Schoffel: UNC game offers FSU golden opportunity, plus view into future
When the ACC's reconfigured 2020 football schedules were unveiled back in August, many Florida State fans liked the way things set up for Florida State.
I personally looked at the 11-game slate and broke it up into three separate segments: The first three games, the next four games, and the final four. And what I liked about the schedule was that it gave the Seminoles a chance to start and finish strong.
The first three games -- home dates with Georgia Tech and Jacksonville State and a road trip to Miami -- appeared to set up nicely for Mike Norvell to get off to a 2-1 start to his tenure in Tallahassee.
The next four games looked like the toughest stretch by far, with road trips to Notre Dame and Louisville as well as home games against North Carolina and Pittsburgh. I figured the 'Noles would go 1-3 or maybe 2-2 in those contests.
Then came the final four -- home dates with Clemson and Virginia, and road trips to N.C. State and Duke. With the exception of Clemson, I liked the Seminoles' chances in all of those games. So if everything played out as expected, I thought the 'Noles would finish somewhere around 7-4 this season, with 6-5 and 8-3 being distinct possibilities.
Now that we have seen the first four games of this season actually take place, the idea of going 7-4 obviously seems like fantasy. But is 6-5 out of the question? And how disappointing has the start to this season really been, compared to what we might have expected back in August?
If we look at it objectively, the only unforeseen setback was that season-opening loss to Georgia Tech. No one expected Florida State to pull off the upset at No. 5 Notre Dame, and the Miami game was always going to be a bit of a longshot.
So while 1-3 is definitely not what Norvell or anyone around the Florida State football program was hoping for, it's not as if this team has fallen far short of expectations. Not when you consider that Florida State's odds for success in these first four or five games were not very good in the first place.
That will be important to remember tonight when No. 5 North Carolina comes to town (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
I actually think the Seminoles have a chance to play very well in this game. No, I'm not suggesting the FSU defense is going to rise up and shut down Sam Howell, Michael Carter and company. That's a really good UNC offense, and Florida State's defense is really not good.
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