Is Florida State back? This season is likely to provide the answer.
Jimbo Fisher, 31-10 in three seasons at Tallahassee, guided the team to the Atlantic Coast Conference title last season and a 31-10 mauling of Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. There is no shortage of momentum after a 12-2 season, but the Seminoles lost 13 starters, including seven NFL draft picks on defense.
Now if Florida State can simply reload instead of rebuild, the answer is yes, this team is back.
It's an interesting schedule, beginning with a Monday night opener (Sept. 2) at Pittsburgh. There's a huge midseason trip to Clemson (Oct. 19) and a visit from Miami (Nov. 2). And don't forget the season-ending game at Florida (Nov. 30).
Poster designed by Old Hat Creative. Click the image to enlarge. Thanks to Jason.
Expectations are soaring at Florida State, which opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday against Wake Forest. Then comes the Sept. 22 showdown against Clemson. The first road game is Sept. 29 at South Florida.
Two lessons learned in the past week. Realignment is far from over and bigger is not always better.
First, realignment. The latest scuttlebutt has Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference taking an interest in joining the Big 12. As usual, the Seminoles' curiosity starts and ends with money.
Chip Brown of Orangebloods first reported on possible benefits to Florida State last Wednesday after the ACC announced it had reached a new 15-year, $3.6 billion TV deal with ESPN. That pact will last until 2027 and was said to be worth $240 annually to the conference, or $17.14 million per school. At first glance, it sounds like a terrific score, up from the approximate $13 million each school was receiving in the current TV deal.
But Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports! reported that the agreement is actually backloaded and the initial bump in revenue is around $1 million per school. The additional $4 million wouldn't be realized until 2021.
A surveillance video showing a brawl between Florida State and Florida fans has been released by the University of Florida. The melee took place on the sixth floor of skyboxes at Ben Hill Stadium after the Seminoles' 21-7 victory on Nov. 26. Keep an eye on the top of the screen, just outside the elevators.
Remember when hiring a coach in waiting was all the rage? It didn't work out at most places, but in Tallahassee, the coach in waiting program appears to be a smashing success. Jimbo Fisher's first season in relief of the legendary Bobby Bowden resulted in Florida State winning 10 games. Now the Seminoles are poised to return to elite status, beginning this fall. But looming large on the schedule is a Sept. 17 home game against Oklahoma.