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    Sunday, December 30, 2007

    Top 10 FSU Football Stories Of 2007

    My top FSU football stories and rankings:

    1. Academic fraud case

    Fans and alumni learned in September that FSU had self-reported to the NCAA an internal investigation into academic fraud involving grades and an online course.

    Initially only two FSU football players were said to be involved. In December, fans learned that 24 scholarship players would be suspended for the bowl game due to academic fraud or team rule violations.

    Those involved with the academic fraud will also be out for the first three games of the 2008 season.

    FSU is set to submit a report early in 2008 and await word from the NCAA regarding possible sanctions.

    2. Jimbo Fisher named coach in waiting

    With growing discontent among many in Seminole nation, FSU named offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher head coach in waiting.

    Faced with the likelihood that Fisher would be courted by other schools, FSU negotiated a contract that guaranteed Fisher the head job when Bobby Bowden retires.

    2 a. New Bobby Bowden contract

    Despite several years of mediocre records, FSU negotiated a contract with Bobby Bowden that substantially increased his salary—and will also award him $1 million when he retires.

    3. Fisher almost bolts for WVU

    Fisher was offered the head coaching position at West Virginia but decided to stay at FSU.

    The soap opera saw FSU president T.K. Wetherell email the press from Montana declaring that Fisher was going nowhere...while making numerous phone calls to Fisher urging him to stay.

    4. FSU beats Boston College

    The Noles traveled to Boston in November to take on the No. 2 Eagles and Heisman candidate Matt Ryan. FSU came away with a surprising 27-17 victory.

    5. FSU loses to Miami at home

    In defiance of all logic, the Noles managed to lose to a clearly less talented Miami team in Tallahassee 37-29. Miami scored 13 points in the last three minutes for the win.

    6. FSU loses to Florida for the fourth year in a row

    In a game that was never close, the Noles lost their fourth game in a row to the Gators by a score of 45-12. FSU did not score a TD in Gainesville.

    7. FSU beats Alabama

    In a bowl game atmosphere, FSU moved to 3-1 in beating Bama 21-14 in Jacksonville. Xavier Lee came off the bench to lead the Noles to victory.

    8. Dave Hart Leaves FSU

    After 13 years as FSU athletic director, Dave Hart was cut loose by school president T.K. Wetherell.

    Wetherell managed to get a dig in at Hart recently, saying that the academic fraud scandal was due to "a lack of oversight by athletic department officials, an inattentive faculty member, and a rogue tutor." Hart leaves his position effective Dec. 31. Happy New Year, Dave.

    9. FSU loses to Wake Forest for the second year in a row

    FSU was looking to avenge a 30-0 shutout by Wake in Tallahassee in 2006. Instead, the Noles played below their capabilities and lost 24-21.

    10. Gary Cismesia's 60-yard field goal

    In the one bright moment from the Florida game, kicker Gary Cismesia booted a 60-yard field goal to set an ACC and FSU record.

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