TALLAHASSEE -- Good Tuesday morning everyone. As many of the good people of Tallahassee and Chestnut Hill, Mass. awake and get their days started, they do so in simlar fashion. With hands in the air and looks of befuddlement scrawled upon their faces.
Indeed, the last two days have been confusing ones for the college football programs based in their cities.
In less than 15 minutes, Florida State went from being the king of the Sunshine State, to its court jester. Boston College, long the laughingstock of New England, as well as ACC sports country, hit a new low over the weekend, too.
As a result, both schools are left looking for answers here at the beginning of a week that will end with them playing one another at Doak Campbell Stadium.
As you well know, the 12th-ranked Seminoles (5-1, 2-1 ACC), who still have a very good chance at salvaging this season and finishing strong, lost over the weekend, 17-16, to North Carolina State. Boston College (1-4, 0-2) lost to Army, 34-31.
In order to regain their footing, both teams will be looking for wins during a week of transition.
For the Eagles, this is a transitory week because there appear to be changes coming to the upper reaches of their athletic department. A news conference has been called for Tuesday on campus. According to the Boston Globe, the media gathering is to name a new athletics director. Likely high on the new AD's list of to-do items will be what to do about coach Frank Spaziani. The head coach has struggled since taking over for the fired Jeff Jagodzinski in 2009.
Boston College was 4-8 last year.
For FSU, the transition comes in discovering how to play with changed expectations. With the national championship all but gone from their list of goals, the Seminoles are realizing how much more intent they have to be on winning out for the rest of the season. Do that, and a national title still could (could), maybe be in the cards depending upon what happens to the teams around them in the polls the rest of the season. What's most likely is that by winning out, the Seminoles will earn an ACC Championship berth. This is where the transition comes in: altering expectations.
So, how do the Eagles find answers on the football field? By moving on:
---Here's how the Boston Globe's Julian Benbow put it in this follow story from Boston College's loss at Army. Change shouldn't just come to the athletics department, the Eagles contend. It should come inside their locker room. Each position group, each individual put blame on itself or himself for what has become a wreck of a season. (A similar sentiment spread around FSU's locker room in recent days, too)
---The Boston Herald's Rich Thompson writes that Boston College "has no answer." The Eagles could see each of those losses in front of them and knew that they could fight through them and come out with wins. They just needed more plays. More opportunities. More time.
As Boston College moves forward, it will have to start finding answers, and quickly. ... Or another losing season will take shape, and Spaziani may be looking for a new job.
---At FSU, there are answers. When speaking with reporters Monday in Tallahassee, coach Jimbo Fisher said he figured out what happened to the Seminoles late Saturday night. In his eyes, they just didn't completely execute. It wasn't that they missed an assignment here or there, they were just off a step or two in technique. During film review, he and his team saw where with better technique, certain plays could have turned into scores or defensive stops or dazzling special teams plays.
When pressed about his play calls, Fisher said his playcalling was fine. It was simply an execution issue that led to the loss. That story is from the Orlando Sentinel.
---Here's another Sentinel story. Reading between the lines of their comments to reporters Monday, it seemed pretty clear that Fisher and Manuel were on slightly different pages when it came to passing. Fisher said he was content with the playcalling when he watched back over film. Manuel said he didn't throw in the game quite as much as he expected.
When it came to passing in the red zone, Manuel joked about it being nice to pass to 6-foot-5 Kelvin Benjamin on fade routes into the end zone. The Seminoles have only done that once this season, and it was an incomplete pass. They went 3-for-4 on red zone scoring chances against the Wolfpack. Only one of those scores was a touchdown.