It doesn't seem to make sense that a defensive battle that comes down to the final two seconds for a field goal to win like UNC's thrilling win at Virginia Tech on Thursday night means "you never know who will win in that crazy ACC." But a block of a field goal with two seconds left to give Alabama a defensive win over Tennessee somehow solidifies the power of the conference in the mind of the same "expert."
The SID office uncovered the stat that no one seems to focus on in the ACC. Christian Ponder will go into the NC State game with a streak of 237 straight passes without an interception. His streak ties Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and is third longest in ACC history.
If you were wondering where Ponder's start this year figures into recent FSU history, he's some numbers. He has thrown for more yards (2,176) than all but one quarterback dating back to Charlie Ward in 1993 after the first seven games. Chris Weinke threw for 2,510 yards at the seven game point of his Heisman Trophy season in 2000, but did it on just 164 completions. Ponder had completed 180 passes which is more than Ward, Kanell (twice), Busby, Weinke (three years) Rix and Weatherford completed after the first seven games of starting seasons.
I shouldn't be surprised because Chris Poole warned insiders, but how does a volleyball team go 19-2, 10-1 in the ACC and have won a game-tying seven ACC games in a row and not move up from the No. 17 national ranking they had three weeks ago. Like I said, Poole forecast that the FSU run up the rankings would hit a stall no matter what they did, but it's still hard to swallow. The volleyball team hits the road this weekend for matches at Virginia and Virginia Tech and currently stands atop the ACC.
Four weeks in a row and no new "State of the Seminole Union" updates? Say it ain't so!
My sincerest apologies but the SOTSU column had to be put on a hold for about a month because of the addition of a brand new Seminole.
That's right, my first child was born in early October and things have been a little crazy since then. But as my wife and I get into a routine with our burgeoning young family, I now have more time to talk FSU football.
And if one is talking about FSU football, one is talking about Christian Ponder.
It's funny how today's society functions. We lose three games in a row, and the sky is absolutely falling: Apparently we're the worst team in America and we can't do anything right. One week later, we play a great North Carolina team and come out with a decent win, and now for some reason you don't hear anybody's head being called for. I guess wins cure everything...
But now the momentum is on our side, and we have a big game against NC State coming up on Saturday. They always play us hard, and we're expecting a 4-quarter ball game and it will probably come down to the last minute like most of the games we've played this season. It's an important game for both of us to keep our ACC Championship hopes alive.
Two weeks ago, we gave a shout out to Seath Lauer. This week, it has to go to my boy, my old roommate, Roderick Owens aka "Old School." We've always had a connection, starting with our remake of the Thriller video that was posted on MySpace a couple years ago that hopefully has been lost forever, and our late night Guitar Hero battles. Now it's transferring over to the football field with our record-tying 98-yard touchdown pass. That was just incredible how he kept his balance on the sideline.
On a lighter note, let's talk Halloween costumes! With our noon game, I'll have the opportunity to take part in the Halloween festivities, but I still haven't figured out my costume yet. Shawn Powell and I were planning on being Mario & Luigi, but those plans fell through, and now we need YOUR ideas!
My all time favorite Halloween costume had to be Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...Cowabunga Dude!
Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden and NC State Head Coach Tom O'Brien met with the ACC media this week to talk about their Halloween matchup at Doak Campbell Stadium. Here is a complete transcript of their respective press conferences.
Bobby Bowden - Florida State
On playing so poorly in the first half against North Carolina: We had good preparation for the ball game, our kids seemed to really be into when we had all our meetings and everything, and I had even mentioned it to the coaches that they seemed ready to play. Now what caused all the disturbances, the delay of game, the off sides, the dropped balls, the fumbles and things like that because it seems like we had more of them than lining up wrong with our defensive team, because we could not get lined up ... Why? I don't have the answer to that.
On if he has ever coached team that had 16 turnovers but still won: No, to be honest with you, now we've had games where we've had a lot of penalties, and to be honest with you some of our best football teams, and this not a plus, some of our best football teams were heavily penalized football teams and my response to that was usually 'well they're so doggone aggressive, they're so aggressive they get penalties.' You still don't want it, but maybe they'd still win. But we've had games where we got penalized, but I don't remember that bad and that awful.
On how important Jamie Robinson's interception was in the North Carolina game: There's no doubt about it, and those are the kind of plays that win ball games and thank goodness we got it, we need more of them. On whether or not it's a good sign that the defense got stops and sacks in the second half: Well if they had not we'd of lost, it they had not we would have lost the game. It's a good sign, now the question is it going to last? On the importance of the win: Well after losing three ball games like they had you can imagine how excited that they were to win this football game, and of course how excited the coaches were, how excited the fans were, everybody. Now if you would have been winning every Saturday, you wouldn't have been excited, but the reaction was very strong just like you'd expect it to be. I've had that happen before, where I've coached football teams and say we're not doing very good, then all the sudden win a game and it's very exciting at that time. On if Ponder's performance in the second half reminds him of any other quarterbacks he has coached: Remember we played Miami, Chris Weinke's last year, they had us down 17-0 down there, we came back and tied it up 17-17, we might have gone ahead of them. And then they took it and made that last minute drive that put them ahead, then we drove back down and missed a field goal. That might have been a similar experience, although this one had more errors in it. I would compare his comeback, matter of fact I thought of it last night, was our comeback against Georgia Tech in 1992 when we joined the ACC and they had us down I think two touchdowns with 10 minutes to go or something like that and Charlie Ward had fantastic last 10 minutes. But he ran more than our quarterback did, Charlie ran a little bit more times, I remember him running for a touchdown of about 15 or 16 yards and running for some first downs, and yet Ponder did the same thing. I can't remember a better performance by a quarterback under that circumstance.
