It never changed. Miami may have been the thorn in his side, but Florida was his focus. He knew it was the benchmark by which Seminole fans measure a successful season.
Seems like a million years ago, that rallying cry Bobby made in 1976. And Jimbo has done his best to shift the program into warp speed, jettisoning much of the old baggage along the way. The majority of us have made the transition -- happily or grudgingly -- to the Fisher era.
But one thing we didn't leave behind was a flat-out, deep-in-the-gut conviction that a win over the gators was Job no. 1 for the Noles.
So does it bother you when Jimbo says, “It’s another big game; it’s the next game, a rivalry game, but at the end of the day it’s one win (or) one less and has implications”?
To be fair, he added, ”It is a big game, but you have to play the game."
Okay, no argument there. But did he have to throw in the next comment?
"You can’t get caught up in what games mean."
Huh? This game has always been about meaning. Nothing but. It means being on par with an in-state rival that had a half century head start on playing football. It means wearing your fan gear with pride and a little attitude for 365 days.
It's pretty clear what Jimbo's doing: motivating his team to play within the system, with each guy focused on doing his job. It's his process over passion. Playing smart instead of with your hair on fire.
The Miami game appears to be a good example: Steely-eyed confidence and a relentless killer instinct from start to finish.
If it works, we'll be the first to applaud his tweaking of tactics versus rivals. And hopefully, deep down Jimbo totally knows what this game means to Florida State fans. As well as how it impacts his first year report card, recruiting, 2011 season ticket sales and reassurance that he was the right guy at the right time.