Though their paths have only crossed twice, Florida State and South Florida have created drama on the football field. And that drama might help make FSU eligible for the upcoming four-team College Football Playoff.
The first time the teams met in 2009, the Bulls upset the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium 17-7. It would help start a tailspin of a season that ended with Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden pushed out of FSU.
While the last encounter in 2012 didn’t result in a dramatic upset, current FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher and a Seminole football team with national title aspirations got exposure to high school recruits in the Tampa Bay area.
Sure, Tampa isn’t Miami when it comes to getting exposure to recruits, but FSU can use all the help it can get on the recruiting trail with SEC dynamos Alabama, Florida and Georgia in Tallahassee’s backyard.
Therefore, it’s no surprise the schools decided to give it another whirl.
According to Andrea Adelson of ESPN, FSU and USF will play each other again in 2015 and 2016. FSU will host the Bulls in 2015, while visiting Tampa again in 2016. Despite the possible pratfalls of losing to a team that won’t be in a top-five conference, scheduling the Bulls shows that Florida State is taking the rules of the upcoming College Football Playoff seriously. Simply put, the mantra is play tougher teams.
Florida State’s needed the schedule upgrade: Playing out-of-conference cupcakes Charleston Southern, Samford and Idaho won’t help when Jimbo Fisher’s team plays in a watered-down ACC. By
the time Louisville, the only successful football team, comes to the ACC, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might be playing in the NFL.
Miami is still in controversy over sanctions that could continue to hamper its program, while conference power Virginia Tech barely made a bowl game last year. And everyone knows the Carolina schools focus more on basketball, anyway.
Playing the Bulls provides a perfect competitive balance for the Seminoles, who don’t have many competitive out-of-conference games from 2014 until 2019, when they will start a home-and-home series against the Boise State Broncos. They shouldn’t pose too much of a problem in Tallahassee, and the Seminoles have a marquee road game for 2016. Playing USF can open the Tampa pipeline to Jimbo Fisher and Co.
And even if USF’s football struggles continue, the Seminoles can at least say to the playoff committee that they didn’t schedule Doughnuts University.