Monday, December 4, 2017

December 04, 2017
As many know, this morning I heard from a single source that Florida State would be naming their head coach at 3:00 EST. Now, that was unverified at the time which I made sure to say. No one else had heard of any such thing. Press conferences take time to set up and had there been one, there is reason to believe others would have known.

But the source was only partially correct. As the morning turned to afternoon, a bit clearer picture began to develop. The timing was similar, it was just what was taking place was far different. To be clear, this source would have direct knowledge of coaches and players, with some access to both sides of the battle for Taggart.

The three o'clock time was about the time Taggart was expected to meet with Florida State brass about their opening. To the best of my knowledge, that meeting took place as expected. As the day wore on, it seemed emotions went back and forth as to what was going to happen. Some thought the meeting was a sure sign of an offer, while others believed that Oregon had a legitimate shot of staving off the suitor.

There is a little of both. Another source told me over a month ago that if Taggart was offered the Florida State job, he felt Taggart would jump. But that is not entirely true as many of the obstacles that were in place for Jimbo Fisher were still there. In addition, Florida State is not solely focused on Taggart. He is still someone that they are very interested in and they could present him an offer he cannot refuse, but they will still be sure that they have looked at all viable candidates.

Here is where it gets tricky. Taggart was in Arizona recruiting this morning - so that tweet about being headed to Tallahassee; false. The flight plan that some surmised was Taggart's family on their way to Florida? Also false. In fact, I was told that the family was exactly where you would expect them to be, in Eugene, at home, kids in school, life as normal.

Contrary to some thoughts, this is the first meeting between Taggart and Florida State. I still heard from multiple sources that Jimmy Sexton was in Tallahassee for the last week, so he has definitely been working on Taggart's behalf, but this first meeting is really just to listen and hear what Florida State officials have to say. The Oregon athletic department is well aware of Taggart's meeting with Florida State; but have asked that he give them a call after the meeting. It is a chance for Oregon to know what they need to do to keep Taggart on board. Make no mistake, that is absolutely their number one goal. Do Mullens and the rest of the decision makers have a contingency plan (or two)? Yes. But plan A is keep Taggart.

Here will be the key. Tonight. Taggart is set to meet with Miles Battle in Houston with Marcus Arroyo. That planned meeting could be the tell-tale sign one way or another. One of the sources I spoke with today believed that if Taggart made the trip, it was almost a lock he would be coming back to Oregon; and if he cancelled? That would be the bad news Oregon fans have been dreading.

Based on late intel from Florida State insiders that 'no deal is done and that negotiations have broken off' it would seem to indicate that any numbers prior to his meeting were, at best, a very very loose framework. Certainly there was no 'done deal' waiting for a rubber stamp.

Pay attention to Willie's travels tonight. If he keeps his pre-planned appointment tonight, that is about the best news Duck fans can hope for at this point in time.