Over the past 2 seasons the Florida State football team is 24-0 (winning their last 26 dating back to 2012) and won both the ACC Championship and the National Championship last season. But their on field success is not what everyone wants to talk about. The Seminoles have had a ton of off the field issues over the past 12 months. These include a sexual assault scandal, a shoplifting scandal, a student conduct scandal, allegations of a player receiving money for autographs, and that’s just Jameis Winston. Starting corners PJ Williams and Ronald Darby were involved in a hit and run incident where neither player was questioned or tested for alcohol nor was the incident reported by university police. And starting running back Karlos Williams was involved in an alleged assault case earlier this season as well. Couple that with how Head Coach Jimbo Fisher has handled(or lack their of) his teams off the field issues going as far as to blame ESPN for putting his team in a negative spotlight. Fisher has yet to suspend any of his players for their acts(although Winston was suspended by University officials for yelling an obscenity in a student building.) And if that list, coupled with on field success, wasn’t enough to make the majority of college football root against FSU, probes into the investigations of the incidents seem to point towards both FSU and Tallahassee law enforcement has gummed up and covered up the investigations into the cases, especially that of Winston.
But nothing on this list counts as the biggest crime that the FSU football program has committed.
At half time of last year’s National Championship Game, Auburn lead FSU 21-10 and seemed to have the game where they wanted it. Then, somehow, someone associated with the FSU football program apparently snuck into the Auburn team area and stole Gus Malzahn’s source of dark magic from the Tigers. That same dark magic helped Auburn win the 2011 National Title behind a QB with his own list of off the field problems and helped Malzahn go 9-3 at Arkansas State before returning to Auburn last season. Through the regular season last year Malzahn’s dark magic helped the Auburn team pulled off a string of miracle wins that included a Nick Marshall pass to himself to help beat Mississippi State 24-20, a 22 yard sack of Johnny Maziel to help top Texas A&M 45-41, a 4th and 18, 73 yard, deflected, final minute touchdown pass to beat Georgia 43-38, and a 100 yard missed field goal return to beat Alabama.
Florida State was seeing this magic first hand and chose to do something about it. A final minute touchdown to comeback and win the National Title seemed harmless enough. But an Oklahoma State fumble to give the Noles a win, and comeback wins(often double digit) against Clemson, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Miami coupled with Auburn’s recent bad luck can only mean 1 thing. Florida State stole Auburn’s dark magic.
Now the entire country is rooting for FSU to lose and get left out of the College Football Playoff. Their next game is against Boston College who did manage to upset USC earlier this season, but the Noles shouldn’t struggle with the Eagles. But their next game is against their bitter rival, Florida. On paper this doesn’t seem like a game FSU should lose. Florida is 5-4 and just fired(or let him step down) their coach, Will Muschamp. So FSU should win with ease right? History begs to differ. The last team to beat Florida State was Florida, 2 years ago, in Tallahassee, behind the legs of Matt Jones and a stingy defense. Jones is still at Florida and running better than ever and the Gators D is still a top unit in the SEC. But if that’s not enough to make you think the Gators have a shot, consider this. The last time Florida had a coach fired in the middle of the season, Ron Zook(in his final game as the coach at Florida) lead his team to a 20-13 upset victory over the top 10 ranked Seminoles, a game in which Zook was carried off of the field by his players. It is possible that Will Muschamp, in the same situation Zook was in 10 years earlier, does the nation a favor and put an end to Florida State’s dark reign. Eventually karma will catch up to the Noles, and what better way than their rival’s estranged coach being carried off the field after a victory over Florida State.