Florida State: Paradise Lost

Real dynasties don't die they just fade away. What brought down the end of an empire? Are the Seminoles just not good enough or are they the victims of not keeping up with the joneses?

I'm no fan of a critic who commingles a nescient opinion with facts and careless observations, then proffers that idea as a salient point of debate or talking point, yet, here I stand about to do the same thing except, I hope my critique is tempered by a substantive argument. Watching something die is probably the most unenjoyable activity to sit through. As far as unenjoyable activities, I'd put it right up there with having to poke yourself mercilessly to stay awake watching a holiday chick flick with your significant other. Ok ok it's not that bad but, it couldn't be much worse.

When things like cars die on us, we start to reminisce of the days gone by when the car use to motor down the highway at breakneck speeds and handle like a well tuned machine purring along with ease. Everyone was attracted to the newness of the car. That quaint memory is soon replaced by the jarring reality of a car that can barely make it up to 60 MPH without vibrating and the most telling fact is that the car just doesn't attract the young ladies anymore. Who wants to be associated with a broken down wreck?

Nothing last forever. Those words are the stinging truth of reality for Florida State Football. There were way too many dynamics that impacted this program to keep it atop the highly competitive world of college football. I'm sure some erudite intellect could write a thesis and point to a singular moment or chain of catastrophic events that ended the dominate era of Seminole Football. Credit is due to a program that from 1987-2000 won 2 National Championships, won 9 ACC Championships, won 152 games and lost only 19 and tied ONCE. Kudos to those days and those teams. Those days are long gone, adios amigos thanks for the memories! To say that the program has been mired in mediocrity is not true, other teams and institutions just CAUGHT UP. Is it so bad that the competitive nature of sports has made other institutions step up their game, or is it worse that as the others were catching up no one in Tallahassee thought to prepare for the future?

Did anyone notice the losses beginning to accumulate? Sure they did. But hubris sometimes makes you blind. Did anyone pay attention to the once dominate schemes/systems losing its effectiveness? I'm positive everyone did but, it was probably discounted as the other team just having a good day and good game plan right! Did anyone notice the apathy beginning to set in by those who are supposed to be interested in the product? It's easy to spot a dying program and this program is on a death march.

The uninitiated point to the lack of talent. Wrong answer. Any company, any institution recruits people who will fit in its system. The quality of the athletes remained the same, but the advancements in competing systems outpaced the once dominate schemes. If the system is antiquated no matter how good a player you bring in, they cannot defeat a better system. It happens everyday a new gadget appears and the old gadget that once was the industry standard becomes a relic.

Well maybe the trickle down affect Title 9 finally worked 30 years later. Maybe the NCAA limiting scholarships in Football can be linked to the demise. Wait, then that would mean you would have to do more with less and be more selective and use better judgment and then once you selected what you wanted, you might have to improve that selection by training and implementing new and diverse systems. Wait, that is what the other teams did.

Dynasties don't die, they just fade away waiting to rise again. What separates them is the fact that they dip into mediocrity and get a dose of reality. Being ok is not fun. It's natural for people to want to say I am better than you and look at what we have done. But who wants to be just like everyone else? When you combine the right mix of systems, the funding, the players, the coaching etc...The equation ends in success. Dynasties evolve to keep pace with the advancements of today. Dynasties unlike other programs can always become great again...they just need the right man, the right time, and the right people to do the right thing. The only thing we know is that this one has ended how long we will have to wait to see another one in Leon County?

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