I caught up with former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke recently for Tuesday morning's story, and got his take on a few other subjects while I had him on the phone:
You helped Florida State to three straight national title games. How much do you think people take even one for granted right now? It seems like such unrealistic expectations to think one program can dominate the way Florida State used to, but you're part of the problem because you set that standard.
“The game has changed. The one thing I continue to reiterate to people is that there’s so much more parity in college football now. I was fortunate to be part of the string that we had 14 consecutive years where we were in the top four. If you look back, there were runs by certain programs when they had success on a consistent basis: USC had a run, back in the day Nebraska was always a top team. There were a number of teams that had success consistently over a period of time but you don’t seem to see that consistency anymore. ... It’s unheard of to think that there’s a team that’s going to play in three consecutive national championship games these days.”
As a former player, what's your take on all of the transition Florida State has gone through in recent years?
“I’m excited about where they’re at right now. I know that Jimbo Fisher and his staff have done a nice job recruiting. For me, it’s always hard -- it was tough to see coach Bowden leave, but I think that there’s a new sheriff in town and he’s doing a nice job, and I’m excited about the direction he’s taking the program.”
It’s amazing to look back on your career and think you even played football. You could have just pursued baseball.
“At the age of 23 I decided I missed football too much. It was either do it at that point in time, or that opportunity may pass me up. I took a chance. I was playing AAA baseball and one step away from the big leagues and I was still a young guy. But it was more important for me to go back to school, get my degree and hopefully get a chance to play football. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play football. I didn’t touch a football for seven years. So when I went back, it was challenging to say the least, but it made me work that much harder knowing that I had to to even catch up to the talent level we had there. I was blessed. I had a bunch of good guys around me. It’s always fun when you win.”