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Clark: This could be defining moment for Taggart, FSU football

I've always appreciated and admired how former Buffalo Bills coach Mary Levy answered a question about his football team being in a "must-win" situation.

"This is not a must-win," he said. "World War II was a must-win."

Amen, Marv! That was one we had to have. Those brave youngters came back to the United States with two huge road victories.

Florida State is just going to Charlottesville, Va., to play a football game. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. It's not life or death, right?

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Willie Taggart has the biggest game of his career on deck this Saturday in Charlottesville.
Willie Taggart has the biggest game of his career on deck this Saturday in Charlottesville. (Associated Press)

At the same time, this weekend's ACC opener feels like it might end up being the game that decides the fate of head coach Willie Taggart. So in that regard, it could very well be a must-win.

Don't misunderstand me: If FSU goes up there and loses, I think he'll be allowed back on the plane. He's not getting fired Kiffin-style -- and certainly not this soon.

But here's why this is such a big game, in my opinion. Because after watching what we watched on Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, I think we can all agree there's is a chance the Seminoles will get blown out by the No. 25 Cavaliers.

And if that happens, there's most certainly a chance -- probably a good one -- that the season flies completely off the rails. I just haven't seen enough from players on this roster to assume that they can shake off an embarrassing loss and then bounce back the following week and play inspired football.

Last year, they finished the season with four losses in five games. The average margin of defeat? 31 points. They weren't competitive. In any of them.

If that happens again, if Florida State goes on the road and gets torched in Game 3 for a second straight season, it's going to become harder and harder for the players to believe in the direction of this program. And if they don't believe -- and right now, they have no definitive proof things are getting better; just words -- then that's when seasons can completely fall apart.

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