so far, hasn’t it? The rumors are swirling rapidly in the aftermath of former Florida State coach Willie Taggart’s firing. There’s a lot of misinformation and misdirection out there right now, so make sure to be careful of who you trust.

Regardless of all the talk about who the Seminoles next head coach will be, this is still a game week. That’s right, FSU has a game on Saturday, a tough one against Boston College in Beantown. If the program can get to 3-Odell under coach Haggins, they’ll move to 5-5 overall and likely get back to bowl season with a win next week over Alabama State. It would be huge for everyone, coaches, players, and fans alike if this season was salvaged with a bowl game. Any positive momentum right now helps.

Basically, a lot is still happening. I honestly haven’t even really been able to wrap my head around it quite yet. I’m both mind boggled and excited about this new direction. Let’s see what we have in the mailbag this week.

P.S. I’m perfectly fine with everyone sending me just basketball questions for next week.

Why’d the original twitter get blocked? – @rusj5

I figured I’d answer this one first. Our Twitter was suspended for a DMCA Notice due to a highlight video we posted prior to the Clemson game. I guess Florida State Athletics doesn’t like it when media tries to bring excitement and hype to the fanbase. They’re the reason we couldn’t get the account back and honestly they should be ashamed with themselves for not having anything better to do with their time.

We’re one of the only media outlets that positively supports the athletics at Florida State every year and don’t take advantage of negative storylines to stir up clicks. Maybe they should reevaluate who they’re after.

We’ve started a new account, @TheNoleGameday, and are looking forward to the rebuild. Hit us with a follow to stay up to date on ‘Nole News!

Who do you think is the best reasonable coach for FSU right now – @smith_sanders18

Who do you prefer to get hired as the next FSU head coach? – @teferi_bush18

Who would you like to see as the next head coach? – @carolina_born74

We hear about this coach and that coach but which one is the best fit for FSU in your opinion – @only1_likeme

I decided to lump these questions together, as they all basically cover the same context. In MY opinion, there are only three options that I’d seriously consider with PJ Fleck now off the board, Bob Stoops, Brent Venables, and Mike Norvell.

Stoops is obviously #1 and he’s the top candidate in Florida State’s book too. I really like him as an option to come in for about half a decade, turn the program around, and pass things off to a younger coach ala Kendal Briles, who the program wants to keep on staff if Stoops comes in. It would provide a marquee hire for the fanbase and get the buzz back going on the recruiting trail. Big Game Bob to Tallahassee, it just sounds right.

Venables is another guy I wouldn’t mind being at FSU. He’s never been a HC but has been the top assistant coach in college football, architecting elite defenses year in and year out under Dabo Swinney. It would be a step up, but one I’m confident Venables could take.

Finally, Norvell, a young offensive-minded coach who’s been building up Memphis for a few seasons. The Tigers light up the scoreboard basically every Saturday and are one of the top G5 teams in the country. His buyout is just 500K. The only thing that slightly worries me is Justin Fuente took the same path and now Virginia Tech is struggling.

Why give Taggart one and a half years when Fisher left FSU in a trashy situation? – @krayford01

I understand the gripe that some fans have regarding the administration’s decision to fire Taggart with three games left in the season. It’s tough for everyone right now. Florida State didn’t want to make this move, its hand was forced due to poor results.

This team hasn’t taken much of a step forward and though losses to Virginia and Clemson on the road are fine, dropping games to Boise State, Wake Forest, and Miami are not. With Taggart being 0-5 against rivals, it only made this decision easier.

That doesn’t mean that the program wasn’t a mess when he took it over. It certainly was. Jimbo Fisher left Florida State out to dry. Taggart did his best to try and turn it around, but the few positive signs were just not enough to justify keeping him. We should always be thankful for how he got the players back to focusing on school and going to class. He did the right things off the field but just couldn’t get the wins necessary on it.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I hope Tag gets another job and puts on a show.

What do you think about Odell Haggins being head coach against Boston College? – @mattox_johnston

It’s awesome and I love it. Did you know Odell has never lost a game as a head coach? I’m starting to feel like that trend continues on Saturday.

Time frame for a new head coach? – @brian_9.87

With this being a state job at a public university, the position has to be posted for a certain amount of time before it can be officially filled. FSU knows who they want. I’m expecting an official announcement somewhere in the next 10-14 days. All I’ll say is, there’s a lot of smokescreens out there right now.

What are the chances we land Bob Stoops – @nick_mentz3r

Bob Stoops is a name I’ve heard. What do you think about that? – @thechosenone_224

Everything from our angle is pointing towards Bob Stoops. Florida State is focused on the former Oklahoma head coach and they want to get this thing done as soon as possible. There are already whispers that a handshake agreement is in place.

How long do you think it will take our program to be like it was in 2013-14? – @bray_ottinger_

All depends on the head coaching hire. It could be sooner than later or a really long time depending on how it shakes out.

How do we save or develop a recruiting class without a head coach? – @bigboi816

At this point, it falls to the assistant coaches. Luckily, that’s the reason that a lot of the current commits originally pledged to FSU, the assistants. It’s money-earning time for Raymond Woodie, his prowess and influence on the recruiting trail is needed now more than ever.

Haggins also figures to bring stability to the current task at hand, he comes with the house. The main focus at this time will be trying to keep things as in place as possible for when the new head coach arrives.

Favorite FSU player of all time? – @isaacparlett47

Kind of a cliche answer, but Jameis Winston. He’s the best QB to ever play in Tallahassee and man, was it fun to watch. I was lucky enough to have season tickets to be able to watch it all and the only road game I’ve ever been to was FSU @ Death Valley in 2013, good freaking times.

My affliction with Winston has continued on now that he’s with Tampa Bay. I try to tune in every Sunday to support a guy that helped guide the ‘Noles to unbelievable heights. I’ll always be thankful for Famous Jameis.

Would Mark Richt be a good HC for FSU? – @michael_leboeuf0

Richt is kind of in the same vein as Stoops, a stop-gap option that provides Florida State with a decent floor. I think Stoops brings more of the high-floor, high-ceiling mantra into that equation than Richt but the former Miami coach certainly has had a solid benchmark for success across his coaching career.

He’s never won the big one, but he consistently had Georgia as one of the top teams in the country and didn’t get enough time with the Hurricanes. I believe he would’ve been more of a possibility for the Seminoles if he hadn’t recently suffered a heart attack.

It’s probably best that Richt stays as an analyst for now.

Who should be our DC next year? – @aaronballer3

He’s already on staff, Jim Leavitt. Yes, Leavitt probably came to FSU to be the defensive coordinator under Taggart in 2020, but things change. The veteran coach seems like he loves Tallahassee and has been very passionate about the program so far in his tenure.

We’ll get to see more of what he could bring to the table this Saturday, as Leavitt will be on the sidelines following being promoted to a full-time coach. I think having a disciplined and nasty defense under a focused coordinator is the best thing the ‘Noles could ask for moving forward.

And yes, that means Harlon Barnett is done after the year.

Who’s your favorite #9? – @karlos_williams29

You already know, Los.

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