Maybe the head coach and the program that he has spent his adult life building deserved the benefit of the doubt, rather than the persistent questions and doubts that swirled around Dick Howser Stadium in the weeks and months leading up to the 2012 Florida State baseball season.
Questions about a brand new pitching coach and a weekend rotation that lost its Friday night starter to the first round of the MLB draft and aimed to replace him with two true freshmen
And doubts about a lineup that, outside of a few proven commodities, was short on experience and seemed to lack much in the way of firepower.
So perhaps it wasn’t totally unfair for Florida State to begin the season ranked at No. 20 – a long way down from the types of perches this program is used to. But the Seminoles took notice of it then. And they hadn’t forgotten about it come Sunday night, when the last out was recorded in their 18-7 win over Stanford that clinched FSU’s 21st College World Series appearance and third in five years.