One critique Florida State won't have to worry about in 2014 is playing a soft schedule.
With the full release of FSU's schedule by the ACC on Wednesday afternoon, the defending national champions can boast a strong lineup of opponents and big moments. And if FSU can navigate the road without a loss, the Seminoles can both open and close the season in Jerry Jones' football palace in Arlington, Texas, playing Oklahoma State there in the opener and potentially playing fora national title in the same building.
But FSU will have a long way to go. Warchant.com takes a look at the complete schedule after its release:
FSU vs. Oklahoma State
Saturday, Aug. 30, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
For the first time since Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach at FSU, the Seminoles open the season with a big-name opponent in Oklahoma State, playing the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
FSU has a long history of playing big-time season openers under Bobby Bowden. From 1988 until Bowden's retirement in 2009, FSU opened the season with a ranked opponent seven times. FSU was 5-2 in those games, including historic contests like FSU's 14-7 win at Southern Cal in 1997, a 23-14 win against Texas A&M in 1988, and a series of close games against Miami.
Fisher stuck to FBS opponents for his first three years at the helm, but in 2013 he took a redshirt freshman quarterback named Jameis Winston to Pittsburgh on Monday night to open the slate. That worked out pretty well, so it's worth seeing if FSU can go even bigger in 2014. Oklahoma State will likely face questions about how many players it lost to the draft. Florida State likely will also, but having the Heisman trophy winner on the defending national title team will probably make FSU the favorite.
Notre Dame at Florida State
Saturday, Oct. 18, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fl
Welcome to the ACC - kind of - for Notre Dame, as the Irish get the best the conference has to offer in the first year of their limited five-game ACC slate after partially joining the league.
This game has more than a bit of history as FSU and Notre Dame have met a few times - almost always in big moments. FSU holds a 5-2 advantage in the series, including an 18-14 win in the 2011 Champs Sports bowl. But the last time the Irish visited Tallahasee, in 2002, they came away with a 34-24 win.
Notre Dame went 9-4 in 2013, but is losing its top two quarterbacks, its best wide receiver and its leading two tacklers to graduation.
FSU's old bugaboo also returns: Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. The Seminoles are 2-4 against the Wolfpack on the road since 2000 and have lost their last two contests in Raleigh. N.C. State was dreadful in 2013 and appears to still be rebuilding under second-year coach Dave Doeren. Can N.C. State continue its role as spoiler for FSU?
Florida at Florida State
Nov. 29, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahasee, Fla.
Florida's season spiraled into chaos and malcontent in 2013, and by the time the Seminole juggernaut came to Gainesville, the two teams were on opposite ends of the football world. After a 4-8 season, UF fired its offensive coordinator and brought in Curt Roper from Duke to turn things around. Even after losing a few recruiting battles, it's hard to imagine UF would be down two years in a row. And even a 4-8 Gator team was able to hang with Florida State for longer than most.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!