FSU fires Taggart after just 21 games

Columnist Doug Wallace.

Sunday afternoon, Nov. 3,  less than 24 hours after  a 27-10 beating Saturday afternoon, news spread like a wildfire, Florida State University fires Head Coach Willie Taggart. 

After only 21 games FSU had seen enough. FSU’s press release advised the termination was effective immediately which includes a buyout of $17 Million dollars. Taggart had been hired in 2018 and given a year and a half to fix the mess former Head Coach Jimbo Fisher left for FSU to deal with.

While it is true with big time college football and head coaches making millions of dollars a year, there may seem like an entitlement for the fan bases to see wins immediately. But one year?

 Taggart came to FSU looking to change a culture, a mindset and a philosophy with players he didn’t  recruit. Taggart took the reins of a program where FSU’s administration had fought and had seen the entire Jimbo meltdown mess. 

He entered a program that according to an ESPN article described Fisher as frustrated that FSU had not kept infrastructure improvements like other big-time college brands. Some people could say Taggart was doomed from the start. 

His 1-2 start in 2018 at a storied program like FSU probably didn’t help him.

In the current era of college football, how can someone be expected to build a program left in shambles?  FSU’s fan base began screaming on social media three games into Taggart’s first season for him to be fired. 

FSU had struggled with offensive line play before Jimbo left. They were left with no solid starter at quarterback in the model of what FSU has come to expect. In 2017 FSU had to quickly schedule a make-up game just to maintain their coveted streak of bowl game attendance. 

In 2017 under Fisher’s FSU offense, they managed an average of 351.9 yards per game while allowing 331.1 yards per game. In 2018 their offense averaged 360 yards per game. This year’s Seminole offense averages 393 yards a game. 

That is two straight years of offensive improvement, and one could argue in the last couple of weeks this team has found their long-needed leader in Cam Akers.

Taggart was faced with a complete rebuild after FSU was left at the altar by Fisher and they needed a scapegoat. That scapegoat was Willie Taggart. 

Remember the old saying Rome was not built in a day? FSU can’t rebuild an entire system in one year. In the end, FSU found their scapegoat for all that has gone wrong in the last three years. 

A man’s family has been uprooted, he has been robbed of his dream job and players are left again wondering what’s next  for the illustrious FSU to move past Jimbo and have someone else to blame for their shortcomings. 

Taggart deserved more than this. He deserved the respect of getting a fair chance to prove himself as coach.