Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Florida State Seminoles season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Florida State Seminoles
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Florida State Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
The man found a home. Now let’s see what he can do.
Willie Taggart is a great builder and rebuilder of programs, and he’s a phenomenal recruiter. But Florida State just hired a guy who has yet to win a conference championship, hasn’t won a bowl game, and has a losing record in his eight seasons as a head coach.
But he hasn’t been around a job long enough – there’s never faulting a talented young head coach for going on to a better gig – to enjoy the fruits of his labor, taking off just before the fun started to kick in.
Charlie Strong went 10-2 at USF last year and took down the Birmingham Bowl – that could’ve been Taggart’s team.
Jeff Brohm won three bowl games and two straight Conference USA titles right after Taggart left for USF.
And now it’s up to Taggart to take what Jimbo Fisher built and make it even better – even if last year wasn’t up to normal Florida State snuff.
As bad as things went, the Noles had chances in close call losses to NC State, Miami and Louisville that easily could’ve gone the other way. Instead, FSU went an unacceptable 7-6 and had to rally just to go bowling.
Fisher inherited a 7-6 team, too, when he took over in 2010, and unlike Taggart, he didn’t have any head coaching experience. But he went 10-4 in his first season and got the Noles to the ACC title game.
Fair or not, there’s the bar. It’s Florida State. It’s not supposed to go 7-6, and even if this year’s team is just okay, and even with a brutal schedule, and even with Clemson looking like a juggernaut, FSU is supposed to win the ACC title every year.
But first, Taggart needs to get time to settle in, enjoy the idea that this might just be a destination gig, and then win a national title or three.
There are still way, way, WAY too many moving parts to push for anything massive this year, starting with a beaten up offensive line that wasn’t close to being ready for primetime this spring.
The quarterback situation is still up in the air, the receiving corps doesn’t have a whole lot of sure things, and the pro-style players have to adjust to a new spread offense world.
The defense has to replace some of the best defensive backs in college football – there’s no replacing Derwin James – the starting linebacking corps from the end of last year is gone or hurt, and the D line lost two excellent parts in Josh Sweat and Derrick Nnadi.
But after a few years of will-he-or-won’t-he-leave with Fisher, now the program has its guy. Now it has its direction going forward. Now it has its stability for the foreseeable future.
And now, Taggart has his home. And now he has to win something, too.