On whether or not he thinks the UNC win can turn things around: Well, the answer to that is, yes it can. But the question is, will it? Did BYU turn things around? No. We had a great doggone ballgame and then the next week got beat - and lost, what, three in a row? Is it going to have that effect? It could, but nothing's a guarantee. So we're just going to see what happens. Again ? the effort of our kids is good. They're running hard, trying hard. But you're out of position and you missed a tackle and you missed an assignment. Those are things that we absolutely need to improve on. On whether or not he was surprised they played so well against UNC's pass defense: There's no doubt about it. I would think that anybody that knows anything about football, and knows anything about the conference, knows anything about North Carolina's defense, would be completely surprised. When we go out there to play them and we've got the No. 1 offense in the conference and they've got the No. 1 defense, we're looking at film of them and we're saying, "How in the world are we ever going to be consistent enough to get some points on this team?" Because they're so good. The first half is what you'd expect. The second half, gosh, you can't hardly imagine that much success. On the win taking some pressure off the program: Well, gosh, it's a weight off of everybody. I think everybody that is an FSU fan or a coach or a player, this takes a weight off the shoulder. But what does that mean? Seven more days of peace? On Lawrence Dawsey's good job coaching the receivers: I think the best thing they've done is catching the ball. And they're running good routes, though sometimes they're not. Most of the time they are. And they made key catches in that ballgame. It seems to me that we've been more successful on third down this year than any time I can remember. He might have hit three or four third-and-longs in a row in keeping a drive alive. But again, somebody has to make the catches. And we had a couple of very good catches, where the receiver got his head knocked off when he caught it.
The 10th anniversary of Florida State's 1999 national championship season is reason to celebrate. The Seminoles were the first team to go wire-to-wire ranked No. 1 and remain the only undefeated team in program history. On the day the champions return to Doak Campbell Stadium to be honored, here is the third of six feature stories appearing in Game Time this season, recapping the most memorable moments in a game-by-game look at the 12-0 campaign.
Seminoles' stars had a way of making everyone on the roster better
From Peter Warrick to Chris Weinke, and Sebastian Janikowski to Corey Simon, Florida State's 1999 squad had more than enough fire-power on the roster to overwhelm virtually every opponent.
That's not surprising when you consider the roster included 31 players who would one day play in the NFL.
But what set Bobby Bowden's only unbeaten team apart was its sense of purpose and focus; qualities strengthened in the aftermath of the 1998 national championship game loss to Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl.
"When we came in as freshmen we had one of the top classes, as Florida State always did," said special teams captain Todd Frier, a senior on the '99 team. "We thought we'd win two or three national championships.
"By the time we were seniors, it was kind of like it slapped us in the face. ... It was our last opportunity. Ever since we lost to Tennessee, it carried us through the offseason. There was a sense of urgency and the seniors helped the underclassmen understand that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Seizing on that opportunity would not be easy. The Seminoles were a marked team, ordained as No. 1 in the preseason. Along the way they would encounter a handful of challenges on the field, and be dealt adversity off it. A less resolute team may not have been able to cope with the week-to-week pressure to perform.
Yet this team was different, even before setting itself apart with wire-to-wire perfection.
Join Ryan Pensy, Brandon Mellor and Scott Kotick as they break down the Florida State vs. NC State game in this free Seminoles.com podcast.
The guys also preview other big games in week 9 of college football including Florida vs. Georgia, Miami at Wake Forest and Texas at Oklahoma State. As with each week the crew picks their upset game of the week.
Gene Deckerhoff came to Tallahassee in the early 1970s with one ambition - becoming the Voice of Florida State football. Now in his 31st season as the Seminoles' radio play-by-play man, Deckerhoff sat down to discuss some of the highlights of his career, including the wire-to-wire run at No. 1 in 1999 for the school's second national championship. A University of Florida graduate, Deckerhoff makes no mistake about where his allegiance lies. He's a Seminole through and through.
Do you have a favorite game looking back on all 31 seasons?
Any win over Miami or Florida are favorite games. Also the 31-31 tie (with Florida in '94) comes to mind immediately. The national championship game of 1999, a classic, capping a wire-to-wire season. A tremendous game between (No.) 1 vs. 2. It's like coach Bowden has said, some of the best games I have broadcast have been losses to Miami. In 1987, the one just the other day in Tallahassee in 2009. The loss to Notre Dame in '93. Those were great football games; just tremendous games, but we lost them. The top of the list would be the '99 championship game.
Which championship do you find more memorable - 1993 or 1999?
'93 because it was the first, but '99 because I broadcast it. In 1993 we were not able to get the radio rights to broadcast the game. To be honest I watched that game on television in Tallahassee, Fla. So, '99 is obviously the favorite of the two because I worked the game, broadcast the game and we beat Michael Vick of Virginia Tech and beat them soundly.
What were your feelings during the time toward the game while you were broadcasting that game in 1999?
It was sort of a see-saw thing. Florida State dominated the first half and then in the third quarter Michael Vick and Virginia Tech came back and took the lead. Going into the fourth quarter Florida State had work to do. Peter Warrick was MVP - he played like an MVP; he had a phenomenal game - and Chris Weinke was only a junior quarterback, but I think the team rallied around those two and got the job done. It was a tremendous victory - wire-to-wire. Everyone can say, 'We've got more championships than you've got' - I'm thinking Florida and Miami - but neither one of those teams ever went wire-to-wire. Now UF has a chance this year, but no team has gone wire-to-wire, from preseason No. 1 to postseason No. 1, except Florida State. The '99 championship game is a phenomenal, phenomenal accomplishment.
Some not-so-good news out of the Pacific Northwest where the Seattle Seahawks have put former FSU student-athlete Walter Jones on the IR.
For those that don't know, after starring at Florida State Jones has gone on to become one of the finest offensive linemen in NFL history. His placement on the injured reserve list could potentially mean the end of what has been a fabulous football career.
Click here to read the story from the Associated Press.
Christian Ponder and Rod Owens need your help. Vote for the Seminole duo in this week's ACC Play of the Week. Ponder hit Owens for a 98-yard touchdown in the Seminoles win over North Carolina last Thursday night.
