TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA –. Since Mike Norvell’s arrival in December, anticipation for the Mike Norvell era at Florida State has been rising gradually. As of Wednesday morning, FSU supporters may begin daydreaming about the first year under Norvell.
On Wednesday, the ACC announced its 2020 football schedule, which verified what many in Tallahassee have long anticipated – that the Seminoles will play a challenging but also exciting schedule under new head coach Joe Paterno.
Florida State will face a national championship contender, three teams that finished in the final AP Top 25, and six teams who participated in a bowl game in the upcoming season.
They’ll also play just one game at Doak Campbell Stadium in the first five weeks of the season and go north for the first time in six years to play on a Thursday.
Watch the video to learn more about how Layne and Tim plan their days.
A late-season Thursday game means that the Seminoles will have a few additional days to prepare for their regular-season finale versus Florida, as they won’t play on the road in consecutive weeks. They’ll also enjoy an open day before opening their ACC slate at North Carolina State.
An overview is provided below.
There will be no delay in determining what kind of team Norvell has put together for Florida State and the college football world:
Everyone will be watching the Seminoles play West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, as is customary.
Since playing Alabama in the inaugural game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017, Florida State has made two trips to this yearly showdown.
The Seminoles will also meet in West Virginia for the first time since the death of Bobby Bowden in 2009. Then what do you know? A few months before the 1976 season began, Florida State signed former West Virginia head coach Bobby Bowden, who led the Seminoles to victory over Memphis State, which would go on to become the University of Memphis more than a quarter-century later.
FSU hired Norvell from Memphis, and his first game will be against West Virginia, 44 years later.
More pressingly, the Seminoles will try to win their season opener for the first time since 2016 when they did so. A four-game losing streak for the Seminoles hasn’t happened since… 1976.
For the first time since 2013, West Virginia’s season ended without a postseason appearance.
The debut of Norvell’s Doak will follow: A week later, Norvell will make his debut at Doak Campbell Stadium when FSU takes on FCS Samford in an exhibition match (Sept. 12).
He’ll be the second FSU head coach to face the Bulldogs in his first home game as head coach and the third head coach in a row to play Samford.
A trip to a new location… with a chance at redemption: Make sure your “States I’ve visited” coffee mugs are set for Florida State’s trip to Boise State! (Sept. 19).
The return leg of FSU’s home-and-home series with the Broncos provides the Seminoles with a prime opportunity to show that things are indeed different this year.
It was a terrible game against Boise State last year, and the Broncos have just finished a 12-2 season.
Three games will have been played by the time it’s over, and the Seminoles have the option of pressing forward or regrouping.
With just three weeks in the Atlantic Division to go, FSU’s season could be defined by what comes after those first three weeks of action.
Afterward, the Seminoles will play four straight games against their fiercest ACC Atlantic Division rivals: North Carolina State (Oct. 3), Clemson (Oct. 10), Wake Forest (Oct. 17), and Louisville (Oct. 24). (Oct. 24).
The Seminoles, of course, want to return to national prominence, but they can’t do that until they’ve established themselves in their division. In recent seasons, Clemson has been one of the best college football programs, but FSU can take a significant stride forward by defeating some of the other teams in their division.
The Seminoles have an 8-7 record versus NC State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Boston College, and Syracuse since the start of the 2017 season.
Dan Marino, the Panthers’ senior quarterback at the time, threw for two touchdowns in a win at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 19, 1982.
On October 31, Pitt will make its first journey back as an Atlantic Coast Conference member in nearly 40 years.
First-time FSU has faced the Panthers since the 2013 season opener in Pittsburgh, which was a pleasant matchup for the Seminoles
On Halloween, too, the Seminoles are a formidable opponent. On Halloween, they are 8-1 and have not lost a game since 1959.
FSU’s first opportunity to reestablish the college football hierarchy in Florida will come on November 7, when they go to Miami to take on the Hurricanes in an attempt to end a three-game losing streak.
Then, on November 28, they’ll try to avert a three-game losing streak to the Florida Gators in Tallahassee.
Between now and then, the Seminoles will play their first regular-season Thursday game since 2014 when they host Boston College on November 14 and travel to face Syracuse on November 19.
The team hasn’t played a game on a Sunday since 2019, so this is a bit of a novelty. Before that, FSU has played at least one regular-season game on a Thursday, Monday, or Friday every year since 2003.