Rewatching Florida vs. Florida State 2009

This will come as a big surprise to most of you, but I am considered by many to be a little opinionated, bordering on obnoxious. I know, it surprises me too, but that's the way some feel. So I figured that mind set must be why I fail to see the rejuvenated Florida State football team that so many in the media have been praising this summer.

Some have FSU as high as No.2 in the nation (Tim Brando) while just about every poll has the Seminoles in the top 20. After criticizing that viewpoint for weeks, I decided that I should educate myself about the issue. So, in the last 10 days I went to work. Last week I watched Florida State play Maryland in a TV replay and I tuned in this Saturday to watch a replay of last season's Florida/FSU game. I mean if just about everyone sees a much improved team up in the panhandle, there must be something I'm missing, right?


I sat and watched about as complete domination as I've ever seen in a game between the Gators and the ‘Noles. So dominant that the 37-10 final score was deceptively close. FSU couldn't block, couldn't tackle and couldn't accomplish anything of significance with Florida's starters on the field. It was 24-0 at the half and 37-3 early in the fourth quarter.


Okay, so FSU was a long way from Florida a year ago, but they still have a lot of returning talent and are a team on the rise. Really?

The week prior to the Florida game FSU had to rally twice in the fourth quarter – at home mind you – to beat Maryland. That's 2-10 Maryland. Without that fourth quarter rally, Bobby Bowden's final season in Tallahassee would have been a bowl-less one.

Florida State was a 7-6 team last year, and they earned that mark. FSU scored 391 points and gave up 390. They gained 421 yards a game last season and gave up 435. Yes, Christian Ponder is back and he's a talented guy, but FSU was 4-5 in his nine starts last season. This isn't Bret Favre coming back to the Vikings folks.

I'm not anti-FSU and in fact I've told Gator clubs for years that it's better for the Gators when FSU is a special program. Florida wins in 1991, 1996, 1997 and 2004 would not have been as special without the Seminoles in the top 10 and in two of those games, ranked No. 1. I've also been treated very well by the folks in Tallahassee and appreciate that. I just don't see how you go from struggling to beat Maryland to a national contender in nine months.

So to steal a line from my friends in Missouri, show me.

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