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Noles247 Staff Meeting

With Florida State currently on a bye week, the staff of Noles247.com and the Osceola gathered to discuss a couple of the current issues in Seminole athletics. Joining the discussion are Sean Grimm, Tim Linafelt, Bob Ferrante and Chris Nee.

Despite the Seminoles being 8-1, Jimbo Fisher and EJ Manuel find themselves on the outside looking in at this year's BCS picture.

1. What are your thoughts on Florida State and the ACC after how this year's BCS rankings have played out?

Sean – Well, it is unfortunate that it appears like there is a chance that had FSU gone undefeated; they still might not have had a shot at a spot in the national championship with how things are playing out. More than anything, I think this whole scenario just shows how welcomed a playoff system would be. There’s no question that FSU can compete for a national title with the talent on its roster, but it’s unfortunate to think that even if the Seminoles did everything they had to in 2012, there is a chance they would be left out of all of the fun at the end of the year.

In the end, though, FSU didn't take care of business, plain and simple. It's just unfortunate to see everything unfold as it has.

Tim – We confirmed what everyone expected all along -- coupled with a weak non-conference slate, the ACC schedule provides Florida State virtually no margin for error in the race for a national championship. A one-point loss at an OK-but-obviously-not-great N.C. State team has eliminated all but the faintest of hopes for the Seminoles to reach the title game, and FSU finds itself not only having to leapfrog all of the undefeated teams left, but will also probably be lowest on the totem poll among one-loss teams.

Even worse, the Seminoles were ranked behind two-loss South Carolina in the latest BCS polls, suggesting that it may be even more difficult for FSU to get back in the conversation than original thought.

Since a change of conference is now extremely unlikely, FSU hopefully has learned that scheduling two FCS opponents to start the season is simply not an option. They don't have to be world-beaters, but the Seminoles must beat someone with a pulse before going into conference play.

Bob – Florida State (8-1) is ninth in the BCS, which is fair. My only argument going into this weekend is that the Seminoles should be ahead of No. 8 South Carolina (7-2). A two-loss team like the Gamecocks shouldn’t be ahead of FSU. If FSU wins its final three games, the Seminoles should be able to climb past South Carolina and would be ahead of Florida. And you have to think that Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon will not all run the table. Odds are FSU will move up.

Chris – My opinion on the subject is that FSU controlled their own destiny, but was in a situation where a perfect season was likely necessary to earn a bid to the National Championship Game. The ACC isn't a strong conference - considered the sixth strongest conference by conference RPI - and it wasn't going to help the profile of Florida State in any manner when it came to the human factor of deciding what team deserved to be there at the end of the day.

Should FSU make its first Orange Bowl appearance since 2005, the Seminoles would likely be facing off with the Louisville Cardinals.

2. What is the realistic best case scenario for FSU bowl-wise?

Sean – Orange Bowl. I know the matchup with the Big East Champion isn’t necessarily the most thrilling idea in the world, but it’d be difficult to be unhappy with an ACC title and an appearance in Miami in January for the first time since 2005.

Tim – Orange Bowl. Even if FSU were to make the BCS Championship Game -- and it's still an ever remote possibility -- then I would look back on this prediction and still say that it was unrealistic. There's just too much that has to happen for the Seminoles to make it to that game. That said, it could make for an interesting end of the season if, say, LSU beats Alabama this weekend and USC beats Notre Dame and Oregon. But I just don't see Florida State rising above fourth or fifth in the BCS standings.

Bob – FSU appears destined for the Orange Bowl if it wins its final two ACC games and defeats whatever team comes out of the woeful Coastal Division in the league’s championship game. If FSU loses to Virginia Tech or Maryland, the Seminoles could conceivably end up in another BCS game (Sugar?) as an at-large team. But in early November, it appears that FSU will be playing in the Orange Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Chris – I think it is the Orange Bowl. The likely opponent is the Big East Champion, which would be Louisville or Rutgers at this point. The BCS picture always appears like it will be a message at the start of November but tends to have a way of sorting itself out over the final month. If FSU makes the ACC Championship Game and comes away the winner, I expect they head to Miami for their second game of the season in Sun Life Stadium.