Hi Seminole Fans! It's week eight and we're half way through conference play. It's crazy to think how fast it has gone by already! We were home this past weekend when we welcomed North Carolina State and North Carolina into Tully. This was going to be a true test for us because within the ACC they take away one weekend of play from each team, and for us it was to play UNC and NC State away. Meaning that this was the one chance we got to play them, and we had to make it worth it. And how did we do you may ask? It was a little stressful at times but we pulled out two wins.
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today that Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., will host the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament.
The selection of Philips Arena as the 2012 venue marks the sixth time the city of Atlanta will serve as host for the ACC Tournament. The league's tournament has been held in The Omni in 1983, 1985 and 1989 while the Georgia Dome served as the host site in 2001 and for second time, last year, in 2009.
"The City of Atlanta is a great partner and our league is truly excited to return for the 2012 ACC Tournament," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Playing in Philips Arena provides our teams and fans with a more traditional and intimate environment which will serve our league well. The ACC Tournament continues to be one of the most special events in all of sports and we are proud of that tradition and success."
The 2001 ACC Tournament still stands as the most-attended conference basketball tournament in NCAA history for both total attendance (182,525) and per session attendance (36,505).
A year ago 158,112 fans attended the ACC Tournament held in the Georgia Dome for an average session attendance of 26,352 - both totals are the second-highest marks in NCAA history.
The dates and site for the next six ACC Tournaments are listed below.
ACC Tournament Future Dates & Sites 2010 Greensboro, N.C. March 11-14 2011 Greensboro, N.C. March 10-13 2012 Atlanta, Ga. March 8-11 2013 Greensboro, N.C. March 14-17 2014 Greensboro, N.C. March 13-16 2015 Greensboro, N.C. March 12-15
Florida State's Christian Ponder (Colleyville, Tex), who threw for a career-high 395 yards in last Thursday's win over North Carolina and Clemson's C.J. Spiller (Lake Butler, Fla.), the ACC's career leader in all-purpose yardage and kick returns for touchdowns, headline this week's list of Atlantic Coast Conference players of the week.
Ponder and Spiller are joined on the honors list by Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko (Weston, Fla.) (offensive lineman), Duke linebacker Vincent Rey (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), Virginia nose tackle Nate Collins (Port Chester, N.Y.) (co-defensive linemen), Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel (Tallahassee, Fla.) (defensive back) and quarterback Kyle Parker (Jacksonville, Fla.) (rookie).
OFFENSIVE BACK - Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB, Jr., 6-2, 219, Colleyville, Tex. Ponder completed 33 of 40 passes for a career-high 395 yards and three second-half touchdowns as the Seminoles erased an 18-point second half deficit en route to a 30-27 victory at North Carolina last Thursday night. The Colleyville, Tex., junior completed an ACC record-tying 98-yard touchdown pass to Rod Owens late in the third quarter and his game-winning toss, an 18-yard scoring strike to tight end Beau Reliford with 6:20 remaining, came during a game-ending stretch of 16 consecutive completions. Ponder, ranked 4th nationally this week in total offense, has now attempted 237 passes without an interception and, over his last three games, has completed 88-of-118 passes (74.6) for 1,094 yards and eight touchdowns.
OFFENSIVE LINE - Andrew Datko, Florida State, OT, So., 6-6, 291, Weston, Fla. A second-year starter, Datko was honored for the first time this season for his play in last Thursday's 30-27 win at North Carolina. In the win, which snapped a three-game Seminole losing streak, the Weston, Fla., native earned an overall grade of 83 percent. Datko had one knockdown block, did not allow a pressure or sack and had just one missed assignment in 69 plays as the Seminoles rolled up 438 total yards against the nation's third-ranked defense.
-Geno Hayes started at outside linebacker and had five tackles and a pass breakup for the Buccaneers.
-Alex Barron started at left tackle for the Rams.
-Garrison Sanborn started at long-snapper for the Bills.
-Everette Brown had two tackles and a tackle for loss for the Panthers.
-Anquan Boldin started at wide receiver and had three catches for 75 yards, Darnell Dockett started at defensive tackle and had five tackles and Bryant McFadden started at cornerback and had six tackles and three pass breakups for the Cardinals.
-Leon Washington had one carrry for six yards for the Jets.
-Mario Henderson started at left tackle, Sebastian Janikowski started at kicker and Javon Walker was inactive for the Raiders.
-Pat Watkins had three tackles and Montra Holland was inactive for the Cowboys.
-Chauncey Davis did not record any stats for the Falcons.
Laveranues Coles started at wide receiver and had two catches for 37 yards and one touchdown for the Bengals.
-Kamerion Wimbley started at outside linebacker and had four tackles for the Browns.
-Antonio Cromartie started at cornerback and did not record any stats and Travis Johnson did not record any stats for the Chargers.
-Letroy Guion was inactive for the Vikings.
-Lawrence Timmons startred at inside linebacker and seven tackles and a tackle for loss for the Steelers.
OXFORD, England -- Instead of chasing after wide receivers in the N.F.L., Myron Rolle came here to chase ghosts around the ancient campus of the University of Oxford.
Rolle, 22, established himself as an elite student and athlete at Florida State, becoming a Rhodes scholar and a top N.F.L. prospect. But he temporarily said no to millions of dollars and risked his N.F.L. draft standing to study here. He is perhaps the most prominent athlete to accept a Rhodes scholarship since Bill Bradley in 1965.
"I feel a little disappointed when I see guys playing on Sundays, especially guys I'm friends with," said Rolle, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound safety. "But when I walk out of my accommodations in Norham Gardens and spend time with my friends and go to class, I realize that I did make a good choice. It's been worth it."
Rolle walks the same streets that the future president Bill Clinton did when he was a Rhodes scholar. Rolle trains on the same grounds where Roger Bannister, an Oxford graduate, ran the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954. And as Rolle prepares for a life as a doctor and philanthropist after football, he aims to take a similar path as his role model, Bradley, the former N.B.A. player and United States senator.
