How it started… how it’s going.
During the offseason, many individuals in the mainstream media as well as some of the fanbase seemed to doubt Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell and his team going into his third season in Tallahassee. However, Coach Norvell and company proved the doubters wrong as they went on to achieve a 10-win season for the first time since 2016.
The culture in Tallahassee has changed for the better. According to an article from Sports Media Watch, the Cheez-It Bowl matchup featuring Florida State and Oklahoma averaged 5.4 million viewers on ESPN, which was the largest audience of any bowl game thus far this season.
But the national consensus seems to believe that bowl games are meaningless.
However, the Cheez-It Bowl matchup did not seem meaningless as Florida State thrillingly defeated the Oklahoma Sooners by a score of 35-32 in front of 61,520 fans. After the contest concluded, many Seminole fans immediately became excited about the upcoming 2023 season, given that Florida State had many impactful offensive starters returning, including Cheez-It Bowl MVP QB Jordan Travis.
The defensive side of the football had a few question marks in terms of returning production. Even though Florida State redshirt junior defensive back Jammie Robinson made his intentions known at 11:59 PM on New Year’s Eve that he will be declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seminoles received wonderful news on Sunday morning that redshirt junior defensive tackle Fabien Lovett Sr. will be returning to FSU in 2023 for his senior season. At this moment in time, redshirt sophomore defensive end Jared Verse is still debating whether or not to return to FSU in 2023 or declare for the NFL Draft.
Potential ACC Champions in 2023?
Could 2023 be the year that the Seminoles challenge the Clemson Tigers in the upper echelon of the Atlantic Coast Conference?
The Florida State Seminoles have not won the conference since 2014 and have not beaten the Tigers since 2014 when a Jameis Winston-less-led team defeated them in overtime by a score of 23-17 in a packed-out Doak Campbell Stadium. But Florida State has kept it respectable in terms of margins of defeats in the last two meetings. They lost by a score of 30-20 in 2021 and lost 34-28 in 2022. However, Clemson has won the ACC seven out of the last eight years, but it is worth noting that the Tigers have not been in the College Football Playoff in the past three seasons.
Clemson lost to the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday night in the Capital One Orange Bowl by a score of 31-14 despite out-gaining the Volunteers 484-375. Question marks surround the program if it could ever return to its stretch between 2015-2019 where the Tigers won two national championships (in 2016 and 2018 respectively).
As a wise man once said, “You have to crawl before you can walk.” But it is difficult not to be excited about a Florida State football team that finally has the utmost confidence in itself to achieve bigger and better things. Mike Norvell has things turning in a positive direction in Tallahassee.
Can FSU build off its recent success?