The Florida State football schedule presents its usual challenges but is there enough wins for Mike Novell’s team to make it back to a bowl game in his third season in Tallahassee?
This is an incredibly important season for Mike Norvell in his third year leading the Florida State football program.
With in-state rivals Florida and Miami making big changes at head coach in hiring Billy Napier and Mario Cristobal respectively, this is without question a prove-it year for Norvell. There are no excuses left. Florida State has to achieve bowl eligibility this fall or Norvell will get the ax. While the 2021 Seminoles were one win shy of doing so in 2021, getting very close does not count.
Here is what Florida State will have to work through to hopefully achieve bowl eligibility in 2022.
Florida State football schedule 2022: Game-by-game prediction
- Aug. 27: vs. Duquesne Dukes — W
- Sept. 4: vs. LSU Tigers (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA) — L
- Nov. 19: vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns — W
- Nov. 26: vs. Florida Gators — W
These are the only four games with official dates because the ACC schedule has not been finalized.
- TBD: vs. Boston College Eagles — W
- TBD: vs. Clemson Tigers — L
- TBD: vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets — W
- TBD: vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons — L
- TBD: at Louisville Cardinals (Louisville, KY) — L
- TBD: at Miami Hurricanes (Miami Gardens, FL) — L
- TBD: at North Carolina State Wolfpack (Raleigh, NC) — L
- TBD: at Syracuse Orange (Syracuse, NY) — W
Early record prediction: 6-6
For Florida State to achieve bowl eligibility, the Seminoles need to go 3-1 in the non-conference and 3-5 in ACC play. That sounds simple enough, right? Well, wins have not come easy for Florida State since Jimbo Fisher left Tallahassee. Norvell may have won prolifically at Memphis, but if he cannot get his team to a bowl game in year three at Florida State in a weak ACC, he needs to go.
Of the four non-conference games, Florida State should beat Duquesne and Louisiana at home, plain and simple. If the Seminoles give the college football world another Jacksonville State meltdown, Norvell will have sealed his fate. If they split the pair between two rebuilding SEC teams in LSU (in Atlanta) and Florida in Gainesville, Florida State has a shot to get to a bowl.
No wins are guaranteed, but the easiest home game the Seminoles draw is lackluster Georgia Tech. The easiest road date will be at Syracuse. If Florida State wins both of those and goes 3-1 in the non-conference, all it takes is one more game to get to 6-6. The question remains if there is a sixth win on the schedule or a third one in ACC play if the ‘Noles drop one in the non-conference.
Florida State is not beating Clemson at home, just like the Seminoles are not beating North Carolina State in Raleigh. They could beat Boston College or Wake Forest at home, but probably not both. As far as the two other road games, they could beat Miami in Coral Gables because it is a rivalry game, but do not count on it. The road date at Louisville is a tad more likely to happen.
So if Florida State beats Duquesne and Louisiana as it should, but falls to LSU, the Seminoles need three wins in ACC play to set up a win-and-get-in scenario at home vs. Florida. For the sake of simplicity, the Seminoles beat the Ramblin’ Wreck at home and handle Syracuse on the road. They split the two between Wake Forest and Boston College, but fall to Miami and Louisville.
Overall, Florida State’s ceiling this season is somewhere around 8-4. The Seminoles would need to go 4-0 in the non-conference and take care of business with Florida and LSU being led by new coaches. In ACC play, Florida State beats Georgia Tech and either Boston College or Wake Forest at home. On the road, they beat Syracuse and either Miami or Louisville, but not both rival schools.
As far as a floor, there is a chance this is a 3-9 team with only wins over Duquesne, Georgia Tech and Louisiana. Ultimately, Florida State is somewhere in the 5-7 to 7-5 range again this year, with it being more likely than not the Seminoles finish below .500 than they do getting over it. 5.5 wins feels like the right amount for an over/under futures bet, if you are into that sort of thing.
Even if Florida State does go bowling, that may not be enough for Norvell to get a fourth year.