Tough news for former Florida State and current New York Jets running back Leon Washington who was lost for the season yesterday with a broken leg. Washington underwent surgery yesterday immediately after the Jets 38-0 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Washington, who made the Pro Bowl last season as a kick returner, is also New York's second-leading rusher with 330 yards on 71 carries. He also has 15 catches for 131 yards and takes direct snaps when the team runs out of the seminole formation.
Send your well wishes for Leon and we will post them to this thread.
Thursday night turned into a big night for the
Seminoles. It was clearly a
gigantic win for the soccer program over #2 and 19-time National Champion North
Carolina and likely a huge win for the football team on the road at UNC. I qualify the win in football only because
we must win against NC State next Saturday to magnify the importance of the
The soccer win was really remarkable not only because it
came in two overtimes and over the dominant program in all of college
soccer. But in a sport often
criticized for a lack of drama, a goal scored in the final 15 seconds in a
match with the quality and significance of this one is nearly unheard of. I had just about determined that these
"special" uniform outings were for the birds, which UNC football is likely to
agree with this week, and then our soccer win comes while wearing tribute black
uni's - go figure.
Okay, why in the world do we have football instant replay if
they are not going to reverse a call like the would-be interception for a
touchdown in our North Carolina game.
The caveat of "indisputable video evidence" was included in the rules to
emphasize that the ruling on the field should be presumed correct unless the video shows otherwise. It is certainly easy to see why the
on-field call on the attempt by a UNC receiver to catch a low ball was ruled as
hitting the ground before it popped up into Patrick Robinson's hands for a
walk-in touchdown, but they appealed to the video which was created just for
this moment (i.e. weird play that
is tough to get right). Video
showed the ball does not hit the ground and the call is not reversed. What?
Christian Ponder has developed into such an outstanding
passer that it is literally a surprise when he lets one go and it doesn't hit
the receiver right between the numbers.
By the way, the pass he
throws to the running back swinging out of the backfield along with the beauty
he tossed to wide open tight end Beau Reliford against Carolina are as hard to
make as any throw in football.
Today is the deadline to renew your men's and women's
basketball season tickets and this might be the best year in a while to pick
them up. Not only are both teams
expected to be ranked among the preseason Top 25 and given a chance to win ACC
titles, but a new seating configuration for the men's games at the Tucker
Center should improve the atmosphere and give season-ticket holders a chance at
better seats. We've expanded and
moved the student section to the ends of the courts which will allow more of
them than ever to get close and involved, which raises the energy level
dramatically. In addition, we will
seat season-ticket holders along courtside as we have moved the 'Nole
Zone. Naturally, season-ticket
holders are being given first shot to move their seats closer to courtside if
they wish and that may free up some seats between the basket that have been
sold out for years.
FSU held Jam with
Coach Ham back at Tully Gym last Friday night and a packed house got a rare
look at the Seminole team with their hair down so to speak. A three point shooting contest was won in
a shoot out by Luke Loucks and Deividas Dulkys (pronounced DAVID-us dual-KEYS in the panhandle) won
the slam dunk competition.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, on this fun Friday night gave anyone any
reason to doubt that this is going to be a talented team.
The Cross Country programs at FSU are running beautifully
this fall and recently held their only home meet which was a great
success. Runners visiting
Tallahassee need to make it a point to work out at the new running course built
by the city on Apalachee Parkway near the Waste Management Facility (sorry for
the landmark). The FSU women are
ranked No. 3 in the nation and finished second at the Pre-National meet held in
Terra Haute, Indiana. The men are
also ranked in the Top 25. FSU
administrators were so pleased with the new course and amenities that they will
bid to host an NCAA event there in the future.
FSU golf coaches Trey Jones and Debbie Dillman were the
one-on-one guests on Seminole Sports Magazine (Sun Sports Saturday Mornings
9:30 a.m.) over the last two weeks
and I hope we are all paying enough attention to the outstanding fall these two
programs have had. The men have
already won two fall tournaments and the women have won one and finished second
twice. An even brighter side might
be the fact that both teams are young and getting production from up and down
Check out Nissan's Heisman Web site where you can vote for FSU quarterback Christian Ponder. As the presenting sponsor for the Heisman Trophy, Nissan can cast one official vote for the winner of the annual award.
The athlete with the most votes will receive one official vote in the Heisman Trophy selection process from Nissan. Heisman Trophy Winners are determined by votes from 924 electors representing sportswriters and broadcasters.
Hurry and write-in Ponder so that he can be considered for the trophy as FSU's redshirt junior signal caller is having a remarkable season. Click here to vote.
FSU-UNC Continue ACC Thursday Tradition In the 19th season of Atlantic Coast Conference Thursday Night Football on ESPN, Florida State and North Carolina will square off for the first time. It's also the first time UNC's Keenan Stadium has played host to a Thursday night game. Florida State is 5-4, for a winning percentage of .556, with eight of those games played on the road.
The Tar Heels also bring a competitive 4-2 record in ESPN Thursday Night games with the previous six being played away from home, including a neutral site game with rival NC State in Charlotte.
On This Date October 22 has been a good day for FSU's football fortunes. The 'Noles are 7-2 all-time on this date, including 4-0 under Bobby Bowden. FSU has posted three shutout victories and two wins without allowing a TD on this date.
Seminoles Are Tested FSU's 2009 football schedule has been as tough as advertised. The Seminoles' first six opponents boast a combined 31-8 record, which is even more impressive when you consider the five BCS opponents are 27-6. Three of those foes - No. 10 Miami (5-1), No. 12 Georgia Tech (6-1) and No. 16 BYU (6-1) - are ranked in the first Bowl Championship Series standings as well as the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. USF (5-1) was nationally ranked before suffering its first loss to unbeaten Cincinnati last week, while Boston College (5-2) has consistently received top 25 votes. Even FCS opponent Jacksonville State (4-2) is enjoying its highest ranking (No. 12 FCS Coaches) in school history. Heading into tonight's game, Florida State is No. 5 nationally in strength of schedule according to CBS.com. None of that should come as a suprise. FSU's 11 FBS opponents made bowl appearances and combined for a 93-49 record last season - more than any FCS program in the country.
