It is with great remorse that I typed the above headline title. My beloved Noles have not had a good run in the past few years, and I am often defending them, especially here in North Carolina. I have come up with plenty of reasons (excuses) as to why they’re not a big contender each year, but I am hoping for a revival of who they were back in the ’90’s when I first became a supporter. As always there is potential but the bottom line is revealed in this article from Jacksonville.com.
From Jacksonville.com –
Florida State’s shrinking attendance and TV ratings can be blamed, in part, on shrinking disposable income during the current economic slump.
But that’s far from the only problem.
After 14 consecutive years of double-digit victories and top-five rankings, the Seminoles lost more games (42) during a nine-year period from 2001-2009 than they did during a 20-year period from 1981-2000, hastening the departure of Bobby Bowden as coach and enabling Jimbo Fisher to finally shed the “coach-in-waiting” tag and take over.
“Patience is not a virtue of Southern football fans,” noted Charlie Barnes, the executive director of Seminole Boosters.
But it’s not just fans in the stands that decreased. According to the Collegiate Licensing Co., sales of FSU merchandise, which ranked among the top 10 in the nation for 17 years in a row, from 1985-2001, are now 19th, according to figures from the fiscal year ending June 30. The Seminoles not only lag behind Texas, Alabama and Florida, but also trail West Virginia, Auburn, Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri.
While ESPN has put all four FSU games on one of its brands this season, ratings are down (as they are for most football games). Even last year’s Gator Bowl, which marked the end of Bowden’s 34-year career as the Seminoles’ coach, had a slight drop in ratings from the previous year, when Clemson and Nebraska met.
After one of the most incredible and consistent stays at or near the top of the national rankings between 1987-2000 — which included two national championships and 14 ACC titles — is the national buzz gone at FSU? With less than two weeks to go before playing Miami, a game that once had major implications in deciding the eventual national champion, have the Seminoles become just another football program?
FSU vs. Virgina 12:00 pm 10/2/10