Florida State Seminoles @ Clemson Tigers

A few years ago, I had hung with a friend celebrating the birthday of an old mentor. While we had waited for seating, inevitably the state of FSU football became the hot topic. I had remembered this old mentor forecasting a national championship from Jimbo Fisher in short order. Another fan, a COO at work, had equally riled himself up regarding the transition from Bobby Bowden. In my mind, I had thought “What had the FSU offense done to garner such fever?” In comparison, Gus Malzahn at Auburn had mustered offense performances worthy of note, up through a BCS national championship.

During the Fisher era, the Seminoles had plenty of raw talent. It had decent defense, good receivers and a few running backs to boot; however, the Noles had a few notable losses to UF, Oklahoma and NC State. Yes, NC State, what had happened during that game? This loss more than any other had marked the mental focus of the program. Despite enough talent, play calling and a slow start had led us to defeat to an inferior opponent. This lack of intensity had provided the seeds of defeatism. I had felt flung back to 90s with overly cautious play calling from the various Miami wide-right fiascos.

So far this college football season, I had avoided getting sucked into this mental trap of disappointment. I had received passing compliments from friends and family about FSU’s Quarterback, Winston. My nephew had texted,” Winston is a beast,” tempting propaganda from a Miami fan. This had made for a seductive statement to get emotionally invested. Still after thinking about watching tonight’s game live or on a box score, had Jimbo finally selected “the one?” Had Winston’s raw talent exceeded the balance sheet of any other offensive shortcomings?

Either way, hopefully the ACC had an opportunity to raise its profile in the BCS. I had hoped after tonight maybe, just maybe, to bite into the bait dangling from the FSU program. Go Noles!

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