The demise of the marquee matchup

Florida State Football


On Monday, months after some conferences released their 2013 schedule, the Atlantic Coast Conference finally announced their full slate of games. So much for trying to keep pace with everyone else.

But that isn’t the focus of this blog — it would take thousands of words to fully explain everything the ACC does that’s behind the times. The contents of the schedule are what I want to discuss.

Specifically, the way Florida State seems to think it’s OK to go an entire season without a single marquee matchup at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Here’s the slate:

Home: Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Maryland, NC State, Miami, Syracuse, Idaho
Away: Pittsburgh, Boston College, Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida

Now, the road games aren’t bad. In five games, there could be two top-10 opponents for the Seminoles in Clemson and Florida. The Pittsburgh game will be the season-opener and the Panthers’ first ACC game, so that will be a fun Monday night game.

(Also read: ‘Cupcake’ games might be banned in Big Ten)

However, if Miami isn’t as good as they’re supposed to be, there is absolutely nothing of any interest on FSU’s home schedule. There’s no allure, no intrigue to bring the national media to town. No College Gameday attraction.

And that, my friends, is sad.

I realize college football is totally different in the 21st Century. Power programs want to play nonconference games against terrible opponents, and the fans pay the price while sitting through blowouts over the Savannah States of the world. Coaches don’t care about prestigious games; they’re trying to keep their jobs, and they have a better chance to do that if they in 10-12 games per year. That’s a much easier task if you collect three easy nonconference victories a year.

Still, it’s a joke that a football team like Florida State doesn’t have a single home game that the nation knows, in February, they can’t miss. To adjust the first few weeks of the schedule, FSU dropped Wofford to make room for Pittsburgh. Wofford shouldn’t have been on the schedule in the first place — Nevada and Idaho are enough on the cupcake slate. Bring in Michigan. Bring in Oklahoma. Heck, bring in Georgia.

It should be noted that FSU plays Oklahoma State at Cowboys Stadium in 2014, so the ‘Noles haven’t totally abandoned the marquee game, but even that game won’t be played at Doak.

It’s a shame that we might be more than 18 months from a true, rocking environment in Tallahassee (Florida, in November 2014?). Step it up, Hurricanes — we’re counting on you.

And for all FSU fans shelling out the money to see lousy matchups in 2013, my apologies.

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