3. Who has been this year's MVP so far for FSU on the gridiron?

Sean – I’m going to go with EJ Manuel. You just can’t ignore what he’s done on the field this year, as he’s ranking in the top 10 in many statistical categories this year. It’s strange that it appears he still hasn’t won a portion of this fan base over, but I think in retrospect, Manuel will be viewed as one of the more successful quarterbacks to put on the Garnet and Gold.

Tim – Perhaps a boring selection, but EJ Manuel is the pick. He's been calm, efficient and great at times. He's also quarterbacked Florida State to its first 8-1 start in nine years, and will be engineering a lot more "first time since" notes if he and the Seminoles keep winning.

Defensive end Bjoern Werner has emerged as one of the leaders of this Seminole team.

Bob – There are just too many ways to go here. EJ Manuel is an easy pick. Chris Thompson could have been an easy pick. Here are three guys to really think about: Tank Carradine, Cameron Erving and Menelik Watson. What if Brandon Jenkins is injured and there is no backup like Carradine? Offensive lines focus all of their attention on Bjoern Werner. The sack numbers haven’t been there lately for Werner and Carradine, but they are putting pressure on the quarterback. And the two offensive tackles deserve praise. Watson is playing just his second year ever of football at any level and looks like he could play in the NFL one day. And the same can be said for Erving, who has consistently and capably protected Manuel’s blind side. All three are great choices.

Chris – Offensively, it would be a battle between EJ Manuel and the now injured Chris Thompson, but I am going to go to the defensive side of the ball and give the award to Bjoern Werner. His stats are very good and the attention he demands of opposing teams is even better. Werner leads by example on the field and seemingly never takes a snap off. Through nine games, Werner has 27 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss for 84 yards, eight sacks for 69 yards, five pass break-ups, five quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. He is just an incredibly disruptive force off the edge who has had to battle regular double teams and a lot of his jersey being clutched by opponents.

4. What's your national championship projection after last week's developments?

Sean – I’m going with Alabama and Oregon. Alabama isn’t losing, plain and simple, and Oregon has to like where they’re sitting right now. Even if they should lose to Southern California this weekend, they would likely have a rematch with the Trojans in the Pac-12 championship game – and I don’t see the Ducks losing twice to USC.

Oh, and to set up Oregon, I do see Notre Dame dropping its finale with the Trojans.

Tim – I'm interested to see what happens when Oregon steps up its competition and plays USC. The Ducks will likely have to play the Trojans twice, as well as a tough Oregon State team. I think they'll trip up in one of those three and give us a Notre Dame - Alabama matchup for the national title.

Bob – Just for fun, I’ll go with Kansas State losing one of its last four games (to Oklahoma State or TCU, maybe) and then Notre Dame losing at USC. Alabama vs. Oregon would be a fun game to watch. It would have the same feel of the Auburn-Oregon game of a few years ago. But if the Ducks’ high-powered offense can put up points on Alabama, they deserve to be the national champs. If Notre Dame wins out, I would hate to see how the BCS standings shake out if Alabama, Oregon and Notre Dame are all unbeaten.

Chris – Alabama vs. Oregon. I think it is fair to say Alabama is the best, most complete team in the nation. The Crimson Tide has a safe, confident quarterback who has some great targets this season down the field and a reliable running game due to both capable backs and a strong offensive line. Nick Saban's defense is exactly what you expect of a Nick Saban defense. With Oregon, the Chip Kelly offensive machine is running smoothly with DeAnthony Thomas providing great highlights. I feel Oregon has the best defense they have had under Kelly as well.

Leonard Hamilton likes what he sees in his new faces.

5. What are your expectations for FSU on the hardwood this year?

Sean – After watching the exhibition the other night, it’s pretty clear this team has loads of potential. There are some kinks to be worked out on the defensive end, but these issues should be worked out over time as the new guys adjust to their roles in this system. Offensively, this team will be fun to watch. Aaron Thomas is the real deal and I’m seeing a big year out of Okaro White.

