Column: No More Moral Victories for Florida State

Florida State is coming off its bye week with a 4-3 record.

Its last three games have been losses to current top-25 teams. For rational fans and pundits, this was a reasonable expectation through seven games.

Head coach Mike Norvell and the Noles had their chances to grab at least one of those three games, but the ball never bounced their way. While losing three games in a row is difficult after a 4-0 start, fans are clinging to some moral victories due to how competitive the Seminoles were in those contests.

Looking at the next five games, FSU should have high expectations as it is time to win now. Preseason expectations were about eight wins, and those expectations should be met. At this point in the season, there should be no more moral victories.

Next Five Games

  • vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 29)
  • at Miami (Nov. 5)
  • at No. 14 Syracuse (Nov. 12)
  • Louisiana (Nov. 19)
  • Florida (Nov. 25)

Next week’s contest with Georgia Tech should be a blowout in FSU’s favor. Not just a win, Florida State should exert its dominance over that program similar to how it did against Boston College earlier this season. Georgia Tech had a nationally televised tilt with Virginia on Thursday night, and it was probably the worst football game of the 2022 season.

Georgia Tech is currently under an interim coach, and most likely coming in with a backup. An underwhelming Virginia defense recorded seven sacks against the Yellow Jackets last week. Even if starting quarterback Jeff Sims plays, he will not be 100%; dominance should be expected.

Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida State quarterback Chris Wienke is the quarterbacks coach at Georgia Tech. As was the case during his playing career, fans in Tallahassee hope that Weinke will witness another FSU victory over the Yellow Jackets.

FSU will open November at rival Miami. We understand that in rivalry contests, anything can happen. Let’s also understand that the Hurricanes aren’t very good.

Former Florida State quarterback and current Middle Tennessee State head coach Rick Stockstill has already traveled down to Miami, had his team put up 500-plus yards, and had his team claim a win there. Miami is now coming off a 45-21 home loss to Duke. For FSU, this is another must-win situation. There can be no moral victories claimed if either of the next two games are a loss.

Many believe a mid-November trip to Syracuse will be FSU’s toughest remaining contest. Each game is different, and Syracuse hung very tough with Clemson on Saturday, but this is a team that struggled at home against Virginia not that long ago. If Florida State can contain running back Sean Tucker and force quarterback Garrett Shrader to win the game with his arm, it should have a chance to beat its first ranked team of the season.

Louisiana is a mediocre .500 team in the Sun Belt. It took a major drop-off when head coach Billy Napier left for Florida. Speaking of Florida, it has one common opponent with Florida State — LSU.

One team defeated LSU and the other didn’t. On Friday night, Nov. 25, Norvell and company have an opportunity to turn the tides in this rivalry. This should be a great football game.

Featured image courtesy of Florida State athletics

FSU fans, what are your thoughts on the last five games of the season? Is 8-4 still the goal? Let us know in the comments below.