FSU football went back to the lower level to finish their 2019 slate of games with plenty of quality FBS foes looking for a 12th opponent.
While the FSU football fan base is not interested in hearing excuses for the team’s first losing season in over four decades that took place this season, it has to be noted that the schedule the Seminoles faced was among the toughest in the country this season – including playing two possible playoff teams and a possible New Year’s Six bowl team in the final five games alone.
Next season, things are going to be slightly better at least when it comes to the non-conference slate as the Seminoles trade Notre Dame for Boise State, Northern Illinois for Louisiana Monroe and FCS foe Samford for Alabama State.
Yes, you read that right – for the first time in FSU football history, the Seminoles will welcome the HBCU from Montgomery down to Tallahassee for a football game. In fact, it will be just the 14th time the Noles and Hornets have competed in ANY sport in the history of the two programs.
Now, I know that we are still licking our injuries for this season and want to do whatever it takes to get back to a bowl game and winning record next season – but scheduling a 4-7 FCS team from last season is a look that the previous coaching staff and administration would have done and it’s not a good look.
What makes it even less of a good look is considering the fact there are still six FBS teams who still are looking for a 12th opponent for the 2019 season:
Alabama-Birmingham (Won Conference USA title)
Florida Atlantic (5-7 this season)
Florida International (8-4 and bowling)
Houston (8-4 and bowling)
Louisiana Lafayette (7-6 and played for Sun Belt title)
South Florida (7-5 and bowling)
Okay, assuming you don’t want to play Lafayette since their foes from Monroe are already on the schedule and UAB since they are a pretty good team, there are three in-state foes that would be perfect to fill out the schedule – include two in FIU and FAU that FSU football have never played before.
Think about it: a game between the Seminoles and the Owls as opposed to the game between the Seminoles and the Hornets or a game between the Seminoles and the Panthers, coached by former Miami coach Butch Davis who went just 1-5 against the Noles while with the Canes.
In June, head coach Willie Taggart sat down with Chop Chat and told me that the team would look for the best teams to play and who would make the schedule look the best. I find it hard to believe – especially seeing what FBS teams are available – that Alabama State is that option.
Don’t get me wrong, I will never hate on FCS teams getting their money right and getting that big payday for getting a butt whooping (well, except for Samford last season). With that being said, the best thing for FSU football is to play the best teams it can. Any of those above teams do that much more than the Hornets do.