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October 4, 2012

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher pleased with eight-game ACC slate

During the Atlantic Coast Conference Kickoff in July, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher called the league's plan to play nine conference games in 2013 a "tough scenario."

The situation isn't so tough anymore.

In light of Notre Dame playing games against five ACC teams annually, the ACC will revert back to a eight-game conference schedule for next season, the league announced Wednesday.

"I was a proponent of the eight-game deal in the first place," Fisher said.

Since FSU, Clemson and Georgia Tech all have annual rivalry games outside of the league, head coaches of all three teams said that the proposed nine-game ACC slate plus the rivalry game hampered their ability to schedule out of conference.

The eight-game schedule means that Florida State will play six games against ACC Atlantic foes (Clemson, Maryland, Boston College, Wake Forest, N.C. State and Syracuse), its permanent Coastal Division rival (Miami) along with one other rotating ACC Coastal opponent.

For every ACC team, the move also means another opening on the 2013 schedule. Florida and FCS opponent Wofford are installed on the Seminoles' slate along with Nevada, which has publicly stated its desire to get out of the 2013 game. However, Warchant.com reported last month that due to the financial consequences of a full cancellation, Nevada would need to find a replacement that FSU finds suitable to opt out of the contract without the $600,000 penalty.

Even if Nevada remains, FSU will have to find another team to fill the vacancy left by what was expected to be a ninth ACC game.

"It's going to put a lot of teams scrambling here quickly for teams not already booked up for games," Fisher said. "But I think it's a good thing as far as how you can structure a schedule and some of the things it can give you freedom to do on the (outside of the conference) ... I think it's a good thing, now you have to figure out the schedule part of it."

The Hampton Roads (Va.) Daily Press reported Thursday that because of the short-term scheduling concerns, Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver is open to playing another ACC team as a non-conference opponent in 2013.

Fisher said it remains important for Florida State to have seven home games for financial reasons, but he conceded that the loss of the extra ACC game could provide options like neutral site games down the road. He even singled out the possibility of playing in season-opening kickoff games.

"I think it frees you up whether you want to play more national games, more series or different things," Fisher said. "You still have to be careful about playing enough home games to pay your bills. But you can still play a much different kind of schedule and I think that's a good thing."

FSU Athletic Director Randy Spetman didn't outline any details on the plans for FSU's vacancy in 2013 on Wednesday.

"The change in the ACC's schedule plans obviously happened very quickly over the last few days," FSU Athletic Director Randy Spetman said in a release on Wednesday. "We are immediately assessing what that will mean for Florida State but speculating about potential opponents is premature right now. It is particularly difficult to plan too far in the future without knowing where and when Notre Dame is going to fit into schedules."

Notables

  • Fisher said that Menelik Watson is cleared to play and should be ready to go for Saturday. He had split first-team reps with backup right tackle Daniel Glauser in practice on Thursday.

  • The only addition to the injury list was reserve offensive lineman Trey Pettis, who is out with concussion like symptoms.

    Quotable

    "They've been in practice with us. They've been in practice with (Rick) Trickett. They are in a hostile environment every day. They'll be fine."

    - FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on four of his five offensive lineman playing in thier first hostile road environment.



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