FSU learned nothing from Dan Mullen

The Florida State Seminoles beat the Florida Gators in a thrilling match last season, and they were so excited to beat a 6-6 Florida football team in Tallahassee that they stormed the field.

Do you have neighbors to the west. Do you.

And to be fair, FSU will likely be favored to beat Florida football in 2023 as Billy Napier rebuilds his roster and Mike Norvell finally has a team that can beat Jacksonville State. But as Seminole fans are once again enjoying their accent on relevance in the college football world, The Ghost of Dan Mullen is a cautionary tale about what happens when you build your foundation on a house of cards.

Florida Football: Solid Foundation About Instant Results

Most recruiting publications released their updated recruiting rankings, and Florida football finished 11th despite the loss of Jaden Rashada and despite a 6-7 result. FSU currently sits in 20th place despite having their biggest season in recent history.

Mullen, even after giving up recruiting altogether, still gave the Florida Gators 18th in class in 2021.

So what did the FSU do to suddenly be relevant?

Mullen’s old friend The Transfer Portal.

Loving the portal instead of actual recruiting, Mullen had the country’s third-placed transfer class in 2020. Coincidentally, 2020 was Florida’s best year under Mullen and should have resulted in a playoff birth had it not been for some shoe issues.

FSU currently ranks 2nd in the country for their 2023 transfer class and is part of what’s fueling the hype surrounding a potential 2023 playoff bid for the Seminoles. And again, Norvell and his friends can have a great season and act like all is well.

Here at Hail Florida Hail we must interject a word of caution; Florida football is in a mess because it has depended solely on transfers to fill gaps its recruits couldn’t fill, and over time that house of cards is collapsing.

In other words, if you invite a group of mercenaries who aren’t really affiliated with your school every year, you’ll have to retrain them every year on what the program expectations are. And if you don’t emphasize player development because you have the mentality that you can always get new players, the new players you get don’t develop either.

Billy Napier gets players out of the portal himself, mostly as a makeshift, including a completely rebuilt offensive line. If, year after year, Napier continues to rely on the portal and not the players it recruits, then we’re going to have some serious questions.

Consider that the third placed transfer class of 2020 included:

  • Brenton Cox
  • Khamal Ellison
  • Lorenzo Lingard
  • Stewart Reese
  • Justin Shorter
  • Zack Sessa
  • Noah Keeter
  • Jordan Pouncey

Cox was eventually kicked out of town by Napier, Shorter was solid but never elite, Reese was a starter for two years but wasn’t drafted by the NFL, and the rest had minimal impact on Florida football.

If your counter-argument is that FSU can recruit and their current class of 2024 ranks third nationally, be aware that seven of the nine commits are rated over 290, with three of the commits being rated over 500.

FSU is third for quantity, not quality.

While it’s really hard to find a quality insurance policy in the state of Florida these days, FSU fans may want to seek one out. Florida fans can tell you from personal experience that once the hastily constructed foundation collapses, rebuilding takes time.

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