Florida State and Miami are two of the most renowned college football programs in the country, but each school’s start to the 2021 season has left something to be desired. The Seminoles are 0-3 for the first time since the 1970s and the Hurricanes have plummeted out of the top 25 in just three weeks time.
Considering the success that the two programs have had historically, it’s surprising to see Florida State and Miami struggle to compete. Neither school seems ready to finish in the upper half of their division, let alone challenge Clemson for the ACC crown.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is among those disheartened by the early lackluster performance by the two Florida teams. He recalled the days when the schools would often be among those competing for national championship.
“It’s just sad man, like where we are right now with Florida State and Miami,” Herbstreit said on ESPN’s college football podcast. “… That game (once) was the game of the year. That was the game that you watched. I don’t care who you’re a fan of. When Florida State Miami got together, it was showcase. NFL talent, impact the national championship race, who’s the best team in the state of Florida was typically who’s the best team in the country and we’re just so far from that.”
The ESPN analyst then spoke about each school individually, beginning with Florida State.
“I thought Florida State, after the Notre Dame game on that Sunday night, I was like, man, good for Mike Norvell,” Herbstreit continued. “He’s got a team this year that gets it. And then they lose in overtime that night to Notre Dame, last play of the game against an inferior opponent Jacksonville State. Heads are down, now they got to go take on the closet and Wake Forest, who’s efficient and buttoned up, and that game got sideways in a hurry.
“You just wonder where, after the year that they had last year, where do you go from here to try to lift the team up and get them to believe there’s still something worth fighting for? It’s going to be a challenge in Tallahassee the rest of the year.”
Herbstreit also touched on the Miami’s woes, pointing to D’Eriq King’s struggles to protect the football.
“D’Eriq King, who I thought coming into the year was going to have a monster year — I would (have) put him right up there with a chance to win a lot of the postseason awards,” Herbstreit said. “Just a real good kid and a guy that kind of gets the game and what it’s about, and has an appreciation for it and just a wonderful guy. You know, he just doesn’t, I don’t know if he’s frustrated or he’s trying to make plays or they’re not quite on the same page, but he’s turning the ball over, which is very uncharacteristic for him.”
After a combined 1-5 start, Florida State and Miami will try to start turning things around this weekend. The Seminoles will take on Louisville on Saturday, while the Hurricanes square off against Central Connecticut.