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Willie Taggart got a pass in year one, but he won't get another

   Posted by All Sports Discussion at  5/20/2019 6:48:42 AM  |  Follow us on Twitter: @scacchoops
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Willie Taggart came in with all the optimism in the world at FSU. Despite Jimbo Fisher’s success in Tallahassee, at the end there he wasn’t exactly beloved by FSU fans. A 7-6 (3-5) final  year where the Noles finished 6th in the Atlantic, made it pretty easy for FSU fans to accept his departure. Willie Taggart came in with a new attitude, and the goal to reconnect more with Florida State’s past than Fisher.

The 2018 Florida State spring game drew a record crowd of nearly 54,000. Then FSU had their first losing since 1976. That was Bobby Bowden’s first year. They hadn’t missed a bowl game since 1981.

Whatever pre-season equity Taggart had built up is now gone after disastrous 5-7 year. The Seminoles lost 6 games by 19 or more points. A 59-10 drubbing by Clemson, wasn’t that close. Florida beat FSU 41-14 in a game UF barely broke a sweat. Make no mistake, Jimbo Fisher played a large role in this. In his final years, he made poor talent evaluations and left Taggart with an offensive line that was an embarrassment.

That’s why Florida State fans largely gave Taggart a pass. They are knowledgeable fans, and they know as much as Fisher re-built FSU post Bobby Bowden he let it fall apart again.

Taggart won’t get another reprieve. He enters 2019 with a tremendous pressure on himself and his team. Should FSU expect to compete with Clemson? Obviously not, Clemson is simply heads and shoulders above the rest of the college football world – not just the ACC. Only Alabama can even be mentioned in the same sentence with Clemson, and we know what happened in January.

Taggart must show significant improvement in year two, and the Noles clearly need to be more competitive. The schedule could easily have Florida State go 3-9 or 9-3. Clemson is a sure loss, and Florida probably too. LA-Monore and Alabama State are certain wins. After that FSU can beat or lose to anyone on their schedule.

As we said on our FSU PodCast with with @KilroyFSU Florida State’s season could be defined as early as game one when they face Boise State. The last two years FSU’s season went into a tailspin early. In 2017 they got physically beat up by Alabama, and in 2018 Virginia Tech went down to Tallahassee and thumped the Noles. FSU couldn’t recover from either. This is too fragile a team to open a 3rd straight season with a loss.

Boise State is a game FSU should have never scheduled. Boise State is always a high risk low reward game. They are coming off a 10 win season, but FSU better find a way to win. Fair or not Taggart won’t get the benefit of a multi-year rebuild. He better show progress this year, period.

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