It began when Florida State starting quarterback Sean Maguire broke a bone in his foot in the pre-season. FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher promptly inserted freshman Deondre Francois into the starting line up.
Francois was on track to win the job anyway, but the injury forced Fisher's hand.
It was followed by a sloppy and frightening first half in the season opener against No. 11 ranked Ole Miss, in which Florida State, ranked No. 4 in the pre-season AP poll, had to scramble to come up with a come-from-behind 45-34 victory.
That was followed by a true head-scratcher--a 63-20 loss at Louisville, ranked No. 19 in the pre-season. FSU loses games, but not by 43 points.
And then came a last second loss at HOME against North Carolina.
And, in the latest What-Is-Going-On Here moment, a 37-34 loss to Clemson on Saturday night, was characterized by some officials' calls that Fisher found unacceptable. So much so that he publicly vented and drew a game misconduct and a $20,000 fine from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Suddenly Florida State, was 2-3 in the ACC and has lost 6 games in the last year and a half, which was more than the Seminoles lost in a 3-year stretch from 2012-2014, when they were not only winning ACC titles, but won a national championship, as well.
Is this an aberration or a trend? And just where does Jimbo Fisher, hired as the Seminoles head coach in 2010 and signed through 2022, go from here?[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The answer may be as simple as three letters...L...S....U.
The LSU job opened earlier this season when Les Miles was fired. The two primary names immediately mentioned as possible replacements were Houston's Tom Herman....and Jimbo Fisher.
Fisher came to FSU from LSU in 2006 as an assistant coach. He is making more than $5 million a year in Tallahassee and is coaching in a league in which FSU will automatically be placed in a contender's position as long as Fisher is still in charge.
Why would he want to go to a job that could probably pay him more (would have to pay him more no doubt) money, but must deal with the presence of SEC West perennial power Alabama?
Why would he leave a job where he can get pretty much what he wants when he needs it?
Why? Because...it may simply be time to change the sheets on the bed. Since his elevation to head coach in 2010, Fisher has won 3 ACC titles and a national championship.
But the times they are a-changing. It has been a rough few years for Fisher, who is only 51 and presumably has a shelf life as a head coach that will last another decade or more. He went through a divorce last year and his teams the past few years have looked sloppy at times, even inept and confused. And they have lost enough to knock them out of the ACC and championship chatter.
Fisher is under no pressure at all in terms of his job security. But sometimes a change of venue works as a revival. It has been argued that Bob Stoops could use a break from Oklahoma.
Fisher's latest outbursts after the Clemson game are as much an example of frustration as anger. FSU at 2-3 doesn't look right, doesn't sound right, doesn't feel right.
You could project that the losing streak for the season is over for the Seminoles, since the remaining ACC games are against North Carolina State, Boston College and Syracuse. And the annual battle with Florida will be held in Tallahassee this season.
Fisher recognizes what must be done. "Do we have to clean some things up?' he asked almost rhetorically this week. ""But again I say this, I am very proud of the way they (his players) develop and grow.
""I like this team. And I like it going forward. I really do.''
But where will FISHER go from here? If he is truly interested in the LSU job, he could get it, but the Tigers will probably have to lose to Alabama or somewhere else down the stretch to knock interim coach Ed Orgeron out of the mix.
And if that does happen, it would not be a shock, in fact, it wouldn't even be a surprise, if Jimbo Fisher decides it is time to play in a new neighborhood.[/membership]