How Bad Was The FSU Loss, Florida's QB Problem And Future Of The War On I-4


Florida State v Duke

Photo: Getty Images

The week before Jacksonville State beat Florida State they lost at home to UAB 31-0. In that game, the Gamecocks had 156 yards of offense and allowed 517. UAB played at Georgia this past Saturday and lost 56-7. They had 174 yards of total offense while allowing 539. In the FSU game, Jacksonville State put up 350 yards of offense while the Seminoles had 335. It would have been one thing if Jacksonville State had beaten UAB in their first game. They didn't. It's a bad loss and there's no other way to put it for FSU. Mike Norvell then did what you shouldn't do when you are still rebuilding. Stop the "it's on me and this is unacceptable" thing. Of course it's on you, your coaches and players and unacceptable. But any juice FSU had after the Notre Dame game is gone. FSU's final five games are Clemson, NC State, Miami, Boston College and Florida. Before that they play at North Carolina and games with Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse are no gimmes...

Speaking of Notre Dame and my frustration with pollsters at the start of the season. I have always said voters in the AP Poll and whoever is actually voting in the coaches poll, need to move teams up and down by a greater margin in the early weeks to the season. It's ok to admit your preseason view of a team was wrong and rewarding and penalizing teams who look good and don't. The Irish were 9th in the AP Poll and 7th in the coaches poll before the season. They won an overtime game at Florida State and then survived at home against Toledo. Today, the Irish sit 12th in the AP Poll and 10th in the coaches poll. Good for voters who have moved Oregon up after their impressive win at Ohio State, the Ducks are now 4th in both polls. Iowa State survived an opening game against Northern Iowa and then lost at home to rival Iowa and saw their star quarterback Brock Purdy get pulled. But voters love Matt Campbell and the Cyclones remain inside the top 15...

Everyone loves the backup quarterback and the Florida situation is as juicy as it gets. Many Gator fans want Anthony Richardson to become the starter. This week Florida plays Alabama and Dan Mullen is still dealing with questions about who his starter is. After Florida's win in Tampa against South Florida, Mullen said Emory Jones was still the starter and they will keep playing both quarterbacks. Look, Richardson is big and fast. He has electrified all with his big runs and passes but is he ready for Alabama or even being the starter right now. He has thrown 11 passes this season. He is 6-11 for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. One of his completions was a 75 yard score. He leads the team in rushing with 275 yards and is averaging 25.0 per attempt. There is much to be excited about. But does Mullen feel like he is ready to take every important snap? I don't think so. Emory Jones received the majority of snaps in the preseason. But the Alabama game is a measuring stick for the Gators as a team and for Mullen to make a decision. One of those decisions may be to keep doing what he has...play both of them. With the existence of the transfer portal, how coaches are afraid of players leaving, coaches handle quarterback situations differently these days and why Mullen may keep playing both. The question is can he do it all season...

UCF AD Terry Mohajir was asked if the Knights would continue to play rival South Florida when they move to the Big XII. Mohajir stated he wasn't sure, not because UCF doesn;t want to play the Bulls or think his team is now above USF. It's more about scheduling. The current War on I-4 is a conference game now in the AAC. When the Knights move to the Big XII, the game needs to become a non-conference game. While UCF has numerous dates open for non-conference games, South Florida does not have an open date for a non-conference game until 2028. You can understand keeping all non-conference games against P5 schools. As for non-P5 games on the Bulls schedule: FAMU and Western Kentucky are on the schedule in 2023, Western Kentucky, again in 2024 and then San Jose State in 2025, FAU and Bethune Cookman in 2026 and FAMU and Northern Illinois in 2027. It would take more work for South Florida to free up dates but it still is not a guarantee UCF will accommodate them. Mohajir says with the move to the Big XII, he hopes it increases the chances of playing FSU and Miami. Neither school has been open to a series with UCF and not sure that is changing. One thing to watch for UCF and its non-conference scheduling in the future is if the Big XII will play a nine-game conference schedule, which most think will happen...

Speaking of UCF and the Big XII, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby has indicated the 12-team league will play with two divisions of six teams. That makes for some interesting decisions on division setups. If the plan is an east and west concept, one idea is UCF playing in a division with West Virginia, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State. That would mean a west division would consist of the Texas schools(Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU and Houston) along with Oklahoma State and BYU. A north-south version could get interesting with West Virginia, Cincinnati, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas State and BYU in the north. And a south with the Texas schools, Oklahoma State and UCF. Just a guess, but I think the east-west might be the better of the two...

Speaking of the Big XII and the idea of further expansion: Bowlsby did not rule it out during his media sessions on Friday when announcing the league's newest additions. That led to some interesting assumptions in places like Memphis and Tampa about adding the Tigers and South Florida in the next year or two. I'd tap the breaks on that. If the Big XII wanted to add those schools they would have done it last week. There was a reason they wanted the four schools and likely because existing and potential media partners backed the additions of UCF, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU. It is not that Memphis and South Florida would not be good additions but they were not chosen for a reason now. It will all come down to money, as everything does. Would adding those two or anyone else increase the media payout to league members. If the answer is yes, then expansion makes sense. But the 12-member league would need to know what that money looks like. If an expanded playoff pays P5 leagues $200+ per year the pie slices are bigger when divided by 12 verses 14...

Final thought: Our favorite DIII score from the weekend saw Mass Maritime beat SUNY Maritime 14-6. The Bucs won the 13th Chowder Bowl


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content