Monday, May 21, 2018
FSU Seminoles

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  

A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU plays at Boise in 2020) five years ago. It looks like a risky move for the Seminoles, but I think it's a good one.

Some of the risks are obvious. Boise State is a very successful program. Just ask Virginia Tech (which lost  to the Broncos in 2010), Georgia (which lost to them in 2011) or Washington (which lost to them in 2015). FSU could be the next big-name program Boise slays.

Some of the risks are a little more nuanced, like this one: All 16 College Football Playoff participants have played at least one Power Five non-conference opponent. Boise doesn't fit that bill.

RELATED: College football's new motto: Go big early, or stay home late

FSU will still have one marquee Power Five non-conference opponent on its schedule (rival Florida). But the four ACC teams that have made the Playoff all had at least two of those games. If the ACC regresses and Boise is mediocre, FSU risks having a weak schedule that could hurt its ultimate goal of making the Playoff.

The gamble is worth taking, though, because you need to do more than schedule tough opponents to make the final four. You need to beat them.

Of the 16 Playoff participants so far, 15 of them beat their Power Five non-conference opponent (Ohio State losing to Virginia Tech in 2014 is the exception). Playing Oklahoma didn't help the Buckeyes get in last year. Why? Because they lost to the Sooners and got crushed by Iowa. No two-loss team has made the Playoff yet.

Even though Boise State isn't in a Power Five conference, it provides the opportunity for FSU to play, and beat, a tough opponent. The Broncos are a respected program. The selection committee looks at top-25 wins; the Broncos finished 25th last year in its final rankings, ahead of 10 ACC schools and FSU's marquee opponent in 2020 (West Virginia). The committee might undervalue Group of Five programs — right, UCF fans? — but it doesn't completely dismiss them, either. Beat a good Boise team, and you'll get respect from pollsters and the committee.

And despite Boise's history of upsets, FSU should beat Boise. The Seminoles will have more talent. More talent doesn't always win, but it usually does. The talent gap between FSU and Boise is bigger than the gap between, say, FSU and Ole Miss (its 2016 opening opponent) or FSU and LSU (who opens against Miami this year). That means Boise seems more winnable than other big-name opponents, but the Broncos are still a recognized name that would boost FSU's strength of schedule.

I'm not going to make predictions about a game that's more than 15 months away, or about FSU's 2019 season before it plays this fall. But the soon-to-be-official Jacksonville game against Boise State gives the Seminoles a respected non-conference opponent it should be favored to beat in a talent-rich recruiting area full of FSU fans and boosters. Seems like a good idea to me.

Comments
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin became the winningest coach in NCAA history over the weekend with an extra-innings victory over Clemson. His record: 1,976-708-4.Martin joins football legend Bobby Bowden as one of the Seminoles' top coaches e...
Published: 05/07/18
NFL draft: FSU and Wharton High product Auden Tate joins the Bengals

NFL draft: FSU and Wharton High product Auden Tate joins the Bengals

Former Wharton High and Florida State receiver Auden Tate's long wait ended in the final four picks of the draft when the Bengals chose him in the seventh round (No. 253 overall).Tate became only the third receiver drafted out of FSU in the last 11 d...
Updated one month ago
NFL draft: Florida State’s Josh Sweat goes to the Eagles at No. 130

NFL draft: Florida State’s Josh Sweat goes to the Eagles at No. 130

Former Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat was drafted Saturday by the Eagles in the fourth round (No. 130 overall).This wasn't what Sweat would have envisioned in 2014, when he was the top recruit in the country and already being talked about as ...
Updated one month ago
NFL draft: FSU’s Derrick Nnadi goes in the third round to the Chiefs

NFL draft: FSU’s Derrick Nnadi goes in the third round to the Chiefs

Former Florida State defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi was drafted in the third round Friday night by the Chiefs (No. 75 overall).He's the second former Seminole defender chosen, after first-round safety Derwin James went to the Chargers on Thursday.Nna...
Updated one month ago
NFL draft: Chargers take FSU’s Derwin James with No. 17 pick

NFL draft: Chargers take FSU’s Derwin James with No. 17 pick

Former Florida State safety Derwin James fell farther than expected Thursday in the first night of the NFL draft before being chosen by the Chargers with the No. 17 overall pick.James became the fifth former Seminoles defensive back ever drafted in t...
Updated one month ago