Since we are just a little over a fortnight away from FSU’s season opener at Pitt on Labor Day night, I decided it was high time to get off the couch and dive head-first into the merciless gauntlet that is the 2013 FSU football schedule. Look, we all know the ACC isn’t the toughest conference around, but let’s be real here – everything goes in cycles. Much like washing machines, photosynthesis, and women ages 12-ish to 50-something, college football maintains a regular cycle of nature, where mighty teams reach the highest of peaks, fall down to the depths of Hades, and are reborn again like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. There is nothing better than college football. I love this time of year.
**For the people of Cleveland, a fortnight is 14 days, also known as two weeks.**
Here We Go…..
Sept. 2 – @ Pitt (Labor Day)
First game under the lights for the new Seminole QB (odds are that it will be Jameis Winston, but Jacob Coker could surprise. Either way, you never forget your first), and also the inaugural game in the ACC for the Panthers. The Noles will also be breaking in a slew of new coaches, including former Alabama assistant-turned FSU Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. The game has a chance to be ugly early on, with both teams working out the first game kinks, but the Noles have far too much talent to let this one slip. (Unless, of course, this game happens to be the annual Make-A-Wish the Noles grant to an overmatched ACC opponent.)
Sept. 14 – NEVADA
Colin Kaepernick plays for the 49ers. Nevada still runs the pistol offense. Have you ever been to a game in Tallahassee in September? Well, Nevada hasn’t. The Wolfpack might score a touchdown or two before their skin melts completely off. On the bright side, having both Nevada and NC State on the schedule this season will allow me to recycle the old “One Man Wolfpack” Hangover reference jokes, so that will be a treat.
Sept. 21 – BETHUNE –COOKMAN
Sept. 28 – @ Boston College
The Noles curb stomped BC in Tally last season and I expect much of the same this time around. After three games, the offense should be finding a rhythm and the Eagles pose no real offensive threat to the Seminole D. So, on a beautiful autumn day in Chestnut Hill, look for the Noles to slap Boston College around with their D. Yep, I said it.
Oct. 5 – MARYLAND
Crab cakes and football, that’s what Maryland does. I’ll have to admit, I’ve never really been a huge fan of crab cakes….or Maryland football. I will say though, that I am in the minority of people who actually like their many regal uniform combinations. The Terps leave for the B1G after this season, no doubt feeling wanted and attractive, excited to begin a new relationship with a new conference. But let’s be honest here for a second. Maryland is a lot like the girl who thinks she’s hotter than she actually is. You know the type. The Terps will exit the ACC as gracefully as a walk of shame participant – tattered clothes, messy hair, no money and tons of baggage. Enjoy the sloppy seconds, Big Ten.
Oct. 12 – BYE – Not too sure who BYE is, could be Birmingham Yodeling & Equestrian for all I know.
Oct. 19 – @ Clemson
If Clemson takes care of business against Georgia in Week 1 and the Noles don’t slip up to the Make-A-Wish kids (see above), this will be a Saturday night, prime time, ESPN College Gameday, all the bells and whistles hoo-ha matchup between two undefeated, Top 10 teams. Essentially, this is the de-facto ACC championship game. I hate throwing out stupid facts and figures that literally have nothing to do with the current season’s matchup, like the fact that FSU hasn’t won at Clemson since 2001. (Intersting? Kind of. Sad? Yes. Important? Not really.) I am a Seminole at heart, but more importantly, I’m not a homer fan hooked up to an IV of garnet Kool-Aid. As of right now, I have to give the edge to the home team with the senior QB, so that two years from now, all of the sports columns can drop that all-important stat on us – “FSU hasn’t won at Clemson since 2001……”
Oct. 26 – N.C. STATE
I don’t even need to say anything about this game, do I? If you’re on this site, or a fan of FSU, or a fan of college football, then you know exactly what I’m not talking about. October 26 has actually been dubbed “Bobby Bowden Day” at Doak Campbell Stadium, as it marks the return and honoring of the legendary Seminole coach. You can bet that the Noles have had this one circled for a while, and with Bobby Dadgum Bowden in attendance (likely along with hundreds of former players and a sell-out crowd), a revenge beatdown of epic proportions should ensue. Remember when Rocky had that mansion with the robot butler, and then he went and fought Mr. T and lost? After that he went with Apollo Creed to South Central LA, did the whole running on the beach thing with the short shorts and the water hugging, and then went out and beat Mr. T in the rematch. This game will be just like that.
Nov. 2 – MIAMI
I’m still waiting to see exactly what type of punishment the NCAA will hand down to “Da U” for that whole Nevin Shapiro debacle. Think about this for a second – Miami was involved with this booster, a guy who “estimates that he spent millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.” The punishment? That remains to be seen, but I’m predicting a slap on the wrist for Miami and a few scholarships taken away. Johnny Football can’t sign his own name, but abortions are cool with the NCAA. Anyway, this is my favorite game each and every season, even though it’s not quite the same as it used to be. Miami will have one of the better offenses the Noles see all season, but their D remains very suspect. Rivalry game in Tally. Slight edge to the Seminoles.
Nov. 9 – @Wake Forest
The Noles will be coming off three straight weeks of rivalry games – at Clemson, NC State, Miami. Trap game? Probably not. Now, if we’re talking a few years ago, I may have been a little leery of traveling to Wake in November. (What does that say about how far the Noles had fallen? Scared of a road game against Wake Forest?) FSU should be firing on all cylinders at this point, and the Deacons return much of the same team that was demolished in Tallahassee last season. (Again, I hate doing that whole last season/ season’s past comparison tactic, but the talent gap between FSU and Wake continues to grow back to where it once was, as it should) No worries here.
Nov. 16 – SYRACUSE
The ‘Cuse roll into town to take on the Noles for the first time in ACC play, which also happens to be the same day that the 1993 FSU National Championship team is honored (Bobby Bowden, Charlie Ward, Warrick Dunn, etc. will all be in attendance). I fully expect the 2013 version of the Noles to treat The Orange like it was 1993, and by that I mean really big shoulder pads, high-top fades and heads smashing through car windows. Better yet, just watch the 1993 Jimmy Caan football classic, The Program. Kane is Able. Noles roll.
[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8AxqLJEwkg” autohide=”1″]
Nov. 23 – IDAHO
Tots, waffle, wedges, curly, crinkle, home, chili-cheese, shoestring. You get my point. Get me some ketchup for this tune up game before the Gators.
Nov. 30 – @ Florida
Ah yes, those pesky Gators. If you recall, FSU was up 20-13 in the 4th quarter before the fun police came and ruined everything. EJ Manuel fumbled about 17 times in 5 minutes (slight exaggeration), and the Gator D slapped the Noles right in the face and walked out of Doak with a 37-26 victory. (Yep, I said it again.) The Florida defense was one of the best in the country last season (except against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, that was brutal – and hilarious) which kept them in every game (except Louisville), so the fact that the Gators fielded a mediocre at best offense didn’t really matter. Florida lost a ton of defensive talent and their leading rusher to the NFL, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this Gator team may take a few steps back from last season. With all that being said, The Swamp is still one of the toughest places to play in the country. Throw in the fact that Winston or Coker will be making their first start in this rivalry and I get a little weary about FSU’s chances. Still too early to tell.