Hi Seminole fans! It's week seven and the team and I here in Tallahassee are experiencing some chilly weather, but knowing Florida it will become warm again like it always does. This past weekend we traveled to Maryland and Boston College, and knowing our past experiences with the airport this one wasn't any different. As we got to the airport we found out that our flight to Atlanta was delayed at least two hours. So we got to sit in the airport for a long time, but the good thing was that I got my paper done that was due the next week! We got to ATL with very little time to make our connection, but we got on the plane heading for Washington-Reagan Airport in Washington D.C. We typically don't fly into D.C. so that was a surprise for us. Maybe we would get to go sightseeing after Maryland!! Another new thing to our trip this weekend was that Lauren Richardson was back in the mix with us - which is very encouraging because earlier in the year she was never sure if she would be able to play volleyball ever again. As we went through Wendy's and got our chicken sandwiches and made our way to the hotel, the cold air felt amazing and we went to sleep awaiting the next day and what would come with it.
Bobby Bowden and Butch Davis both spoke with the media this week about their preparations for the Thursday night showdown between Florida State and North Carolina. Here is a transcript from their respective press conferences:
Bobby Bowden - Florida State
On the week off and how that's helped the team: We probably needed it because since the first day of August that we started practicing, we never missed a day. That means every day we were practicing except maybe on Sunday and every other year I've been here, there's always been lightning or rain that drove you off the field and the kids miss a practice and they get rest. So, we probably needed some rest so we gave them two days off, we gave them Monday and Tuesday off. They've got plenty of work in. The thing is, you can't play a Saturday game and a Thursday game. You can, but it's mighty hard to prepare.
On being at the half way point [in the season], discussing the season so far, disappointments and what the team needs to do in the second half: Disappointed with the losses and yet we've done some good things. We've done something this year that we haven't done before. Our offense against BYU took the ball and scored the first seven times they got the ball. Then against Georgia Tech, we took the ball and scored the first five times we got the ball. But defensively, we've had a hard time stopping the big play. We'll go out there and stop a team, and stop a team, and stop a team and then whoop. So if they ever get that squared away we'll be a pretty good ballclub. Another thing is, nobody's crushed us. We haven't been blown out. We've been right down to the wire with everybody, which maybe with one play less for them or one play more for us, we could be up at the top."
And now you begin the second half and every year and season it seems FSU goes to the North Carolina area for a Thursday night game: Well, that's true. I think it seems like either NC State or the University of North Carolina. Of course this is North Carolina, their defense is number one in the conference, fifth in the nation and they've got a very solid football team. Butch has done an excellent job up there recruiting.
On FSU and UNC being opposites, FSU is number one in the conference in offense and last in defense, and UNC is number one in defense and last in offense: That's going to be interesting isn't it? It's going to be interesting. Can their offense improve enough or can our defense improve enough. Whichever one of those happens could determine who wins this game.
On the importance of the next game (not only because it's the next game but to get the second half of the season on a good note): Well, the way we have approached it, like anybody would, is "hey just forget the past, it's the second half of the season." Let's take them one game at a time.
We had a talk the night before the Georgia Tech game, and we
decided we would walk arm-in-arm out of the tunnel all the way to the
sideline--we'd do it together--in support of Coach Bobby Bowden and our program.
Nobody is going to break up our home and our family. This is our family and
this is what it all comes down to here. We're going to be together, and we're
not going to talk down our coaches.
It wasn't only for our program, but for the fans--the true
fans at FloridaState who were at the game. The
statement was clearly represented. It showed around the stadium, the way the
fans erupted, that they knew what we were doing and what it was all about.
It just kind of shocks me how things have gone lately. Why
would anybody say anything to try to bring down a great man like Bobby Bowden?
We try to do a lot of good as human beings, but it seems like if you mess up
just one time, everybody forgets everything you did before. You're a bad person
and you're not looked at the same. FloridaState is FloridaState
because of that man. This great stadium is the way it is because of his work.
He's got his own statue outside. He's the one who built the reputation here--the
way it is today. Why knock him after he clearly worked so hard for this school?
That's what shows you the type of people who are out there.
It's a lot of fake and phony fans. They're not real fans--they're the ones who
are only here when we're winning. A true fan is one who is here during the hard
Let me tell you how much character that man has. For him to
say to us before the game, 'Don't go out there and play for me, it's not about
me, it's about y'all.' What does that say about him? He told us to ignore all
this stuff in the media, and don't play the game just for him. How can you
knock a man like that? I think everything that's going around him would affect
me if it had a big effect on him, but it doesn't--so we're not going to let it
affect the team.
He's the same guy now that came to my living room when I was
in high school. Nothing has changed. When he came to my house, it was like he
was at home--the things he did and talked about, the way he presented himself.
My mom is a very religious woman, my whole family is. He wasn't just talking
all football. He told us that he wanted his boys to go to heaven, and that was
the most important thing. I knew right then and there that's where I wanted to
go. Football would play itself out, but this was a man who could help me pursue
where I needed to be to be a better person. Football is not your God, and it
won't always make you happy.
A lot of people look at him and think he's just old and this
and that, but his mind is more powerful than you'll ever know. He knows my
sisters' names, and my mom's name--he remembers important things. He's a
phenomenal man. I'm happy to have had an opportunity to play for a legend here.
I was sitting at a table at his house for a senior dinner, and I asked coach to
pass me the butter. I mean, I was sitting in a legend's house asking if he
could pass me the butter, but you wouldn't have known he was a legend. He
doesn't think he's bigger than you.
Even though they're trying to take those wins off his
record, he'll still be Bobby Bowden. He's still going to have that statue
outside. You can't completely knock him off--he will always be a legend in
By Christian Ponder, Seminoles.com I thought this week I'd give some props to my Business Professor, Wayne Hochwarter, and our research that we performed that was just released by the Florida State Business School.