When it’s all said and done, I think it’s reasonable to see another top three finish in the conference for the Seminoles.

Tim – FSU may take some time to completely come together, especially as the newcomers learn the ins and outs of Leonard Hamilton's system. That may lead to a few toe-stubs along the way, but Michael Snaer and Ian Miller might also be able to shoot their way to some victories early in the season. Going off of Hamilton's optimism, I think it's completely fair to expect a fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, but defending the ACC crown might be a little too much to ask for with so many newcomers stepping in.

Bob – Everyone seems to focus on FSU losing six seniors but forgets that the team returns three starters – not counting Terrance Shannon. The key is developing depth. FSU will probably struggle early, especially with a non-conference slate that includes BYU, Notre Dame, Minnesota and Florida. But that tough schedule will make the Seminoles better by the time they open the ACC schedule on Jan. 5 at Clemson. It’s tough to see FSU equal the 25 wins of last season, or grab another ACC Tournament title, but this should be a 20-win season.

Chris – I think the team will have some struggles during the early season, but come through out-of-conference play with two to three losses. I think that some of those early season contests will help the new faces on the team mature pretty well before the calendar turns to 2013 and will benefit them in ACC play. I'd pick the Seminoles to finish third in the ACC and once again notch double-digit ACC victories. I believe this team can and will make the NCAA Tournament. This team has the most scoring potential of any team that Hamilton has had at Florida State. From an individual standpoint, I believe Michael Snaer will be a consistent force on both ends of the floor competing for player of the year honors within the league and first team national honors.

6. What do you foresee being the biggest obstacle for this year's hoops team to overcome?

Sean – Integrating all the new faces, no doubt. While this incoming class is extremely talented, it’s still difficult and takes time for a team to mesh. Don’t be surprised if the team struggles every now and then early on as they search for their identity. And of course, like I said, a majority of the issues will likely be on defense.

FSU hopes Terrance Shannon can remain healthy in 2012-13.

Tim – Hamilton's Seminoles have been built on suffocating defense and players buying in to Hamilton's defensive principles. If they don't play defense, they don't play. That's not to say that this group won't be on-board with that, but that scheme takes time to learn, especially for freshmen. If FSU struggles to play defense at the level that Hamilton demands, then the Seminoles had better be scoring efficiently at the other side of the court. Otherwise it could get a little rocky.

Bob – Inexperienced depth, especially with the 7-footers. Kiel Turpin should take over Bernard James’ spot, but the Seminoles may need to redshirt Michael Ojo or Boris Bojanovsky. FSU will need junior-college transfer Robert Gilchrist (who is 6-9) to contribute big minutes as a backup to Shannon. And while Ian Miller may work as a fill-in point guard, coach Leonard Hamilton would love it if Montay Brandon or Devon Bookert can capably distribute the ball once the ACC schedule starts.

Chris – Lack of experience. As many as eight players will be seeing their first significant time on the court for the Seminoles and there will be an adjustment period for that group. One of Devon Bookert or Montay Brandon will have to show that they are ready and capable to take on the responsibilities of being a primary guard. With some verteran leadership such as Michael Snaer and Ian Miller to guide them, the group can learn on the job, but sometimes freshmen/newcomers get caught trying to do more than what is being asked of them.

7. Now that Buster Posey has won his second ring, discuss where he ranks among FSU baseball's all-time greats.

Sean – I’m not going to lie, I’m not that well-educated on FSU baseball history, but there’s no question he has to be near the top, if not at the top. He’s been in the league since 2009 and he already owns a Rookie of the Year title, a batting title, an MVP title, two World Series rings, and he has an all-star appearance. That’s an impressive resumé, no matter how you look at it.

And he’s only just getting started, too. That’s the scary part.

Tim – He's right up there, although I'm hesitant to use his professional accomplishments to calculate his greatness at Florida State. To me, everyone is still behind J.D. Drew. His junior season, where he hit .455 with 31 home runs and 100 RBIs, probably won't ever be topped by anybody. Buster is an extremely close second, though.

