Florida State finds itself playing for pride, not titles – Daily Commercial
By Joe Reedy / Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State off to its worst start in 41 years, coach Jimbo Fisher is left doing something he could hardly fathom two months ago.
The coach is fielding questions about what is left to play for the rest of the season.
The Seminoles go into Saturday’s game at Duke with a 1-3 record, including 1-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. That was hardly what anyone expected at the beginning of the year when they were ranked third in the preseason Top 25 poll and were considered the conference favorite.
It is the worst start by a preseason top three team since 1984, when third-ranked Pittsburgh dropped its first four games. Florida State fell out of the rankings following its loss to North Carolina State on Sept. 16. This week’s poll is the first time since 2011 that Fisher’s program did not receive a vote.
“No matter what your record is, you play,” Fisher said. “We’ve got everything to play for. What if you’re a junior-eligible draft guy or senior-eligible draft guy? What’s the NFL looking at?”
Fisher is also dealing with increased scrutiny as the Seminoles are headed for their second straight disappointing season. Instead of contending for a conference title and a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Seminoles find themselves barely above .500 in their last 15 ACC games (8-7). They have also dropped their first two home games for the first time since 1974 and are 3-4 at Doak Campbell Stadium since having a 22-game home winning streak snapped.
Saturday’s 24-20 loss to 11th-ranked Miami marked the third time in a year that the Seminoles have been unable to hold a fourth-quarter lead at home. FSU gave up two 75-yard touchdown drives to Miami in the fourth