FSU lost to Florida. Starting quarterback EJ Manuel played his last game at Doak by running for a touchdown as the gun sounded to a 37-26 defeat. All the Noles can hope for now is a win in the ACC Championship game against a 6-6 Georgia Tech team. If we win there - the Orange Bowl beckons against a lackluster Big East Champion.
It was about 75 degrees as the game started. At least FSU won the Goodyear Blimp challenge - fans voted online to send the blimp to Tallahassee. A clear sky and nearly full moon saw the temperature drop to 49 degrees.
64 points were score tonight - 61 of those points were scored with the wind at the teams' backs. Only the first 3 points by the Gators were against the wind - the rest of the points were score west to east - and we sat at the west goal line - so we did not get to see much of the close up action. Maybe that was good.
We left home at 2 PM - with both teams being 10-1 - I thought it might be hard to get tickets. Most of the ads on Craigslist were asking $150 a ticket. Lulu and I vowed if we could not get tickets for $100 or less - we would drive home and watch the game on TV. In hindsight I wish that is what happened.
We ran into very little traffic as we drove our Honda scooter west on College Avenue. I locked the scooter to a tree at the end of Jefferson St. We went to our favorite ticket shopping area by 2:30. Lulu chose to sit this one out - she found a park bench and watched me shop from about 50 feet away. There were more tickets for sale than I expected. For a while I asked people what they wanted for the tickets they held up. Many of them wanted to make a killing and wanted $150 each - fine but not from me. I decided to hold up two fingers - sort of a peace sign. Soon people were approaching me with tickets - many had just one. I was patient. At 2:45 - an older fella had two nice tickets - facing the goal line - on the shady side - down low - section 37 row 35. I asked him how much he wanted - and he said $60 each. Since the face value was $80 - and Lulu likes to get into the stadium early to see the band and senior day ceremonies - I did not even negotiate. My one question I asked - could I see his driver's license. He was more than willing to show it to me. I snapped a picture of it with my iphone - secure that he would not dare sell me counterfeit tickets and show me his identification. The newspaper in the morning did a cautionary story about bad tickets.
It was 45 minutes before kickoff - Lulu was surprised I settled so soon. I suggest that I buy another pair of tickets - maybe on the 50 yard line - and then sell the first set - but she was happy that the dealing was over already. Lulu get embarrassed whenever I am negotiating for tickets or anything.
We got in line to go in - the line were very short and moving nicely. We went to the same ticket collector lady - she said the same thing as she checked Lulu's big bag of stuff. We grinned as she said - okay this time - but next time use a smaller bag. We promised we would.
Our seats were close by and down low - 35 rows up from the players. There were tons of empty seats around us - many of them did not fill during the whole game. They may have sold 85,000 tickets but I am guessing only 80,000 showed up. If Seminole fans do not show up for a game when the Noles play the Gators and both teams are 10-1 - the Seminoles are not back and the Seminole fans aren't either.
It was sunny and 75 at kickoff - just a little chilly in the shade - with maybe a 15 MPH wind out of the west. The flags ware extended the whole game. The big announcement was that FSU broke ground on the new indoor football practice building this morning - it will be done for August 2013 - it cost $15 million - $5 million coming from one couple - the Dunlaps.
In the first half - the Seminoles barely had the ball. The Gator scored 10 points and it was turning into a laugher. With just a few seconds in the half - FSU got a field goal - they were very lucky to only be losing by 10 at the half. FSU has the ball for about 5 minutes out of 30 - and we were still only losing by 7.
The Noles opens the second half with 17 unanswered points. It was 20 - 10 for the home team and the fans were getting boisterous. Then before you could snap you fingers - a couple fumbles and interceptions - and it was 37 - 20 in favor of the Gainesville guys. As the clock ran out - our quarterback EJ Manuel ran in a touchdown. 37-27 does not look nearly as bad as it was. EJ's last play in Doak was touchdown - I am glad for him.
We keep bragging that FSU has all of these future NFL Pro draft choices - but it is just a bunch of talent running all over the field. Play calling was terrible. This loss is squarely on an unprepared coaching staff. They are simply too predictable and monotonous.
The Noles are now 10-2 - but there is light-years of space between where they are and the Bobby Bowden teams of the 90's were. Next week they play Georgia Tech for the ACC championship - after a loss like this they could easily slip into a whirlpool and lose that - and end up in a "Weedeater Bowl" and have a 10-4 season.
Coach Jimbo Fisher got in trouble for saying the BCS Poll was "retarded" for ranking FSU number 17 in the country. Well the pundits were correct. Poor coaching had our team crumbling at home in front of a sellout crowd to an SEC team that has now beaten 4 teams in the Top 15. FSU may be the "smart kid in the dumb section" - the ACC. Fisher can only blame the low rankings for his scheduling of a row of cupcakes - like the Murray and Savannah States. Sure - your team can be ranked "number 1" in defense when you play Division 2 teams - and Maryland - Duke - Wake - in the "Another Acceptable Chump" Conference. Even the mobster gamblers have made a bundle off FSu's poor play - FSU is 2 -10 against the spread. FSU won only twice by more points than Vegas expected them to win. In both game that the Noles lost - they were expect to win easily.
During the past two weeks - the sports talk radio stations were buzzing with the rumors for Jimbo Fisher going to Auburn. The Tigers got pasted last night by their arch rival Alabama. The fans there are looking for a messiah - and any mercenary would choose their $4 million to FSU's $2.7 million. The question is - do they really want him? Did all that talent come to FSU before of Jimbo or because of the FSU cache of old?
Most of the crowd stayed until the end. With a full stadium and parking lots - a normal 3 mile commute home took about 1 hour from our stadium seat to our front door. Even on a scooter - traffic was backed up and my consensus driver frowned on lane splitting.
There was a pretty moon and Goodyear blimp out as we got home around 8:30. The temperature dropped to 48 - before the night was over the clear sky allowed it to reach 32. In the morning we woke up to the reality of the press coverage. Lulu is canceling the hotel room we had in Charlotte for the ACC Championship game. Our opponent for the ACC title - Georgia Tech lowered their record to 6-6 by getting thrashed by Georgia - 42-10. After two pasting of the ACC teams by SEC arch rivals - I doubt either team will be bring much of a following to that game.
It looks like FSU will remain a girls' school as our women's soccer - volleyball - cross country - basketball teams carry our banners.
The ACC Champ will take an 11-2 or a 7-6 record into the Orange Bowl and play an equally lackluster "champ" as their conferences exchange teams - Syracuse - Pittsburgh - Rutgers - Connecticut. It seems the only winner in the ACC this year is Maryland.
Note - Sunday at 4 PM. All game long I kept reminding myself - my pension check will still come monthly - and Lulu's FSU Pay will come every other Friday.