Florida State has been blessed with some incredible talent, which makes this a much tougher discussion than I think most people realize. There have been four Golden Spikes winners -- Mike Fuentes in 1981, Mike Loynd in 1986, Drew in 1997 and Posey in 2008. Marshall McDougall and John-Ford Griffin still hold key records. Luis Alicea and Doug Mientkiewicz went on to successful pro careers.

Posey has won two World Series in three full seasons with the Giants.

Bob – As far as what a player did in Tallahassee, an argument can be made for a long list of All-Americans. But no former FSU player has enjoyed this kind of success as an MLB player – and this early in his career. Two World Series rings in three years is quite an accomplishment. He’s handled the Giants’ pitching staff extremely well. Posey has a batting title this season, has been named Comeback Player of the Year and could also win the NL MVP.

Chris – I think it is tough to not give him that top honor. Others that are in the discussion include the likes of J.D. Drew, Mike Fuentes, and Mike Lloynd - all Golden Spikes Award winners like Posey.

Posey, who entered Florida State as a shortstop in 2006, made the move to catcher to improve his team in 2007 and never looked back. He was the heart and soul of the last two FSU teams he was a part of. In 2008, he won the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy, Brooks Wallace Award and Johnny Bench Award. He departed FSU and was drafted No. 5 overall and quickly ascended to the Major Leagues.

Since becoming a regular starter for the Giants he has won two World Series, NL Rookie of the Year, and likely the NL MVP this season in just two full seasons, as the other one was stolen from him due to a horrible ankle injury. I think the best way I can state my case is that there isn't another player that has worn Garnet and Gold on the diamond that I would trade for Buster Posey.

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  • Chris Nee

    Your turn:

    1. What are your thoughts on Florida State and the ACC after how this year's BCS rankings have played out?

    2. What is the realistic best case scenario for FSU bowl-wise?

    3. Who has been this year's MVP so far for FSU on the gridiron?

    4. What's your national championship projection after last week's developments?

    5. What are your expectations for FSU on the hardwood this year?

    6. What do you foresee being the biggest obstacle for this year's hoops team to overcome?

    7. Now that Buster Posey has won his second ring, discuss where he ranks among FSU baseball's all-time greats.

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • 1. I don't think the ACC should shoulder all of the blame for our ranking in the BCS but it does hurt, the reality is WVU hurt our BCS ranking terribly, even if we play a UL-Monroe or BYU like we have in past years our SOS is up a ton vs Savannah State.

    2. ranked 4th going into the Orange Bowl where we could finish ranked as high as 2nd.

    3.EJ Manuel. Chris Thompson would have been up there if healthy, but for as good as EJ has been we as a fan base really take him for granted.

    4. Oregon v. Kansas St. bama loses this weekend and Oregon and KSU run the table.

    5. FSU i expect to be ranked between 15-20 at the end of the season and make a solid run in the ACC tournament team. I do think we make a special run in the tournament, we have size and experience on this team and Michael Snaer is the type of senior who gets his team deep in the tournament.

    6. We will need to gel which make us look rough early, when you lose 6 players who were all contributors, its hard to pick up where you left off.

    7. Buster is 1 on my board love the kid.

  • 1. I don't think our BCS ranking is poor solely because of the ACC. I think it has a lot to do with WVU cancelling on us. If we beat WVU instead of Savannah State, our Computer Ranking goes from 21 to somewhere in the top 12.

    2. Practically speaking, the Orange Bowl.

    3. EJ Manuel. Everyone hates on him, but he is very reliable. He has 4 INT's all season and 2 were 100% on the WR's.

    4. Bama v. Kansas State. K-State is not a fluke in my opinion. Oregon still has not been tested and it is November.

    5. We always seem to overachieve, but I think defensively it will be frustrating to watch compared to what we are used to. We will come on strong though.

    6. Lack of experience. If we can get 3 of Turpin, Gilchrist, Shannon, Boris, and Ojo to step up, we will be very good.

    7. Buster Posey is definitely at the top, by himself.

    signature image

    "Some people think football is a matter of life and death, I assure you, it is much more serious than that."