Currently, I'm doing a Directed Independent Study (DIS) with Professor Hochwarter as part of my MBA in the Business School. As part of the DIS, we're performing several studies including the study that was just released on Monday. In this research, we looked at the real effects of monetary frugality in everyday life, which has been brought to light by the recent economic downturn. We surveyed 1,500 local employees to measure their spending habits and discovered the consequences of not being frugal with your money. The research confirmed that less-conservative employees set aside few financial resources to cushion the family in the event of an emergency of change in work status. In other words, we found that it's far better to be more conservative with your financial resources, even though that might not be the more popular thought in today's world.
Throughout the process, I learned a lot about professors perform their research, and the vast majority of it is really interesting. It takes more work and time than most people would know, so I'm grateful that Hochwarter let me be part of this study. Hopefully I'll get to do this again in the near future.
Personally, I've been really enjoying our bye week. Everyone deserves a couple days off here and there, and I've really taken advantage of it. Some of the offensive lineman and I went out to the golf course earlier this week and as always, it was definitely fun to get out there. I shot in the 80's: ARE YOU LISTENING SHAWN POWELL? The 80's, and I'm finally developing a good short game that doesn't cost me tons of strokes every round. When I can put my drive in the fairway almost every time and get that short game going, I like to call it a "Ponder Day" on the golf course.
Now, I've received tons of comments about my sign off. Their were some good ones last week, but I'm looking for something really funny. So for now, continuing with the movie theme from last week...
Hi Seminole fans! I can't believe that it's already my sixth entry for my blog - our season is going by so quickly! Craziness! So, what's going on with us this week? Well, we had three practices in preparation for Wake Forest and Duke - our first conference-match weekend on the road - and they went well! Thursday came around and we boarded the plane to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The weather was BEAUTIFUL ... wish it would travel down south to Tallahassee. We got to our hotel and then went to Macaroni Grille for Dinner. We had a special guest with us this weekend - Reid Ferrin, our Seminoles.com video guy - and he was able to capture the true side of me and my teammates and we had a great time entertaining him with our antics. :) As we left dinner we were on our way to campus to watch our very own soccer team take on Wake Forest - we were quite loud, making sure everyone in the stands could hear us as well as our own team. We had lots of fun that night! We got back to the hotel after the game finished and went to sleep - making sure we got enough sleep to be ready for our match the next day.
It was a tough week around the football program and many media experts are trying to determine what mentality the team will come out with on Saturday night. The complication is that Georgia Tech's offense is based on taking advantage of a defense's mistakes. Coaches can't let defenders, who may well be bent on taking out frustrations on a Yellow Jacket, completely loose because that's when Tech's offense works the best.
Miami's win over Georgia Tech back on September 19 provides a pretty good road map to handling the tricky offense. The problem is the Hurricanes had the crucial off week before the game and the extra preparation time that makes it a lot easier to implement a plan. Just imagine being a linebacker and seeing just two days of the ball fakes, spot reads and creative blocking schemes as compared to seeing it for seven days. Listening to the analysts, UM's goal was to push the offensive line back and disrupt a straight run along the line of scrimmage for the Tech quarterback, so maybe the trenches are where the focus needs to be this week.
FSU coaches led by Coach Bowden himself have done a masterful job of keeping the swirling distractions from totally surrounding the players. Assistants set a positive tone right off the bat on Monday and fans would probably be surprised to learn that most college players don't immerse themselves in the media and fan sites like, well, fans do. And speaking of Florida State fans, you're not one in my book if you wear black as some have suggested on Saturday.
Former Florida State Seminole Graham Gano is now etched in the record books in United Football League (UFL) history. Last night as the UFL played their inaugural game, Gano scored the first points in league history for the Las Vegas Locomotives.
Gano hit a 33-yard FG with 3:20 left in the first quarter to put the Locomotives on top early.
By Christian Ponder, Seminoles.com Ok y'all know I'm a big golfer, and this week, I have to give props to my roommate and golfer Seath Lauer. That guy is having an unbelievable year so far, Tiger Woods style. This past week, the Men's Golf team won their second consecutive tournament, and Seath tied for second place. He's lucky that I don't play on the golf team because he would be riding the pine!
Update for all of you Seminole golf fans. The last time I played my other roommate, Punter Shawn Powell, in 9 holes, I shot 3-over. He basically shot at least a double bogey on EVERY hole, so it's safe to say I dominated him by at least double digits. But I felt pretty bad because he was crying all the way home. That's the price he has to pay when he can't make putts...
But right now, golf is on the shelf for awhile. We have a big game against Georgia Tech on Saturday night. We need all of your support here at Doak Campbell.
And remember, I still need your "sign off" suggestions. I've heard CP7, Ponder That, and Stay Classy Tallahassee. Those are all good, but I'm looking for something GREAT. So for now...
Former Florida State tailback Lorenzo Booker has officially joined the long line of Seminoles that will be suiting up for a UFL franchise in its first year.
Booker, who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft and most recently played for the Philadelphia Eagles, will return to the state of Florida to play for the Florida Tuskers.
A look at former Florida State Seminoles now in the NFL:
Alex Barron- Started at tackle in loss to San Francisco. Laveranues Coles- Started and had two catches for 24 yards in win over Cleveland. Antonio Cromartie- Started and had four tackles in loss to Pittsburgh. Andre Fluellen- Played, but recorded no stats in loss to Chicago. Letroy Guion- Did not play in win over Green Bay. Geno Hayes- Started and had seven tackles and an interception in loss to Washington. Mario Henderson- Started in loss to Houston. Montrae Holland- Did not play in loss to Denver. Chris Hope- Started and recorded ten tackles in loss to Jacksonville. Sebastian Janikowski- Was 2-2 on field goal attempts in loss to Houston. Travis Johnson- Did not play in loss to Pittsburgh. Greg Jones- Rushed three times for 20 yards in win over Tennessee. Walter Jones- Did not play in loss to Indianapolis. Garrison Sanborn- Handled field goal and long snapping duties in loss to Miami. Ernie Sims- Started but did not record any stats in loss to Chicago. Lawrence Timmons- Started and had two tackles and one pass deflection in win over San Diego. Tra Thomas- Played in win against Tennessee. Leon Washington- Played and recorded seventeen rushing yards and 24 receiving yards in loss to New Orleans. Pat Watkins- Played and recorded seven tackles in loss to Denver. Ray Willis- Started and played in loss to Indianapolis. Kamerion Wimbley- Started and had seven tackles and recorded a sack in loss to Cincinnati.
