Monday, February 25, 2013
Breaking down FSU's '13 schedule
By David M. Hale
At long last, Florida State has an official schedule for the 2013 season, and while it's not one likely to stir a ton of excitement among the fan base, it does give the Seminoles a quick introduction to the new-look ACC. Here are a few key aspects of FSU's 2013 slate.
Grand opening: Florida State will kick off its season with a road trip to Pittsburgh, one of two new members of the ACC. The Seminoles have never played at Pitt, and with the timing -- a Labor Day weekend game -- it should make for an intriguing road trip for fans eager to get a look at the new blood in the conference. The game is already slated for prime time on ESPN.
The other new face: While newcomer Pittsburgh helps Florida State kick off its conference slate in Week 1 this year, the other ACC rookie, Syracuse, will provide the coda. The Orange travel to Tallahassee on Nov. 16, the final conference game of the year for FSU.
Home game blues: Rival Miami comes to Doak Campbell Stadium on Nov. 2, providing the marquee home game of 2013 for the Seminoles. Thanks to a lackluster non-conference slate and road dates against its two biggest foes -- Florida and Clemson -- FSU may have a tough time getting fans excited about the teams headed to Tallahassee. On the upside, however, FSU has just two September home games after trying to convince fans to visit Tallahassee for four straight weekends to start the season in 2012.
So long, Wofford: It's not likely a game fans were too excited for regardless, but Wofford is officially off FSU's schedule for 2013. Thanks to the opener against Pittsburgh, FSU had to swap around dates for its non-conference foes, and Wofford was the collateral damage. Fellow FCS foe Bethune-Cookman replaces Wofford on the schedule.
Road warriors: Another upside to the more evenly dispersed home schedule is that FSU won't travel in consecutive weeks at any point in 2013. In fact, the Seminoles have at least two weeks between each of its five road trips this year.
Final salute: It's never exactly been a rivalry in a traditional sense, but FSU and Maryland will part ways officially on Oct. 5 when they face each other for the final time at Doak Campbell Stadium. Maryland is set to leave for the Big Ten at year's end.
ACC showdown: FSU isn't likely to enter the season as the ACC's favorites thanks to Clemson's strong group of returning stars, but the Seminoles will get their chance to claim dominance on Oct. 19 when they face the Tigers in Death Valley. Florida State hasn't won at Clemson since 2001, but the schedule provides some help. FSU has an open date a week before this game, giving Jimbo Fisher two full weeks to prepare for the Tigers. With a relatively weak national slate of games on that date, too, there's a good chance FSU and Clemson will be college football's marquee game that week.
FSU's full 2013 schedule
Sept. 2: at Pittsburgh
Sept. 7: OPEN
Sept. 14: vs. Nevada
Sept. 28: at Boston College
Oct. 5: vs. Maryland
Oct. 12: OPEN
Oct. 19: at Clemson
Oct. 26: vs. NC State
Nov. 2: vs. Miami
Nov. 9: at Wake Forest
Nov. 16: vs. Syracuse
Nov. 23: vs. Idaho
Nov. 30: at Florida