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Home / Sports / Tough Truth Tuesday: Harlon Barnett fails and it means Taggart's seat is warm

Tough Truth Tuesday: Harlon Barnett fails and it means Taggart's seat is warm



It can be almost humorous how football works. You go into a season in which you expect one, and then the opposite happens.

You can use all the desired forecasting tools, cover the entire available feature film and find all the rating systems in the world. But football is an unpredictable sport in many ways, and all of this can be in vain in the end.

That's what frustrated many fans who saw Florida State's 36:31 defeat of Florida State against Boise State Broncos on Saturday. In 2019, we all knew that the offensive had to climb a steep mountain if it wanted to rebound in 2018. It was just that for at least half of Saturday's competition.

We also knew that the defensive was inconsistent last year, but still retained a good deal of talent and had a full off-season to get creative with its scheme become. Basically, in every scenario performed in Florida State for the 201

9 season, the assumption that the defense is "competent" was a basic assumption.

This assumption was shaken after a game.

There is a very real chance that this defense might turn out to be the worst in FSU history. Despite criticism received by the teams of "Lost Decade", they never reached the level reached by the 2019 squad against Boise State. The Seminoles gave a total of 621 yards to the Broncos.

Even the team from 2009 did not fulfill this brand. In fact, only the 2014 Rose Bowl loss to Oregon was similar (639 yards). Before that, you have to return to the state of Arizona in 1984 to find out when the Seminoles last allowed more than 600 meters. Oddly enough, the Arizona quarterback was also a true freshman in 1984.

The reality looks like it The first two employees of FSU head coach Willie Taggart – Walt Bell and Harlon Barnett – were flops. Two of the head coaches who helped shape the beginning of a new era may be gone after the first two seasons. This is an important red flag for Taggart's future in the state of Florida.

The only deciding factor is that Taggart has actually realized that Barnett is no match for this task. During the summer, Taggart expressed interest in Washington Defense Coordinator Jimmy Lake and former Oregon South Florida Defense Coordinator Jim Leavitt. No agreement was reached, but the same questions arose then: why was Taggart ready to move so fast?

I think the answer is simple. Taggart realized after 2018 that Barnett was not the right type for this job.

But why did Taggart let him install a 3-4 look in addition to the 4-3? The most common answer is a lack of Edge Rushing talent, which would significantly affect the effectiveness of a 4-3 or even 4-2-5. It would make sense to go to 3-4, even if the staff would not be quite fit. But if you knew you wanted to move away from him as quickly as possible and let him smell the defense in his last off-season after a panicked move.

Honestly? I do not buy any argument that FSU defense suffers from a lack of talent. You can point to the other side of the ball and say that the line of attack is a black talent hole, and you may be right (assuming we look at it in this one-year vacuum and do not count the potential of its recent ones with signatories). There is no defensive position comparable to the offensive position.

Each defense level has a decent number of developed players and a variety of blue-chip talents. Not to mention the talents that have been added to this new recruiting class. Basically, every respected signer in the class was on the defensive side of the ball.

Granted, there are a number of upper-class members who are more likely to move away from their recruitment rankings than from their current achievements, but not enough to demand a full overhaul. Barnett has more than enough players to make each basic scheme look good. A step backwards after 2018 – when the FSU gave up more points per game than any other team in program history – should be an automatic layoff, especially if this does not improve radically over the season.

After Saturday's Performance It's hard to believe that a big improvement is imminent. A little bit? For sure. The FSU is likely to compete more with younger players and find out who suits the new programs and packages best. But the amount of terrible fundamentals and system crashes that we experienced against Boise State is a meaningful sign. The Seminoles had a whole off season to come out and perform, and they just let the Broncos go with the team.

All roads lead back to Willie Taggart. The first shots of Bell and Barnett have proved unsuccessful, and the latter have wasted another year on reconstruction. In today's age of college football, you have no more than four years to prove what you can do. We're about half way through and we're told that 2020 will be Taggart's first team to have both the players and the staff he wants. If this is not the case, Taggart will be dismissed before 2021.

Clint Eiland is the lead author of The Daily Nole. Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintEiland . Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To prepare an idea, post, or learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at Mike@TheDailyNole.com.


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