ESPN College Football Analyst Addresses FSU Situation

ESPN College Football Analyst Addresses FSU Situation

David Hale is a college football analysts for ESPN. Listed below is a twitter thread by Hale addressing FSU’s football program following the lost to Jacksonville State.


Quick thoughts on FSU… This was never going to be a good football team. The hope was 6-6, a bowl game, and enough enthusiasm about progress to keep the 2022 class together. After Sunday, that all seemed well within reach, if not entirely likely. Then last night happened.

In a micro sense, the loss was inexcusable. Yes, the final play. That goes without saying. It’s screwing up Football 101, which puts the heat squarely on Norvell. I get it. But the limitations of this team were on display throughout. It never should’ve come down to 1 play.

So what the Jax St game showed was two glaring issues that have really dogged FSU for 5+ years.

1) In the moment, the coaching staffs (3 of them now!) have now blundered away games that even a bad FSU team should win. That undermines any sense of credibility.

It can be fairly argued that FSU fans set expectations too high compared to reality. But there is no reality in which FSU should even have to sweat a final play against an FCS team. Of course there was also Samford in 2018, so… it ain’t *just* Norvell.

Games like this give even reasonable fans cause to blow things up again, & that cannot happen. The most important – & also the most delicate — commodity Norvell had entering this season was patience from a fan base that understood (mostly) the job ahead. He blew that in 1 play.

2) The macro issues remain the bigger concern. How is it that this program has fallen so far, so fast and with so little obvious path to improvement? Jimbo’s acrimonious departure, locker room culture, Boosters, AD, fans, coaches… they’ve all changed and yet, here we are.

There will be an obvious chorus begging for more change, but what reasonable coach would walk into this situation? The AD job has been a “winner by default” situation for 15+ years. The Booster culture isn’t changing overnight, even if Andy Miller is gone.

The most immediate question is what happens in Week 3. Wake is not a markedly more talented team than FSU, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t always matter. But Norvell has talked about the improved locker room culture, built around veteran transfers. Can they weather the storm?

As much as it feels reasonable to judge Norvell off that brutal, inexcusable final play, the bigger test is if he can keep the locker room now. If so, there’s still reason for hope because, again, this was never gonna be a *good* team. If not… I really don’t know what’s next.

At this point, there are so many villains in this story, it doesn’t seem worth pointing fingers anymore. At the end of the day, someone — Norvell, Coburn, Alford, Batman — needs to identify a clear blueprint toward progress that everyone is on board with following to the finish.

9 Responses to "ESPN College Football Analyst Addresses FSU Situation"

  1. I’ve been an FSU fan for 50+ years now and have memories going a long ways back.

    The program today is in a post-Bowden era that reminds me a lot of the post-Peterson era. Larry Jones was the successor but fell into disfavor with the administration, media, and fans. Despite a national championship, Jimbo Fisher is the modern equivalent of Jones. Darryl Mudra followed Jones. He produced very little that exciting the fans, but at least he recruited a few good kids. Willie Taggart is today’s Mudra. The program and kids continued in disarray, but he didn’t recruit well either. Mudra was followed by Bowden and the rest is history. Norvell doesn’t have much to work with due to the abysmal recruiting of Fisher and Taggart, but it’s easy to see progress. The on-field results are disappointing so far, but a lot of things are better than they have been in about 10 years now.

    What the team’s missing now is game ready offensive linemen. You can recruit running backs, receivers, quarterbacks, safeties, etc. that are college game ready right out of high school, but offensive linemen typically take a couple of years to fully develop their bodies and game to play at this level. Unfortunately, the hand is dealt before the season starts and you’re not going to get any more linemen during the season.

    Norvell may not be the long-term answer at FSU. But I’m hoping that the fans and administration recognized the progress that’s been made from essentially nothing and are willing to watch this upward trend and evaluate it at the end of the season, not after just 2 games.

  2. @ Deborah,

    I don’t know what you are YELLING about, but my comment has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

    When you have our elected officials being investigated by the FBI in the sky boxes at FSU football games there is a bigger problem. When you have the boosters endorsing them we have a problem. Tallahassee is the laughing stock of Florida because of the local government. There is a bigger problem in play here.

    It has everything to do with it…

  3. Hope-what does any of that have to do with FOOTBALL??? NOTHING!!! If people keep telling them that they’ll never make it, then they never will. I think some of this excessive criticism by LazyBoy football analysts needs to stop. It was 1 touchdown in both games. these were not landslide 52-0 games against us. Geeze let the boys recoup and let’s be positive and excited, like all real Nile fans should be.

  4. Big historical picture in a few words:
    The arrogant Boosters have knowingly cost Tallahassee Billions of dollars by not extending Bowden’s winning streak.
    How you ask can that be true?
    All the boosters had to do was as soon as Bowden was let go just get off the money and put Odell Hagans in the head coach position.
    Or as soon as they let Jimbo go.
    Or as soon as they let Taggart go.
    Or as soon as they let Norvell go.
    You know in your heart I’m right.

  5. Glad you cleared that up Hope. I thought FSU got beat because a coach called the wrong defensive set. Now I see the defense was in the wrong set because of local politics.

  6. Nole1962
    We attended both games with triple masks and secure seating.I played the game and followed life.
    My thoughts.
    No more changing head coaches.
    But Defensive play calling and secondary prep are the worst.We have 5 above average
    Players 3 running backs and defensive lineman who is a transfer.
    Talent is very thin.No wide receivers.
    Put all 4 good offensive players on the field every play .No more wildcat madness.
    Master 10 offensive plays.Stick with them.
    Do not red fog on 3rd and short and 3rd and long.
    Get a new defensive coordinator.
    Go Noles

  7. The boosters should stay out of politics…should be the number one rule. They participated and facilitated in creating a corruption culture in Tallahassee that hurts everyone. Don’t endorse candidates!

    Your endorsement of Nick Maddox has been harmful to this community. There was a dust up only weeks after he was elected with his blond Aid who left. SUDDENLY and was paid off with hush money. It’s been downhill from there. Who votes to give money to JT Burnett to facilitate his crime Enterprise… Nick Maddox that’s who…

    Again, the Boosters need to STAY OUT of politics! Don’t endorse candidates!

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