If you went back and looked over the preseason predictions from across the world of college football, odds are pretty good you would have seen Florida State mentioned quite often as a national title contender. The Seminoles started the season in the preseason polls as the No. 3 team in the country behind No. 10 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State. Now, just eight weeks into the season, the Seminoles are scrambling just to get to a bowl game.
Florida State fell to 2-4 on the year with a home loss to Lamar Jackson and Louisville. The 31-28 setback was Florida State’s third loss at home this season (NC State and Miami being the others), and now Florida State has just five games remaining to win four to clinch bowl eligibility. Mixed in that final stretch, of course, is a road trip to Clemson and a road game in Gainesville against the rival Florida Gators.
Florida State is walking on very thin ice right now. Even if you didn’t buy into Florida State being a national title contender before the season started, this has to be a stunning development. Florida State has played in a bowl game every season since 1982, with 1981 being the last time the Seminoles missed the postseason. With 35 straight postseason appearances, Florida State has the longest active bowl streak going for them, and it appears to be heading to a crashing halt.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) October 21, 2017
But forget about the postseason streak likely coming to a stop. Florida State could be staring at the first losing season in Tallahassee since 1976, when Florida State went 5-6. Florida State was 6-5 in their bowl-less 1981 season and went 8-3 in 1978, another season without a bowl trip. Of course, the game was different back then with only a small handful of bowls reserved for the elite of the elite. Today, simply getting to six wins is usually good enough and practically guarantees a team from a power conference of playing in a bowl game.
Florida State has had many issues this season ranging from injuries to key players like starting quarterback Deondre Francois, a struggle to develop certain positions (offensive line), and defensive lapses that have cost them against talented offensive units. And the pressure appears to be mounting for the entire program. After the game, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher reportedly got into a brief verbal exchange with a disgruntled fan in the stands.
Jimbo Fisher just got into it with a fan who yelled “get new coaches.” Fisher said “walk your a— down here and say it.”
— Garry Smits (@gsmitter) October 21, 2017
Fisher isn’t on the hot seat the way a number of other coaches around the country are. He’s not getting fired, nor is there any chance he could. This season is not going according to plan at all for Fisher, and there is some blame he can shoulder for that as the head coach. But look no further than what has happened up north last year if you are a Florida State fan. Michigan State and Notre Dame combined for seven wins a year ago, and entered this weekend in the thick of the College Football Playoff hunt with identical 5-1 records.
Florida State may be taking a beating this season and could see their bowl streak snapped, but it will not take long for Fisher to get Florida State bouncing back and making a regular run for the ACC title again.