Botello: The Reynolds Report - 3/14
The Reynolds Report is your one-stop shop for Seminole football off-season news and tidbits. The Reynolds Report is aptly named after one of the greatest Seminoles of all-time, Mr. Burt Reynolds. Yes ladies and gents, the legend of the Bandit began in Tallahassee, where he carried the pigskin for the Noles and undoubtedly romanced his king's bounty of FSU coeds.
Every Friday, in addition to FSU related news, The Reynolds Report will feature a tribute (pics, video clips, classic lines) to a classic Burt Reynolds character. (Spoiler Alert: 98% of the characters feature the iconic Burt mustache) You're welcome.
From The Inbox
Can the Noles and Jameis Winston repeat the magic of the 2013 season?
Do you want the short answer or the long answer? If you said "long answer," I'm sorry to say that much like The Hangover 3, I'm going to disappoint you. The John Holmes answer will have to come later, as we get closer to the season, spring practice shakes out and we dig deeper into the schedule as we always do right around that time. The Vern Troyer answer to this question is "yes, with a big but" (insert Sir Mix-A-Lot reference here). It is very difficult to repeat as a champion in any sport, and the target will become much larger with the Noles playing the role of defending national champs. FSU benefited from having the best player in college football and a great schedule in 2013, both of which allowed the Noles to position themselves to return to the top of the college football mountaintop. This season, the best player in the country returns behind one of the best offensive lines in the entire nation and the Noles are back to the point where they can just reload and not miss a beat. As for Winston winning another Heisman, I'm not so sure that the voters are eager in this day and age to hand out the trophy to the same guy twice (we all know about Archie Griffin in 1974 and 75). If Famous Jameis puts up numbers like last season and leads FSU to another undefeated regular season, it would be kind of hard to deny the man of what would rightfully be his. The schedule is a bit tougher in 2014, but Clemson, Florida and Notre Dame all travel to Tallahassee this season, which brings me to our next question (that's called a segue).....
Who do you see as a team that could trip up FSU's quest for back-to-back national titles?
Looking ahead past the schedule (like I said, we'll get into that when the time is right, but it is safe to assume that I am not concerned about FSU running the table during the regular season yet again) there are a few programs in 2014 that could stand in the way of title number four. The new playoff format, or "Football Four," should give us some great match-ups and I fully expect the Noles to battle it out with at least one of these teams come playoff time.
Alabama - You can't have a national championship discussion without mentioning Nick Saban and Alabama. Yes, they are losing some key pieces this off-season, but Bama just continues to reload much like the Seminoles. The way things stand right now, Bama and FSU are probably the two teams that are closest to each other as far as overall team talent is concerned. It will be interesting to see if FSU transfer QB Jacob Coker does big things for Nick Saban and winds up meeting his old team in the post-season. (Note to Jimbo: Please change the QB play-calling signals by then. Thanks)
Oklahoma - Did you see what Oklahoma did to Bama in the Sugar Bowl? Please spare me the "Bama didn't want to be there playing the Sooners" argument. I watched the entire game. Bama came out swinging for the fences like they had something to prove. Double-digit underdog Oklahoma was not afraid of mighty Bama in the slightest and pummeled them 45-31, and it wasn't even that close. A good chunk of that Oklahoma team returns this season, and if they play with the intensity and skill like they did against Bama, the Sooners will be a very tough out for anyone, including FSU.
Oregon - Honestly, I felt like I needed to add a third team here just to make it interesting. QB Marcus Mariotta returns for the Ducks, who will of course put up millions of points but yet somehow find a way to lose to Stanford. If by chance Oregon gets by Stanford and slips in to the Football Four, they'll have a tough time getting past Bama, Oklahoma or FSU - all teams that are big and physical up front, capable of pushing the Ducks around and keeping up with them speed-wise.
Florida State - Ah yes, the classic "the only team that can beat us is ourselves" sports cliche. With great success comes great contentment, someone probably once said. Are the Noles and Jimbo Fisher satisfied with winning just one national title? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, call me crazy, but probably not. There seems to be a new feel, a new culture, if you will, within the program that feeds off the success the Noles had in 2013. It has been building ever since Jimbo Fisher took the reigns in 2010. While this may be the beginning of yet another dynasty-esque run for the FSU football program, remember that we're talking about 18-22 year old college kids - most who are just returning from the BCS mountaintop. I think Jimbo and company will do a great job of maintaining the focus on 2014 rather than just being content with the success of 2013. As he said regarding defending the title in 2014, "we're not defending anything."
FSU Ignites Football Renovation Project
Florida State recently announced plans to renovate many of the football facilities, including locker rooms, meeting rooms and the coaches area. This will be a huge recruiting tool and will showcase the history and tradition of FSU football. Words cannot do it justice, so I will shut up and let you watch the video.
Video Courtesy of The Florida State University Athletic Department and Seminoles.com
Burt Reynolds Movie of the Week: Cannonball Run
Released the night before I was born in 1981, Cannonball Run is one of the most classic Burt Reynolds films of all time. Burt and his mustache play racer J.J. McClure, who, alongside his old buddy Dom Deluise, race across the country in a souped-up ambulance. Hilarity ensues.
"The film is based on the 1979 running of the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an actual cross-country outlaw road race held four times in the 1970s, starting at the Red Ball Garage on 31st Street in New York City (later the Lock, Stock and Barrel Restaurant in Darien, Connecticut) and ending at the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California, just south of Los Angeles."
Cannonball Run Bloopers