Looking deeper at FSU’s 2012 football schedule

Florida State’s 2012 football schedule is fair.

Their tough football games are spread out, with plenty of time to prepare for each one, and there are enough cupcakes in between to open a bakery.

Which game is the toughest? Which game(s) won’t be close? Here is the complete schedule for the Seminoles, and my thoughts on how each game plays out. I know we’re half a year from starting the regular season, but it’s never too early to start talking football!

Sept. 1: Murray State

Murray State — good at basketball, not so good at football. If you knew they had a football team, raise your hand. Notice how my hand is still down? To be fair to FSU, when they scheduled the Racers, their other three nonconference opponents were West Virginia, South Florida and Florida. So it’s not like they were bowing out altogether on their nonconference games.

Sept. 8: Savannah State

Florida State seemed to catch a lot of hell last week when they added this game, even though it seemed like common knowledge that West Virginia had backed out of their game with FSU, leaving a massive hole and few teams willing to fill it. They reached out to the likes of Oklahoma and Boise State, according to sources, but nobody bit on the offer. So they had to take anyone who had an opening, and that someone was Savannah State. Easy 2-0 start for the ‘Noles, as I see it.

Sept. 15: Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons come to Tallahassee for the third game of a four-game homestand to open the season, and I don’t think they’ll prove much of a threat to FSU, either. If anything, they will be a nice, safe step up from the utterly awful teams the Seminoles face in Weeks 1 and 2, so that will prepare them better for …

Sept. 22: Clemson

A possible College Gameday site in Week 4, the Seminoles and Tigers will do battle in a game that may decide the ACC Atlantic. It’s early in the season, but it’s that crucial of a game. Florida State will look to avenge a tough 35-30 loss in Death Valley last season, and they should be a little healthier this time around, provided that Wake Forest won’t be as physical a Week 3 opponent as Oklahoma was last season.

Sept. 29: at South Florida

FSU caught the worst of USF back in 2009, when the Bulls came to Tallahassee and beat the Seminoles. It was a sad reminder that FSU was in serious trouble as a football program, losing to what was once considered a far inferior in-state opponent. This game has been anxiously awaited by FSU fans for three years, and they’ll catch quarterback B.J. Daniels in his senior season after he beat them in his freshman year. There could be 40,000 FSU fans in Tampa for this game if USF starts slowly.

Oct. 6: at NC State

This is where the Seminoles could begin to get healthy. I see no reason to think the Wolfpack will be a major threat in the ACC this season, and even though it’s a road game (and Florida State hasn’t had huge amounts of luck there in recent years), this won’t be the same caliber NC State team they’ve seen in the last few trips to Raleigh.

Oct. 13: Boston College

The Eagles will probably be very bad again this season. Considering the ‘Noles tossed them aside in Boston last year, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Oct. 20: at Miami

In their eighth consecutive week without a break, the Hurricanes will be waiting in Miami for a shot to avenge last season’s loss at Doak Campbell Stadium. The ‘Canes will be younger but more talented this season, as head coach Al Golden has begun stacking playmakers. This will look more like the Seminoles and Hurricanes of old than it has in the last five years, so expect a lot of excitement and a close game.

Oct. 27: Duke

By this point in the year, Florida State will be exhausted, but they will get a weak Duke team at home. Regardless of what happens in Miami the week before, FSU should expect to win this game.

Bye Week Nov. 3

Nov. 8: at Virginia Tech (Thursday night game on ESPN)

Blacksburg on a Thursday night in front of a national audience? It’s always the most amped crowd you see in the Thursday night series, and it seems like they’re always blessed with one of those games at home. It’s unfortunate that Florida State drew the short end of the stick this season, but the crowd would have been just as wild on a Saturday night. And the Seminoles get to rest for like 11 days before they have to play the Hokies.

Nov. 17: at Maryland

Maryland is already distracted. Imagine how much of a circus this program will be late in the season, having to play a whole year without several of their older leaders, who transferred.

Nov. 24: Florida

This will only be the biggest game on the schedule if the Seminoles are undefeated and need a win to continue their pursuit for a national title. Since I objectively don’t see that happening, this won’t be the biggest game on the schedule. Virginia Tech is. But since it’s the Gators, it will be a huge game in a very hostile environment for the Gators. The last time that happened, Florida State won 31-7. FSU has still yet to lose to either to Gators or Hurricanes under Jimbo Fisher’s watch.

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