Expectations could not be higher for Florida State in 2017. The Seminoles come into the 2017 season with nine returning starters on defense including superstar safety Derwin James. On the offensive side of the ball, Florida State brings back four of its five starters on its offensive line with ACC Rookie of the Year, Deondre Francois, returning at quarterback.
The amount of talent Florida State has returning is enough to make any team a College Football Playoff contender. However, the Seminoles’ schedule in 2017 is difficult enough to stop any elite team in its tracks. For the second straight year, Florida State opens and closes with SEC opponents. The Seminoles travel to Clemson and Florida but the biggest game comes opening weekend against top-ranked Alabama.
Florida State Schedule Breakdown 2017
Worst Case Scenario
September will be a brutal month for the Seminoles. In addition their to September 3rd matchup against Alabama, the Seminoles also take on Miami and North Carolina State in the season’s first month. Given Nick Saban‘s record against his former assistants, Florida State could end up getting blown out in Atlanta. From there the Seminoles, still shocked by week one’s embarrassment, lethargically walk into a win against Louisiana Monroe in a that is game much closer than it should be. To round out the month, Florida State splits games against rival Miami and a North Carolina State team that is a darkhorse ACC title contender. The Seminoles’ then recover with a win against Wake Forest to close out the month. However, as result of the early losses, Florida State’s national championship aspirations die.
The Seminoles enter October rejuvenated after a bye week on October 7th, but still carrying a 3-2 record. Florida State handles Duke easily and struggles in a revenge win against Louisville and reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson. The Seminoles close out October with its fourth straight win against Boston College.
After after thoroughly handling Syracuse, the Seminoles square off against Clemson in Death Valley. The Tigers, who by now have figured out their replacement for Deshaun Watson, keep the game close but come up short at home against the Seminoles. After an easy win against Delaware State, the Seminoles close their season on the road against arch-rival Florida. With this game being in the Swamp, the Gators finally end their four game losing streak against the Seminoles in a narrow victory.
Worst Case Scenario: 8-4 (5-3 ACC)
Best Case Scenario
The Seminoles escape Atlanta with a narrow win against Alabama to open the year. Florida State then carries that momentum into a rout of Louisiana Monroe and an easy win against Miami. The Seminoles then have an early stumble after in a narrow loss against North Carolina State. The Wolfpack has the returning starters and the track record of beating highly ranked Seminole teams in the past to narrowly upset top ranked Florida State. The loss stuns Florida State but it quickly recovers to blow out Wake Forest and end the month with a 4-1 record.
After the October 7th bye week, Florida State has no problems getting past Duke in Durham. The Seminoles then shut down Lamar Jackson and company to get revenge on last year’s embarrassment in Louisville. Following a short week, the Seminoles make easy work of Boston College on the road. The Seminoles then return home to face off against Syracuse and have no problems getting past the Orange.
Florida State then faces off against Clemson in Death Valley. With the ACC’s Atlantic Division on the line, the Seminoles earn a tight, physical win. Following a blowout of Delaware State on Senior Day, the Seminoles head to the Swamp to take on Florida. The Gators, who still are trying to figure out who their starting quarterback is, struggle offensively as the Seminoles cruise to their fifth straight win against the Gators.
Best Case Scenario: 11-1 (7-1 ACC)