What Would ACC-Only 2020 Football Season Look Like for FSU?

David Visser

The last 24 hours or so have been busy across the college football landscape. The Ivy League got things going by canceling all fall 2020 sports, then the ACC pushed back the start of every fall sport except football to September, just before the Big Ten announced that all its fall sports would be playing conference-only schedules-- and the ACC looks like it's following suit. 

So what would that look like, specifically, for Florida State football? Well right now, the Seminoles are scheduled to start with three consecutive non-conference games:

  • September 5: West Virginia (Atlanta, GA)
  • September 12: Samford (Tallahassee, FL)
  • September 19: Boise State (Boise, ID)

The 'Noles would miss out on that neutral site opener against the Mountaineers in Atlanta, as well as their home opener against Samford. Of course, they'd still have a home opener, but more on that later. However, this would mean that FSU gets out of that Boise State road trip that many Florida State fans have been bemoaning for some time. It's being viewed as a no-win situation for the Seminoles, since Boise State, though the winningest team, percentage wise, in FBS history, is a G5 school. 

Then Florida State has a bye week scheduled, so there's another week off. As the schedule stands now, the Seminoles, playing an ACC-only schedule, would face this slate, if nothing were changed (and with the Florida game dropped as well):

  • October 3: NC State (Raleigh, NC)
  • October 10: Clemson (Tallahassee, FL)
  • October 17: Wake Forest (Tallahassee, FL)
  • October 24: Louisville (Louisville, KY)
  • October 31: Pitt (Tallahassee, FL)
  • November 7: Miami (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • November 14: Boston College (Tallahassee, FL)
  • November 19 (Thur.): Syracuse (Syracuse, NY)

Some of this would have to change. Certain ACC schools are scheduled to open conference play on the first weekend: Boston College at Syracuse, Clemson at Georgia Tech, and Louisville at NC State are all on the present schedule. But, obviously, it doesn't make sense to have those teams commence play a month ahead of the rest of the conference. 

Bye weeks would have to be changed, too. FSU has the earliest bye as the schedule is now structured, and it wouldn't even really be a bye: it'd just be another week off before playing, followed by no breaks the rest of the way. The larger point: schedules can't just remain as they are, with non-conference games carved out. The whole calendar needs to be rearranged. And maybe that means Florida State's home opener won't have to entail absorbing a beating from Clemson. 

The there's the matter of volume. How long will the season be? The Big Ten is discussing going with a 9/10-game schedule-- is eight enough in the ACC? How will College Football Playoff participants be decided upon if conferences outline seasons of different lengths? Will conference title games still be played?

Some answers came out today. But they're still easily outnumbered by the questions.