VIDEO: Five Takeaways From the Orange Bowl Coaches Press Conference

By  //  December 30, 2016

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Noles enter contest winning six of seven

ABOVE VIDEO: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Thursday to preview Friday’s matchup between the Seminoles and Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Thursday to preview Friday’s matchup between the Seminoles and Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Here are highlights from those conversations.

1) Fisher wants a strong finish to a hot second half

The Seminoles enjoyed a torrid November, in which they won four straight games on their way to a 9-3 record and a surprising berth in the Orange Bowl. Fisher said Thursday that reaching the Orange Bowl is a testament to this team’s resolve after it started 3-2, and that he believes it will one day be revered for the way it persevered through early adversity.

With that in mind, however, Fisher also knows a strong finish half will be truly validated with a win in the Orange Bowl.

“Our seniors,” Fisher said, “did a great job of keeping those (young) kids (focused) and our young guys did a great job of allowing us to coach them, develop them, push them, and then really established a great football down the stretch in which we played. Very proud of those guys, and this is where we ended up.

“Now,” he continued, “the key is you’ve got to finish. We always want to finish on a great note. We’ve got to go play well.”

ABOVE VIDEO: Michigan VS. FSU (Orange Bowl Hype Video)

2) No such thing as a ‘meaningless’ bowl

The College Football Playoff era has led to wide discussion about the place of bowl games in college football. Particularly about how, with so much focus on the playoff games, other bowls that enjoy a rich history might perhaps now feel second-rate in comparison.

Fisher warned against that dynamic before the CFP began in 2014, and he was asked about it again on Thursday:

“I think that’s what the media has created a little bit,” Fisher said. “You guys act like it’s playoff or nothing. You win 10, 11 games, beat your rivals, go play an Orange Bowl or a Sugar Bowl or a Cotton Bowl or the Russell Athletic Bowl and all those games all matter. What is wrong with that?”

WATCH SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily Sport Shorts With Alan ZlotorzynskiRelated Story:
WATCH SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily Sport Shorts With Alan Zlotorzynski

Fisher expects his team, which began the year with playoff aspirations, to have no trouble with motivation when it meets Michigan.

“If you’re keeping score, it’s not meaningless,” he said. “You play your tails off. It’s competition. That’s your job. That’s what you’re supposed to do. There’s no such thing as meaningless bowl games.”

Michigan’s Harbaugh echoed that sentiment.

“Michael Jordan said he liked basketball, like eating ice cream. He wanted to do it every day,” Harbaugh said. “That resonates with me. That having an opportunity to play and coach the game you love, it’s as good as it gets.”

ABOVE VIDEO: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media Thursday to preview Friday’s matchup between the Seminoles and Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

3) No changes to bowl approach

Florida State has lost its last two bowl games, which led to questions about whether Fisher considered changing his usual regimen for bowl preparations.

But Fisher was quick to remind that, before the current skid, the Seminoles had won the first four bowl games of his tenure. And that the last two losses were largely a result of turnovers (against Oregon in the 2015 Rose Bowl) and an injury to starting quarterback Sean Maguire (in the 2015 Peach Bowl).

“You don’t panic and change everything,” Fisher said. “There’s tweaks and turns every year, but the constant of what we do and how we do things is very similar, because we believe in what we do. You’ve got to go out there and play and play good teams. The first four we won were all magical.”

4) Cook’s legacy secure

Dalvin Cook has yet to decide on his professional future, and Fisher noted that, should Cook decide to return for his senior season, he could finish as one of the four or five best running backs in college football history.

But regardless of where Cook’s road leads, Fisher reiterated Thursday that his place both in college football and among the greats to play at FSU is firmly established.

“He’s one of the greatest players to play at Florida State,” Fisher said. “And one of the great backs.”

Cook’s talent, Fisher said, is obvious to anyone who has watched him play. What might not be so immediately apparent, though, is the way he leads his teammates through his work ethic away from the field.

“A lot of guys like to play, not a lot of guys like to go run, train, watch film, do all those things. He does,” Fisher said. “I mean, he’s a workaholic. He’s a gym rat. (Other players) can say, ‘Wait a minute, our best player is out there doing extra sprints, doing extra running, doing extra film. It’s hard for me not to do that.’

“And I think he had a huge impact in that regard on our team.”

VIDEO: Led By QB Brad Kaaya, Miami Hurricanes Defeat No. 16 West Virginia 31-14 In OrlandoRelated Story:
VIDEO: Led By QB Brad Kaaya, Miami Hurricanes Defeat No. 16 West Virginia 31-14 In Orlando

5) Unusual questions for Harbaugh

Harbaugh, in his second year at Michigan, has earned a national reputation for his quirky personality and the way he deals with the media.

Thursday’s press conference began in a fairly tame fashion, with run-of-the-mill football questions followed by brief answers.

Then things took a turn when a reporter asked Harbaugh for his thoughts on, well, citrus.

CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY SPORTS


Click here to contribute your news or announcements Free