Mike Norvell had a lot to prove going into the 2022 season, coming off a 5-7 campaign with a loss against Jacksonville State. However, I refused to believe Norvell was as bad as some had him ranked. I was sure he was a better coach than Mario Cristobal, Mack Brown, Jeff Haffley, and Scott Satterfield.
That’s why I thought it was ridiculous when one website ranked Mario Cristobal No. 3, Mack Brown No. 4, and Jeff Haffley No. 7, with Mike Norvell at No. 9 going into the 2022 season.
It’s funny how much a year can change the perception of things. I knew FSU was on the right trajectory in 2021 and was one of the first folks to predict FSU to win at least eight games in 2022. His circumstances were due to what he inherited more than what he lacked as a coach.
Of course, they exceeded everyone’s expectations with their first 10 win season since 2016 last year. It’s one reason Mike Norvell ascended up most recent coaching rankings recently. I placed him as the No. 3 head coach a few weeks ago. I read another website also has the same top three coaches recently, with Norvell at No. 3.
Mario Cristobal ranks No. 8 now, and Jeff Haffley is outside the top 10 after both failed to make bowl games last year.
It’s why it’s always best to do your homework and delve deep into things instead of relying on things like I hearing a guy’s an elite recruiter or a guy used to coach in the NFL. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney has had the top spot for nearly a decade, and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson has been No. 2 over the past couple of years but has a lot to prove after losing a ton of COVID super seniors and Sam Hartman at quarterback.
Mike Norvell has FSU positioned to make a run at their first ACC title since 2014. If he can do that, it’s only right to put him in the No. 1 spot going into the 2024 season.