Hi Seminole Fans! It's week five for my blog and the number five was definitely significant this weekend for me and my team. As I said in the last blog, an ESPN correspondent interviewed me and Coach Poole and it was posted last Wednesday, which was huge for our program! Dave Reed wrote in the article, "Barry and the 17th-ranked Seminoles are 12-1 against the second most difficult schedule in the country. They swept No. 8 Illinois and took No. 5 Florida to the limit on the Gators' home court. Those performances clearly demonstrate that the Noles have a chance to be playing in a regional final of the NCAA tournament Dec. 12, and that's a significant change from how FSU volleyball players planned the end of the season the past few years." Getting the chance to see FSU recognized nationally was an amazing feeling and it is so cool to think that all of the hard work my teammates and I have put into our sport is finally paying off. There was the first No. 5 - remembering when we played Florida and they were ranked No. 5. We practiced three days in preparation for Georgia Tech and Clemson to come to Tallahassee. Friday came and my team and I were ready to take on the Wrambling Wreck from Georgia Tech. We did our normal routine before a match - ate our pregame meal and took goofy pictures and had fun dancing like always. Like Jordana and Jenna making the perfect diamond mid-air I might add! Then came serve and pass and we had a really focused session, which was promising for the future. Little did we know that things were about to get crazy in Tully that night.
Coach Bowden spoke with the media during the weekly ACC teleconference on Wednesday. Here is a transcript from the call: Opening Statement: We are anxious to play this weekend. You always are after a loss. You'd like to play as soon as you can after a loss and get that one behind you. We practiced well on Monday and Tuesday and our kids and coaches are in good spirits.
Have you read the statement from FSU President T.K. Wetherell and do you feel it give you the backing to get through the season with limited distractions?
Yes, I appreciate his support and I think he is wise and I am very thankful. We tell our players not to pay attention to this stuff but just to concentrate on the next opponent and I am sure that is what they do.
How much does the furor of the last week motivate you to have a strong finish to the season?
Yes it makes you want to do it better. This dadgum team is so close to being 5-0 but we're not. It's not like we are getting crushed. Every game we have played in has come down to the 4th quarter. The last time I went through this I was in West Virginia in 1974. I was going through the same dadgum thing. My president and my athletic director came to me and said Bobby we don't care what they say you are the guy and they stuck with me. I have been through it before but I wish that it did not occur but their aint but one answer, winning.
What were your goals at the start of the season and how have those changed through five games?
The first goal is to win the division. Then if you do that win the ACC and go to a BCS bowl. That's always your goal. Then you lose a couple like we did and your backs to the wall yet there is still a chance. Our goal now is to be 3-3.
What needs to be tweaked to have a good outcome against Georgia Tech?
We need to quit making mistakes and tackle better.
Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson spoke with the media on Tuesday. Here is the transcript from the press conference:
Opening Statement: "Last week was a good win on the road against a quality opponent in Mississippi State, a team that has great athletes and played very well. Any time you go on the road and play a night game it's always tough for our guys. I thought we responded well to everything. We didn't do everything right, but we got out of there with a win. This week, we get back into conference play against one of the more talented teams in the league in Florida State. They might be a down a tad to what their accustomed to, but their still very talented and have a great tradition. It will be a huge challenge for us to go down to Tallahassee and come back with a win."
On Florida State's inconsistencies on the season: "You have to get ready for the best they've got. If you're smart and mature enough, you get ready to play the best that they can play because that is likely what you're going to get. The one they would probably want back is the Boston College game. They made some mistakes in the red zone that cost them the game. But, the teams that have beaten them are good teams. They have good players, we have to get ready to play a good team. You can never underestimate Florida State. For all the talking going on down there, I saw a stat that it's been since 1973 that they had a losing season and the last time I checked, Georgia Tech hasn't won in Tallahassee. So, we have a big challenge ahead of us."
On how controversies surrounding Florida State's program could work in their favor: "I certainly think they'll be circling the wagons. They'll come together and I fully expect them to have their best effort of the year. I think they'll come out wired and ready to play.
On Josh Nesbitt's game at Mississippi State: "I think Josh has played well two weeks in a row and I wasn't surprised. I think he's capable of playing that way. He wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he is more comfortable out there now and has a better understanding of what we're trying to do offensively. I was happy for him."
On Bobby Bowden situation: "I really don't know what's going on. I'm too busy getting my team ready to play to follow all that. I was asked if coaches get upset with the fans and I don't think they do. People are human, certainly you are going to hear it and its part of the profession. What set off the firestorm there was when the member of the Board of Trustees came forward and made a statement like that. If it were fans, probably nobody pays that much attention. You have to understand this is a what have you done for me lately business; it's the nature. But, that's life. I don't care if you're selling cars or insurance, if your sales drop off, they'll look to move you on down the road. It's the nature of the profession, but the hard part with Bobby is that he is such a class guy and is one of the greatest all-time coaches. You would think he has done enough so that he can go out on his own terms. In my mind, he put Florida State on the map with what he did."
Fox Sports released today their list of the Top 20 frontcourts in college basketball for this upcoming season. Florida State cracks the list at #6 with the frountcourt of Solomon Alabi, Chris Singleton, Ryan Reid, Xavier Gibson.
Jeff Goodman's analysis: "The length in this frontcourt is ridiculous. Alabi is a big-time shot-blocker and rebounder with an improving offensive game, while Singleton is long, athletic and can score from deep and also put the ball on the floor. Reid is solid, and Gibson has a wealth of talent."
Men's basketball season gets underway on November 16th as the Noles host Jacksonville at 7pm.
