January 15, 2006 - by
KEEP AN EYE ON THOSE HEADLINES

Jan. 15, 2006


                Some academic news released just before the bowl season served as a good example of how the media, either consciously or unconsciously, can shape the view of the reader.  Starting with the acknowledgement that every program at every level should have a 100 percent graduation rate, a study released showed a number of bowl teams dramatically below 50 percent in graduating their football players.  The ACC, which had eight teams competing in bowls, is the only conference to have all of its schools above the level sighted in the study.  Nearly every story I read had that information in it somewhere, but you sure had to dig.  Now, given that two of the three major football programs in the state of Florida now play in the ACC – one would think that some of the headlines in the state papers would read something along the lines of “Only ACC’s Bowl Teams Measure Up To Academic Standards” or “All ACC Bowl Teams Make Academic Goal.”   But instead most read something like “Most Bowl Teams Fall Short In Classroom.”  Don’t let them slip these kinds of stories by you.  Every writer sits in front of a computer and determines what type of tone they want in their story and every headline writer at every paper is charged with writing words that will reflect the story.  For those who like to let their paper know, pointing out specific observations like this to most media folks is given far more consideration than any sentence that begins with “I know you’re a Gator fan…”


 


BILLBOARDS UP


                The Florida State athletics department has produced three billboards congratulating our Rhodes Scholar Garrett Johnson.  Two of the boards are in Tallahassee and close to the FSU campus.  The third billboard is on I-75 just south of Gainesville – hmm.


 


ORANGE BOWL NOTES


                Penn State‘s football players certainly carried themselves with more class than their fans did at the Orange Bowl.  Apparently Nittany must mean boo anything associated with the other team in some language.  The Lions’ fans began the night booing the Army parachutists carrying the FSU flag.  And they still had enough left in them after three overtimes to boo FSU’s Willie Reid when he was introduced as the Orange Bowl MVP.  To their credit, Penn State‘s players were yelling at their own fans to shut up and many gave Reid an ovation.


                This quote was attributed to Penn State defensive end Matthew Rice by Sports Illustrated following the game…”the most physical game we played all year.  It was all-out will.”  It should be noted that PSU played Ohio State this year.


                If you wondered where all the “celebrities” were during the Orange Bowl, a new BCS rule made for tight sidelines throughout the big bowls and it left both FSU and Penn State in a late pinch.  A number of current and former NFL players contacted the Seminole football office in hopes of being on the sidelines for the game, but the BCS mandated in very stern language that no one would be allowed on the sidelines other than specific working persons.  All the BCS teams protested the decision and the day after USA Today ran a photo of Henry Winkler sandwiched between two USC players the BCS notified the eight major bowl schools that they could place five people on the sideline.  This literally came two days before the game and after we had to notify many of our all-time greats that the rules would keep them off the sideline.  We were able to get Samari Rolle, Anquan Boldin, Tommy Polley and Paul Irons onto the field.  I talked with Dolphins running back Travis Minor who declined the offer since he was hosting the entire Miami Dolphins offensive backfield in a special box.


 


FSU NOW HAS LONGEST STREAK


                Michigan was not ranked in either poll at the end of the season, so the Seminole now hold the distinction of the team that has appeared in the most consecutive final football polls.  What is ever more startling is the margin between first place FSU and second place Georgia (9 years) and that the sixth longest streak belongs to USC with just four years.












































































































Team___________


# Years


Year started


Florida State


19


1987


Georgia


9


1997


Texas


8


1998


Miami


8


1998


Oklahoma


6


2000


USC


4


2002


Ohio State


4


2002


LSU


3


2003


Virginia Tech


2


2004


Auburn


2


2004


Wisconsin


2


2004


Boston College


2


2004


Louisville


2


2004


Texas Tech


2


2004


California


2


2004


Penn State


1


2005


West Virginia


1


2005


Alabama


1


2005


Notre Dame


1


2005


TCU


1


2005


Florida


1


2005


Oregon


1


2005


UCLA


1


2005


Clemson


1


2005


Nebraska


1


2005


SPRING GAME IS APRIL 8


                Mark your calendar now for the spring football game set for April 8th at 2:00 p.m.  Florida State will play a home baseball series with ACC rival Georgia Tech that same weekend.  All season tickets normally sell out for FSU baseball games so keep an eye on our website (Seminoles.com) to find out when single game tickets will go on sale.


SPEAKING OF BASEBALL


                Some changes to the NCAA baseball rules have most of the coaches, including Mike Martin, scratching their heads.  Beginning with the 2008 season, teams cannot begin full-time preseason practice until February 1 and no opening games can be schedule earlier than the first Friday in February that falls 13 weeks prior to Memorial Day.  FSU opens the season Feb. 3, but under this policy we would not have been able to play our first game until Feb. 24.


MEN’S TENNIS HONORED IN PRESEASON


                Florida State‘s men’s tennis program earned a preseason No. 11 national ranking, which is the highest preseason ranking ever for the Seminole men’s program.


MEN’S TRACK PICKED TO FINISH FIRST


                As long as Sports Illustrated doesn’t put the Seminoles on the cover (remember the jinx?), college track and field experts expect the Seminoles and Arkansas to vie for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  The Seminoles and perennial power Arkansas were listed as co-favorites to win the national championship.  You will remember that the FSU women’s track team won back-to-back national titles taking the NCAA Outdoor title in 1984 and the indoor title in 1985.


SUN SPORTS GOING BEHIND THE SCENES WITH WOMEN’S HOOPS


                Sun Sports will air a program in February that features an inside look at our Seminole women’s basketball program.  The 30-minute feature will follow some of the players to class and give FSU fans a real feel for what it is like as a basketball player at Florida State.  The crew is filming the team next week and the edited version should air next month.


                By the way, we all know how good the ACC is, but the fact that the first three ACC road games the Seminoles play are against teams ranked in the Top 10 really gives one an appreciation of the level of competition.


 


SWIMMING AND DIVING RANKED HIGHLY AS WELL


                The men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs continue to have exceptional seasons.  With the ACC Championships nearly a month away and the NCAA’s in mid-March, the men’s team is ranked No. 14 in the country and women are ranked 17th. 


 


JACOB TAKES HITTING STREAK INTO THE SEASON


                Believe it or not the softball team begins practice this week.  Senior Natasha Jacob will carry a 24-game hitting streak into the February 10 season-opener.


 


 

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