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Since becoming the head coach at Florida State, Jimbo Fisher has attempted to return the home field advantage to Doak Campbell Stadium that made it one of the most feared venues in all off college football in the 1990s.
In Fisher's first two seasons the Seminoles are 11-3 in Tallahassee, including 5-2 last season. FSU lost to Oklahoma 23-13 in front a raucous record crowd of 84,392 fans. FSU also fell to Virginia 14-13 in front of 77,178 fans. It was the first time in nine tries that the Cavaliers were victorious in Tallahassee.
Over the past seven seasons FSU is 31-16 at Doak Campbell Stadium, and 19-11 in ACC home games.
The Seminoles were in each of their home field losses last season as UVA won on a missed field goal as time expired and OU, then ranked No. 1, took the lead with seven minutes left in the game.
FSU's 2012 home slate lends itself to what should be another season of one or two losses, at the most, in Doak. The first four games of the season are in Tallahassee starting with two gimmies in Murray State and Savannah State.
The final two home games of September feature a pair of conference opponents who handed FSU road losses last season. First up is Wake Forest on September 15. A healthy FSU squad should be able to handle the Demon Deacons with ease.
The highlight of the home schedule comes on September 24 when the defending ACC Champion Clemson Tigers come to Tallahassee. The match up is the only true toss up of the home schedule. Clemson has a bevy of offensive weapons but its defense was abysmal to say the least to end the season in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia. Because of the depth the Seminoles have on the defensive side of the ball, if the offense can get things rolling early in the year, FSU should be favored against their Atlantic Division rivals.
Visits by lowly Boston College (October 13) and Duke (October 27) round out the home ACC Schedule. The Florida Gators come to Tallahassee on November 24, and unless they make a dramatic turnaround on the offensive side of the ball FSU should make it two in row against UF in Tallahassee, after dropping three straight prior to 2010.
While the less than impressive home schedule will likely help FSU with it's record at home, it will likely hurt it at the box office. With four home games in September, including two against FCS opponents, coupled with a game against South Florida in Tampa, it's unlikely that the Seminole faithful will pack the stadium for all four games early in the season.
After a promising 2010 campaign that featured an ACC Championship game appearance, capped off by a win over South Carolina in the Chic-fil-A Bowl for a 10-win season, ticket sales were up in 2011.
The average attendance at Doak was the highest since 2008 with an average of 77,842 fans per game. Ticket sales are still down after the disappointment of the early 2000s, but FSU did make significant jump last season with attendance up nearly an average of 6,000 fans per game
With a weak home schedule this season, not to mention away games in both Tampa and Miami, FSU could see a drop in average attendance in 2012. Of course if FSU doesn't trip up early in the year and remains in the top 10 of the polls, then there will be a likely attendance boost for the final three home games.
Seven-year breakdown of FSU home field advantage
Win-loss record: 5-2
Average attendance: 77,842
Win-loss record: 6-1
Average attendance: 71,270
Win-loss record: 3-3
Average attendance: 74,344
Win-loss record: 4-2*
Average attendance: 77,968
Win-loss record: 4-1*
Average attendance: 80,597
Win-loss record: 4-4
Average attendance: 80,532
Win-loss record: 5-1
Average attendance: 82,724
* Florida State played neutral site games in Jacksonville in these years.
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