It took us a couple of days to get over the tough loss to Boston College last Saturday but we are now focused on this weekend and a very important game against #22 Georgia Tech. The Yellow jackets bring in an explosive wish-bone offense that can be difficult to prepare for in just six days. Here are some links from around the web on Georgia Tech:
Coley Harvey reports that Josh Nesbitt has finally settled into his role of running the Georgia Tech spread option system.
Doug Roberson reports that Paul Johnson will evaluate both the linebackers and defensive backs after Tech gave up 487 yards of total offense to Mississippi State last week.
We wrote last week about the fact that we were reminded of some things in the BYU football win and, unfortunately, we were reminded of some of those same things against USF. I did not see that coming, but the bottom line is the team that controls the line of scrimmage usually wins the game. It sure did last Saturday.
The Seminoles do come off a good week of practice in preparation for Boston College with a chance to start off their ACC divisional race on the right foot. Many fans may have been surprised to learn that ESPN College Gameday will broadcast all day from our game. The network is giving prime time to the cause of Eagles linebacker Mark Herzlich who is missing his senior season after being diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma over the summer. Herzlich was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last year and B.C. fans are staging a "gold-out" to promote the awareness of the effort to cure cancer. We have linked Herzlich's foundation on our Seminoles.com web page so FSU fans can support the same effort. You will also be proud to know that Seminole Boosters, Varsity Club, the Alumni Association and the FSU Foundation have combined to make a $9,400 donation (Herzlich wore jersey number 94) to his foundation.
What a terrific crowd at the USF game. Florida State fans did their part against the Bulls turning out for the first sellout of the year and embracing the white out. The Tallahassee Democrat published a complimentary letter to the editor from a USF fan who wrote glowingly of his experience with Seminole fans and staff. FSU Director of Athletics Randy Spetman also reports that he received a number of complimentary emails from visiting Bulls fans about the "experience" of a game at Doak. I understand he also received more than a few notes from FSU fans about that "experience." Hold together Seminoles!
FSU fans have another way to report a problem within Doak Campbell. Please be sure to write down this number 645-jerk (5375). You can call that number during a game to report an unruly fan, inappropriate behavior or any other issue you may need to bring to the attention of the FSU Police. In addition, the FSU PD has arranged for text version of the JERK line. You can text FSUFAN then 35842 and then text a message reporting a problem in the stands.
While we've got a chance to talk about Seminoles.com, our website was redesigned over the summer and re-launched just before the Miami game and it drew more visitors in September than it ever has in its history. The website is packed with information and the new video elements that are posted daily should be automatic viewing for every FSU fan.
FSU's volleyball program has been red hot of late, but the success dates back to the second half of last season. The Seminoles have won some remarkable matches already this year and are climbing the national polls. And the attention is not just local as ESPN.com ran a feature story on the Seminole volleyball program last week that you can still find on their site.
By the way, if you've not had a chance to watch our volleyball team play it's worth the price of admission, which admittedly is nothing, just to see senior Mira Djuric serve. She throws the ball nearly to the very ceiling of Tully Gym then hammers it down at the opponent...too cool!
Pink will be the color of choice for several Seminole teams over the weekend as swimming and diving will wear pink on Saturday and soccer on Sunday as part of the "Paint It Pink" awareness campaign in support of a cure for breast cancer.
Three cheers for ESPN which responded to a letter from your Director of Athletics who asked the network to consider not airing advertisements for the horror film Sorority Row during Florida State games in particular and all college events in general. The network understood FSU's sensitivity after the Chi Omega murders on this campus and agreed with the suggestion to pull the ads.
More coming on this later, but if you've wanted to see the men's basketball team on that old Tully Gym floor again - you'll want to be in Tallahassee on October 16. We will host a Fan Fest that will include a full men's practice that you can watch in Tully. Thankfully, we will not be wearing retro shorts.
Just one final thought for the week as Gameday will be on site at Boston College. I know that FSU fans often feel betrayed when alumnus Lee Corso is critical of the Seminoles on the air and some believe he is especially hard on us. That may be true because I can tell you from personal experience that he loves this University and our football program as much as anyone who has ever attended a class. And if we think we get a hard time at the water cooler on Monday morning, you should see what that guy goes through when we lose.
We don't typically post a lot of pop cultures links here but this story was too good not to let everyone know about. Seems like the suits at 20th Century Fox have gone back to the 1980's for their next summer film blockbuster. And this time it is not a remake of "The Fall Guy" but instead they are bringing The A-Team to the big screen.
Joe Carnahan is directing the movie, and Liam Neeson stars as John "Hannibal" Smith. Bradley Cooper is Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck, Sharlto Copley of District 9 plays Capt. "Howling Mad" Murdock and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson plays Sgt. "B.A." Baracus. Excited yet?
Jessica Biel will be playing the Army investigator who is responsible for tracking down the soldiers of fortune.
Hopefully this film can live up to the reputation of the TV series.
By Christian Ponder, Seminoles.com Let's talk Bean Town. Not football-- just Bean Town. I love that city. I've been there several times because my Dad's office is based out of Boston. The History of that city and the Freedom Trail, gotta love the Freedom Trail, baby. You can see all these historical places like Paul Revere's house. That quote about "The British are coming, the British are coming!" should instead read "The Seminoles are coming, the SEMINOLES are coming!" Hahaha, good times.
Also, we gotta love a little clam chowder and lobster bisque. The food up in Boston is exquisite and "wicked" good...I think that's what they say up there at least. Fenway Park, I've never been to a game there, but it's definitely on Bucket LIst of things to do before I die. Sweet Caroline, bah bah bah. I definitely want to get to a game there, but we're in football season, so no can do on that one at this time.
I honestly don't know why it's called Bean Town, maybe Boston Baked Beans? I know that's a long shot, but I guess we'll never know. Maybe I'll just google that after class today.
But until next time, I need to come up with some kind of sign off or signature at the end. Any suggestions? I'm open to suggestions, so please write in with your comments.