  • 1. We had to go undefeated, we knew that going into the season and we failed. The ACC is a joke and we will never get any respect for playing in it.
    2. Orange Bowl
    3. The O-Line, the Offense is one of the best in the country after being one of the worst last year.
    4. Alabama over Kansas State
    5. 5th or 6th in the ACC, this is a rebuilding year and FSU won't be able to compete with the upper echelon of the ACC, especially in the paint.
    6. Age and inexperience, it's something you need in ACC play.
    7. He's #1, try to thing of somebody who has done more.

  • It is what we thought it would be after the WVU cancellation. We had to win out.

    Orange Bowl

    EJ, also props to the Oline

    Hoping for Bama/KState, think it will be Bama/Oregon

    Better O worse D. 3rd-4th in conference

    Lack of size down low. Need Miller to be a dependable ball handler if we go more uptempo

    Right now still JD Drew on top in my eyes but Buster will pass him very soon

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  • 1. It's not the ACC's fault Fisher blew the NC State game. If we were undefeated we'd be sitting pretty in the BCS standings right now. The computers aren't strictly a SOS metric. We lost to a mediocre team.

    The ACC will be bad for FSU's bottom dollar, however. ACC fans don't travel to Doak. That's lost revenue. ACC teams don't interest FSU fans. That's lost revenue. Recruits have and will continue to favor the SEC over the ACC and FSU. That only makes recruiting harder. Other conferences have better bowl tie ins. Other conferences routinely place more teams in the BCS. Other conferences are likely to place more teams in the playoff. Heck, even the Orange Bowl is guaranteeing other conferences the chance to have multiple BCS bids in future years while the ACC will only have one. That is all lost revenue. Then you add in the fact that the ACC has the lowest paid tv contract of the major conferences and that the ACC restricts FSU's tier 3 revenue opportunities compared to other conferences and I can't help but see a scenario where we are losing tens of millions every few years to our major regional rivals.

    Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any way we leave the ACC at present. Not with the $50M (and increasing) exit fee and not with Swofford's ability to say "ND will join as a full member soon."

    2. BCS CG. It's realistic, just unlikely. If we win out, if Clemson wins out and beats South Carolina, if Kansas State loses to Oklahoma State or Texas, if Oregon loses to USC, Oregon State, Stanford or in the Pac 12 CG, if Notre Dame loses to USC and if Alabama wins out (meaning another LSU and UGA loss), I think we'd find ourselves at #2.

    3. I'd just give it to the team at this point. Guys have had really good years but there just isn't that "whoa" kind of season happening from anyone.

    4. Alabama vs Kansas State. Not sure Oregon makes it through unscathed. Don't think there would be another SEC vs SEC title game. Notre Dame could easily sneak in there if they beat USC and don't slip to anyone like Pitt or Wake. It wouldn't totally shock me if LSU beats Bama in Baton Rouge this weekend, though. Will be an exciting final month to the season.

    5. Like always, another 20-win season, another top 4 ACC finish, a win against UNC or Duke, 1 win in the ACCT and 2 wins in the NCAAT (Round of 32). I also foresee a lot of turnovers, a frustrating offense and a loss or two to a team we should have beaten. I don't see us being better than last year due to #6.

    6. An inexperienced frontcourt. Turpin just does not look physically able to contribute much and the two freshman are...freshman. White and Shannon have experience but they aren't 5's and Gilchrist shouldn't be counted on as more than a complimentary piece his first year. We need our guards and wings to really carry this team.

    7. Well he's obviously at the top somewhere. Are we talking college or professional? He probably didn't have the best college career of FSU players but his pro career could not have gotten off to a better start (for the most part).

  • ACC schedule + 2 FCS opponents hurt.
    Orange Bowl possibly Top 3-4 ranking.
    Manuel/Werner
    Bama-KSU or ND, think Oregon stumbles
    3-4 in ACC NCAA Tourney
    Youth replacing 6 players from last year
    Great FSU player, maybe the greatest. MLB shoud have no bearing on how College careers are rated.

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