MIAMI GARDENS -- EJ Manuel's career was one of high expectations, so it's natural that because Florida State didn't win a national championship that there would be criticism.
Florida State players -- especially the seniors -- felt that this was their year. A season that could end in Miami, playing for a national championship. The stunning road loss against N.C. State ended that hope.
But Florida State's season did end in Miami, instead winning a BCS bowl game by pulling away in the second half with a 31-10 win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.
Manuel's career won't include a national title or a Heisman Trophy, something both Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke both earned.
But Manuel's name is right up there in the second tier of Florida State quarterbacks. Where exactly is up for debate forever in fans who will argue if Manuel was better than Casey Weldon or Danny Kanell or any of the others.
"EJ is the epitome of what you want in a player, in a leader, in a person, in a st...