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Thoughts on FSU Football in New 2020 ACC Schedule Model

Shocking. (Not shocking.)

The ACC released its new model for a revamped college football season today, and in a world turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, some things just never change: like the ACC not necessarily doing Florida State any favors. Let's check out how the. Seminoles' schedule has been altered. 

Here's FSU's original schedule:

  • September 5: West Virginia (Atlanta, GA)
  • September 12: Samford (Tallahassee, FL)
  • September 19: Boise State (Boise, ID)
  • September 26: Bye
  • October 3: NC State (Raleigh, NC)
  • October 10: Clemson (Tallahassee, FL)
  • October 17: Wake Forest (Tallahassee, FL)
  • October 24: Louisville (Louisville, KY)
  • October 31: Pittsburgh (Tallahassee, FL)
  • November 7: Miami (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • November 14: Boston College (Tallahassee, FL)
  • November 19: Syracuse (Syracuse, NY)
  • November 26: Florida (Tallahassee, FL)

And here's what the new model looks like.

New 2020 ACC Football Schedule

The one non-conference game is specified as being an in-state matchup, and while this would typically be Florida, it doesn't look like that rivalry will be played this year, per news out of the SEC.

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We'll keep an eye on which in-state squad the 'Noles add in the Gators' place, but in the meantime, let's examine what we do know: FSU has retained its games vs. NC State, Clemson, Louisville, Pitt, and Miami, which will all be played in their original locations. In addition to its non-con games against West Virginia, Samford, Boise State,  and UF being scratched, the 'Noles also lose home games against Wake Forest, BC, and a roadie at Syracuse. Instead, they'll travel to Notre Dame and Duke, while hosting GT, UNC, and UVA. 

Are there some fun matchups in there? Sure. But it's not exactly the most friendly revision for Florida State. 

Here are SP+ preseason ranks of ACC teams, to evaluate strength of schedule, including Notre Dame, for this season anyway.

  1.  Clemson (3)
  2. Notre Dame (12)
  3. North Carolina (17)
  4. Miami (23)
  5. Florida State (26)
  6. Virginia Tech (32)
  7. Louisville (41)
  8. Pittsburgh (42)
  9. Virginia (44)
  10. Georgia Tech (58)
  11. NC State (62)
  12. Duke (69)
  13. Boston College (71)
  14. Wake Forest (81)
  15. Syracuse (95)

So the Seminoles retain their game against the conference's top team, while also adding matchups with the second-ranked Irish and the third-ranked Tar Heels. And FSU's rivalry matchup with Miami remains, too. Across the ACC, the only teams that have to play every top-four team are the 'Noles and the Demon Deacons.

Not only did Florida State add some top-tier competition, it lost some of its easier games. The three lowest ranked teams in the ACC, BC, Wake Forest, and 'Cuse, are all teams that were on the Seminoles' slate and have since been dropped. And the Orange have already announced that there will be no fans at their games, making that game even more winnable. 

Not surprisingly, the conference has kept its biggest matchup of the year: Notre Dame hosting Clemson. And the ACC is obviously hoping for a rematch in Charlotte's ACC Championship Game: the Irish have been gifted with the four lowest ranked teams on their schedule, and the Tigers got to keep the bottom three that were removed from FSU's schedule.