Say this for FSU, they have always been ambitious with their early season schedule and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. This, after Tuesday afternoon’s announcement that the Seminoles and the Georgia Bulldogs have agreed to a home-and-home two game deal late in the 2020s.
The university announced the agreement with the SEC powerhouse to resume their series on its own website:
Dawgs @ Noles 2027
Noles @ Dawgs 2028https://t.co/LFQoANYef7
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) April 2, 2019
It has been a while since the last meeting between the two programs, which was in the 2003 Sugar Bowl. That’s when former Georgia coach Mark Richt beat his mentor Bobby Bowden on New Year’s night in New Orleans. The two programs first met in the 1960s playing each other four times each in Tallahassee and in Athens that decade, each winning and losing twice at home.
“We are excited to announce this series and showcase our commitment to providing games in Doak Campbell Stadium that will be attractive for our fans,” Coburn said. “Our non-conference schedule is among the strongest in the country with an annual game against Florida in addition to regular matchups with Notre Dame, and this series with Georgia fits the criteria for how we want to build future schedules.”
Embattled second-year coach Willie Taggart also commented about the series slated to be played eight seasons from now with a home game in Tallahassee:
“This is a series with history dating back to the early years of FSU football, and I’m glad we are resuming it,” Taggart said. “These two games will be great for fans of both programs, especially those interested in traveling to experience the atmosphere here in Tallahassee or in Athens, and will give us another opportunity to play in front of our large group of alumni in the state of Georgia.”
Florida State has traditionally been willing to play tough games to begin the year, even on the road or at a neutral site. This year they are opening the season in the first of a home-and-home series with Boise State, a traditional power from the Mountain West Conference. FSU agreed to move the game from Tallahassee to Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Field the first weekend in September.
Florida State agreed to return the home game to Boise in the beginning of the 2020 season. As it stands now, FSU will play West Virginia on Labor Day weekend, next year at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Florida State had a huge opening season showdown with preseason #1 Alabama to begin the 2017 season at the same site with both teams ranked in the preseason Top 10.
That night Alabama won the game and also injured Florida State star quarterback Deondre Francois for the season, and the Noles really never recovered, finishing 6 – 6 and having coach Jimbo Fisher depart for the Texas A&M job.
Taggart was hired to replace Fisher and has a tall order to restore Florida State football this season or he may not be around in 2020 for those September games at Boise or against the Mountaineers, much less to see this Georgia series.
FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday
In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.
The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:
Noles vs. Tigers set for '22/'23!!!https://t.co/nfLwLGhXE3
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) February 11, 2020
Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.
The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.
FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.
New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,
“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.
This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”
These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.
Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.
That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.
The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes
NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.
Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 28, 2020
And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.
This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.
That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.
“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.
“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.
“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.
“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.
“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?
“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.
Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.
Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.
Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.
His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.