Respect Not Lacking Between Houston And Florida State

ATLANTA, Ga.— It is almost here! The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is set to get going tomorrow at noon between Houston and Florida State.

As is usually the case this time of year, you almost forget that an actual game will be played between these two schools. It is the start of the “New Years Six” bowls that are set to start tomorrow.

These two programs seemingly couldn’t be further on from each other on the spectrum. The Seminoles are a national power, with national championships as past of their history. The Cougars have a little history with Bill Yeoman’s ‘triple veer’ offense and quarterback Andre Ware winning the Heisman Trophy.

That said, Florida State head coach isn’t taking Houston lightly.

“Good players can go anywhere,” Fisher said. “Everybody’s got good players. There’s so many great players out there in this country playing at all different levels of ball and different schools, whatever it is. This is a very athletic team. It’s a big team. They’re extremely well coached, disciplined on all three sides. They cause you problems in all three phases and they’re a great football team and very well deserving of being here. And again we’ll have to play our tails off to have success in the game.”

Houston is the underdog in this game, with Florida State favored by seven points. You would think that based off their record (12-1), wins over Temple/Navy/Louisville/Vanderbilt and a conference title that they would be the favorite.

Even though many are picking Florida State, Houston head coach Tom Herman isn’t upset with this being the case.

“I think we’re the underdog for a reason,” Herman said. “Let’s be honest. The last time I checked, we don’t have Jalen Ramsey on our team, and we don’t have Dalvin Cook on our team, and we don’t have four- and five-star recruits on our team. We don’t have first- round NFL draft picks on our team.”

Both of these head coaches have similar paths to the head coaching positions they occupy now. They were both offensive coordinators under huge name coaches. Fisher spent time with Nick Saban at LSU from 2000-04 and Herman was with Urban Meyer at Ohio State from 2012-14.

Herman is trying to build a program at Houston, while Fisher has already accomplished a lot at Florida State after taking over for legendary head coach Bobby Bowden. Fisher notices what Herman is trying to do at Houston and he agrees with his approach.

“I don’t think you ever stop teaching culture,” Fisher said. “I don’t think you ever stop teaching, because I think it evolves. I think you’re constantly looking for change. People change. Kids change. I mean, I don’t think you’re coaching the same kid you did five to 10 years ago.”

Herman started building his culture in January of this year, when he took over the program by locking the players out of the locker room. He wanted to weed out the mentally weak and truly find his team.

He also believes that he is teaching his players life lessons. For example, how to beat adversity.

“When faced with challenges, we train our guys how to respond rather than react,” Herman said. “And the word respond implies that you’re mindful that there’s thoughts involved in that, and that you revert back to the way that you’re trained and you revert back to the reasons that you play and the love that you have for the guy next to you.”

Tomorrow at noon, many of us will get to know Tom Herman’s Houston Cougars for the first time. At least here in the Southeast, we already know Fisher’s Seminoles.

One thing we can count on tomorrow in the Georgia Dome, is that both teams will be playing with a lot of effort.

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