Yeah, we're both definitely going to require a shunt or mainline of Jolt or Red Bull. This will be D.'s first 'Noles game, and I have to admit to being excited about seeing him wearing his garnet FSU t-shirt (he's all sorts of proud when I wear one of my K-State shirts). I'm tremendously stoked to see a lot of my fellow FSU friends, and I'll be damned if I haven't missed tailgating with them. Win or lose, college football has to be one of the greatest past times for an autumn Saturday.
Part of the process of preparing for a big match-up is reading material from the naysayers - like Stewart Mandel.
Now don't get me wrong - I adore Mandel; he is one of my favorite sportswriters (apart from D., of course). He's generally very reasonable and articulate. Naturally, he predicts that FSU will implode against Nick Satan's...oops, I meant Saban, of course...Crimson Tide tomorrow afternoon.
There may well be something to his reasoning. FSU's offensive line still has quite a ways to go, and Drew Weatherford seems to have lost quite a bit of confidence (a similar theme exists for Saints fans at the moment). Our receivers can't catch, our backs frequently fumble, and our pass rush is nonexistent. Our one bright spot seems to be kicker Gary Cismesia.
And that's just sad.
Still, I never expected an overnight miracle from the new coaching staff. Poor coaching and recruiting have left a mountain of problems. Fisher and Trickett, et al., have their work cut out for them. There has been some improvement, despite our average of 22 points scored per game. I'm impressed with the quickness of our newly skinny OL - now just just need to block. Fisher's playcalling is a vast improvement over Jeff Bowden's much-lampooned, pass, pass, rush, punt scheme.
And then there's the cheating scandal. Even though no active roster spot is impacted by this, will it prove a distraction to the 'Noles in our must-win game?
But don't count us out in Jacksonville. Papa Bowden has a pretty scary record at neutral sites.