The Daily Nole

FSU Football: How Coaches Have Historically Fared Through Three Games

Damon Herota/FSU athletics

For Florida State fans, it’s may seem like the sky is falling. Few may recall a time when they felt worse about their team through three games as the Seminoles get to set to play what amounts to a must-win against Northern Illinois on Saturday.

The offensive line’s struggles have been well-documented here and elsewhere, but first-year head coach Willie Taggart is feeling some early-season pressure after developing plenty of goodwill in the offseason. Although the circumstances for each of the previous nine full-time head coaches for the Seminoles varied, Taggart’s start is a far cry from historically bad.

Here’s a look at how the coaches before him fared:

Of 10 head coaches at Florida State, Taggart is the sixth to have a losing record through three games. Ed Williamson, who coached in FSU’s first year of football, Darrell Mudra and the legendary Bobby Bowden were all 0-3. Bowden was taking over a program that had won just four total games in three prior years.

Only Larry Jones, who would finish 15-19 during his 3-year tenure, won his first three games. When looking at the scoring margin through three games, only Williamson, Bowden and Mudra fared worse than Taggart.

As mentioned before in the article, the numbers through three games aren’t an indicator of success to come and there is plenty of nuance involved. Williamson led a program that was starting from scratch, Jones took over for a successful Bill Peterson, Bowden took over for an unsuccessful Mudra and Jimbo Fisher revived an FSU program in decline under Bowden.

There’s been plenty of debate as to how full or bare the cupboard left for Taggart was, but the terribly disappointing start isn’t uncharted territory nor is it the end of the program as we know it. What is concerning is that FSU appears to be in real trouble when it comes to preserving the nation’s longest bowl streak and the streak of 41 consecutive seasons. Regardless of what he inherited, this is Taggart’s mess to fix.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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