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Florida State Football: James Coley's Defection Should Make Noles Fear the Canes

As if the rivalry didn't need fuel for the fire, FSU OC James Coley has been hired to the same position by Miami.
As if the rivalry didn't need fuel for the fire, FSU OC James Coley has been hired to the same position by Miami.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Austyn HumphreyCorrespondent IIIJanuary 24, 2013

Keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer.

A caveat to that saying: keep turncoats the closest.

With the news that James Coley has returned to his old stomping grounds in Miami, Florida State's chances to repeat as ACC champions seem to be getting slimmer. This is not to hate on Coley, who had the chance to go back home, or on Miami coach Al Golden, who wanted to provide Coley with more play-calling duties. But this is concerning.

The Seminoles already have to face a deadly Clemson passing offense on the road—a game the 'Noles could (and I'd say likely will) easily lose. The FSU-Clemson game has always been critical in the Atlantic Division, but last year proved that point like never before. Both the Seminoles and Tigers finished 7-1 in ACC play, so a loss would risk landing FSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

But a loss to Miami—even in Doak Campbell Stadium—seems likely. Coley, who has recruited many of the Seminoles' starters, knows their strengths and weaknesses. Whoever FSU's starting quarterback may be, Coley will have seen him in practice. Clint Trickett, who can be a threat through the air, and Jameis Winston, who can be dangerous on the ground, will have to spice things up to make sure the Hurricanes don't pull the upset.

Perhaps this will finally cause Jimbo Fisher to go rogue with his offensive play-calling. Since Coley knows all of Coach Fisher's tricks, it would be the logical decision to spruce up the offense—or at least put in a few wrinkles.

Honestly, this news might signal Winston's best opportunity to start next year. Having a dual-threat quarterback might be the only thing preventing consecutive losses to the Seminoles' in-state rivals.

Jimbo needs to get out the playbook, no matter what. If not, he's risking a Clemson-Miami ACC Championship.

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