Choose your own season (cont.)
You are: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher
This is it. You modeled your program after the one created by your old boss, and now here you are on Jan. 6 facing him for the national title. Sure, Nick Saban has won the past two championships and three of the last four, but you've been recruiting against him since you got to Tallahassee. You know your players are almost as good as his, and on the right night, they can be better. Besides, after you swiped his secondary coach and made him your defensive coordinator, these teams may as well be mirror images.
So you know what the storyline was for the past five weeks. The talent is similar. The advantage for the Crimson Tide is the guy wearing the polo shirt and the headset. But you know him. When you worked together at LSU, you learned how he thinks. You think you know what to attack. But it's up to your players to execute.
You watched Johnny Manziel run around against the Tide in Tuscaloosa and in College Station, and after a season keeping your star redshirt freshman quarterback on a leash, you decide to turn him loose. For the past month, you stopped yelling at Jameis Winston when he pulled the ball down and ran during practice. All season, you wanted him in the pocket running exactly what you called. Tonight, you want Famous Jameis dancing into the second level and wearing out those big linebackers.
It works. Winston rushes for 135 yards and three touchdowns, and you hang on for a 24-22 win. As you hold the crystal football, you look to the heavens and yell, "Florida State is back, baby!*"
(*Please note that Andy Staples did not utter those words. Imaginary Jimbo Fisher did.)
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