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Path to the Postseason: Finding Four More Wins

Following their embarrassing loss to Syracuse last weekend, it seemed as though the FSU bowl streak was dead. Fast-forward one week and the streak is at least on life support, for now.

According to ESPN’s FPI, Florida State only holds the edge in two of their remaining eight games this season; this weekend when the Tribe heads to Louisville and October 20th when Florida State plays host to Wake Forest.

As you can see, the metric gives FSU little to no hope of beating Miami, Clemson or Notre Dame. As things currently stand, this would mean the Seminoles would need to beat both Louisville and Wake Forest as well as find two upsets along the way to become bowl eligible.

Let’s take a game by game approach and see where the ‘Noles can find four more wins.

September 29th at Louisville – This is pretty much a must win if FSU expects to go bowling this season. Louisville is arguably the worst team in the ACC and Florida State can’t afford to lose this game and expect to beat four of the final seven opponents on the schedule.

October 6th at Miami – The majority of advanced metrics would suggest that Florida State will lose their second straight game to Miami. That said, in a rivalry game, funny things can happen. Should FSU defeat Louisville, they would have some momentum as they travel to play in Doak South (I mean FSU has won five straight games down there) the following weekend. While I wouldn’t expect FSU to win this game as of now, I certainly give them better than a 12.5% chance of winning this one.

October 20th vs Wake Forest – Another must-win to keep the bowl streak alive. Wake Forest started off strong this season with two straight wins but has since come back down to Earth. The Deacons have lost back-to-back games to Boston College and Notre Dame and are one of the two weakest teams left on the schedule.

October 27th vs Clemson – Sorry, but this one isn’t happening. Clemson’s defensive front will make it impossible for Florida State to get anything going offensively. Defensively, the ‘Noles will have their hands full as freshman Trevor Lawrence is the most talented quarterback FSU will face not only this season but the next two seasons as well.

November 3rd at North Carolina State – This game could not come at a worst possible time. Sandwiched in between two top ten opponents and on the road at Carter-Finley Stadium. Maybe I’m just scarred here but too many times a more talented Florida State team has found a way to lose when visiting the Wolf Pack.

November 10th at Notre Dame – I’m a bit more optimistic here as it’s difficult to get a read on what kind of team Notre Dame really is. FSU will likely be a double-digit underdog but this is a game I could see the Seminoles hanging around in. I’m not expecting a win as of right now but I think it’s more likely than most would suggest.

November 17th vs Boston College – A week ago, I had this one penciled in as a loss. Then, Boston College decided to go on the road and lose to a Purdue team who had just lost to Eastern Michigan. With last years debacle in their minds, I think this is a classic “revenge game” for Florida State and the ‘Noles get a much-needed win.

November 24th vs Florida – In what looks to be one of the worst seasons in recent FSU history, a win here will go a long way for Willie Taggart. Florida is another team that is tough to get a read on through four games this season. Their loss to Kentucky doesn’t look as bad as it did when it happened but the Gators are still yet to compete with a quality football team.

As unlikely as it seemed a week ago, there is at least some sort of path for Florida State to extend their bowl streak and it all starts this weekend at Louisville. A win this weekend could be just the spark the Seminoles need to pull an upset at Miami next week.

For now, it’s still more unlikely than likely that FSU extends the bowl streak, but continued growth and improvement against the Cardinals could very well change that.


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