The issues for the Seminoles didn't start under Norvell, the former Memphis head coach. The team grew very stagnant late in Jimbo Fisher's tenure, as rumors heated up that he'd take the Texas A&M job. Willie Taggart seemed like a natural fit, but he couldn't right the ship, and was gone in year two. Now, Norvell's record at the same point is even worse.
Some may have handwaved a 3-6 first season, given the challenges of playing only conference foes, COVID-19, and everything else that made 2020 a very difficult season for rebuilding programs. It is impossible to do so with this year's 0-3 start, with a loss to FCS team Jacksonville State and at Wake Forest by 21 points.'
"There's nobody that expects more than I expect," Norvell told ESPN Tuesday. ""Nobody wants to be 0-3. But it's my job to set the foundation of this program so we won't have to experience this again.
"We have to learn the lessons now. As we get success and build upon the positives, that's when our program is going to take that step, but I'm not going to seek a shortcut in the process and lower the standards in any way because we have to do this right."
As ESPN's Andrea Adelson writes, Florida State may not have the appetite for another early firing. The team had to pay Taggart $20 million to buy out the rest of his deal. Per USA Today, Norvell's buyout sits at over $19 million.
Even so, we've seen teams make rash moves like it before, especially if a big-money donor comes up to foot the buyout bill. When a coach has completely lost a team and a fan base, it is almost impossible to recover. It is too early to know if that's the case for Mike Norvell and Florida State football, but things are certainly trending in a very bad direction.