Aug. 24—The Seminoles are coming into this year with a lot of promise. An arguable top 10 quarterback in college football is Jordan Travis and a number eight ranking in pre-season polls, is cause for early celebration from Florida State fans. Many are already talking about an ACC championship and a CFB playoff birth. And they should be. FSU is going to be very good this year.
However, there is something to be said about a highly ranked team that heads into the post season without being truly tested. Now, Florida State has one of the toughest and most anticipated week one match ups in the LSU Tigers, who they defeated by one point last year. But the buck stops there.
FSU plays just two teams ranked in the preseason top 25. That is partly due to them being a part of the ACC. The ACC may boast top programs like Clemson and NC State, but they also feature schools like Syracuse, Duke, and Boston College, who you can usually chalk up as an easy win.
The Seminoles will face challenges early. They open with a kickoff game in Orlando against number five LSU and in week four they will meet number nine ranked Clemson for an away game. Between those games they have a pair of easy wins against Southern Miss and Boston College. They follow up the Clemson game with matchups against Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Duke, Wake Forest, Pitt, Miami, UNA, and finally Florida.
That is a pretty favorable schedule. At least eight of those contests are easy wins. Add a couple of close wins over teams like Clemson and Florida and that could lead to a 10-2 Florida State team in the playoffs against battle hardened squads like Georgia and Alabama, who play much tougher SEC opponents.
This Florida State team could go 11-1. If Jordan Travis is the potential Heisman winner he's been touted as and the Noles secondary that everyone is raving about can hold down receivers, this could very well be Florida State's year.
However, if the Noles don't get into gear early, they could just as easily be 8-4. The obvious potential losses are LSU and Clemson, though an argument could be made for the Florida game. The games to look out for are the back-to-back ACC match ups with Pitt and Miami. Miami is a confusing team right now, They could be a top 15 team or could fall off the face of the Earth this season. It's really unpredictable. But if the Canes do put it together, the Seminoles need to be prepared. That's why facing Pitt in week nine could be a trap game for the Noles.
Nine out of ten times Florida State beats Pitt this year. But, if Miami is good the season, the Seminoles could let themselves look past Pitt and that is a bad situation. Do not underestimate this Pitt squad at home. Last season they were able to stomp Miami at Miami and then squeaked out a win over UCLA in the Sun Bowl. They are not to be overlooked and if the Noles do choose to look past the Panthers, they could find themselves on a long plane ride home.
Having to face a good Miami team after a loss to Pitt could spell doom for the Noles. Granted, this all depends on Miami putting it together this year, which, as said before, is completely unpredictable right now.
With all of that said, Florida State does look to be a 10-2 or 11-1 team this year. But, could a weak schedule be their undoing? Back in 2016, Washington cruised through the Pac-12 and finished 12-1 only to get stomped by Alabama in the playoffs. After an undefeated 2021 season, the Cincinnati Bearcats championship dreams were crushed by Alabama, once again. There is a history of good regular season teams with weak schedules making it to the playoffs only to be crushed by a superior opponent. When you get to the college football playoffs, your record doesn't matter.
Could Florida State be one of those teams or will this be the year that the Noles will claim championship glory? In this writers opinion, Florida State will likely go 10-2 but they may not be able to get past a team like Georgia.