Well, the Willie Taggart era at Florida State has started just like I thought it would — with a loss. If you can’t tell, I am not a fan of Taggarts. But, then again, there have been a lot better sales people than Taggart over the years in college football.
Florida State looked overmatched and underprepared Monday night against a decent Virginia Tech squad. And I emphasis underprepared because, during the game, FSU didn’t make one legit in-game adjustment that effected change.
I blame Taggart for that problem.
Over the years, at South Florida, then Oregon, and now in Tallahassee, Taggart’s teams he coached simply didn’t play up to their potential. He had one good year at South Florida, and that was because he had a game-changing athlete at quarterback. Other than that, he has earned every bit of his 47-51 career losing record.
The backstory of this will get interesting as the season goes along. If FSU plays like it did Monday, and I suspect they will, then the Seminoles will be in uncharted waters — staring a losing record right in the face. But, don’t be alarmed, your coach is used to it, so he will understand how to handle it just fine.
When Oregon brought Taggert in to replace Mark Helfrich, all I could think about is why did he take the job. He isn’t going to stay here. He is an East Coast guy. Grew up in Florida, played at Western Kentucky, etc. When Taggert left after just one season, I told anyone who would listen that this guy was a Snake Oil Salesman.
The same problems that plagued FSU last night are the same things I saw out of this guy in his short tenure in the Pac-12. Overhyped, underdeliver. His inability to make adjustments in the face of adversity, especially on offense, is something every coach and program fears. Some coaches just inherently have it, while others struggle with the nuances of the game. Taggart has always been the latter. This guy is a master recruiter, just like he is a master salesman, but a top caliber coach he is not.
Remember you heard it here first. As long as Taggart is your head coach, the Seminoles will struggle and struggle mightily. Not because you didn’t have talent, and not because you didn’t have the resources to be great. Like any salesman, there is going to be a time when your kids realize you are trying to sell them something. When that happens, the Florida State faithful will find out what I already know.