10 reasons why Florida State's season was the most bizarre in the country
Florida State started the 2017 campaign with the most anticipated opening week matchup in the history of college football.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, and the Seminoles will end the year with an appearance in the Independence Bowl against Southern Miss.
A preseason favorite for the national championship is instead playing in one of the lower level bowls against a Conference USA opponent. Couple this "feat" with a coaching change and a Reddit investigation, and it becomes evident that Florida State's 2017 season was the most bizarre in the country.
1. Biggest opening game ever
No. 1 vs. No. 3 marked the biggest opening game of all time in college football, with both Alabama and Florida State expected to compete for the national championship. Not only did the Seminoles lose, but star quarterback Deondre Francois was injured late in the contest, an incident that would cost him the rest of the season.
2. Hurricane Irma causes 21-day layoff
It would be three weeks before Florida State had a chance to avenge the opening day loss to Alabama, as Hurricane Irma forced the postponement of two games for the Seminoles.
3. Loses at home to NC State
When Florida State did finally hit the field, NC State came to Tallahassee for an ACC contest. The Wolfpack emerged with their first road win over a ranked opponent since 2008. While it looked like a notable win at the time for NC State, the way Florida State's season ultimately unraveled dropped the significance of the victory by the end of the campaign.
4. Loses at home to Miami in dying seconds
It's no secret that Florida State has dominated Miami in recent years - winning seven in a row prior to 2017 - but, this time around, the Hurricanes were able to execute their revenge in dramatic fashion. A game that was pushed back a couple weeks due to the Hurricane came down to the wire, with Darrell Langham providing the winning margin.
5. Louisville wins at Doak Campbell Stadium
After a road win at Duke, Florida State fell right back into its losing ways when Louisville came to Tallahassee and left with a road win. It was the first time the Cardinals had won at Doak Campbell Stadium since 1952.
6. Gets pounded 35-3 at Boston College
While there were many surprising results for the Seminoles this season, perhaps the most stunning was a 35-3 Friday night beatdown by Boston College. Florida State was blown off the field from the opening kickoff and fell to three games below .500 for the first time since 1976.
7. Reschedule game vs. Louisiana-Monroe
In an attempt to extend their 35-year bowl streak, Florida State rescheduled its postponed game against Louisiana-Monroe for the week after the regular season.
8. Jimbo Fisher bolts for Texas A&M for monster contract
The news that had been rumored since Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin was confirmed the day before the Louisiana-Monroe game - Jimbo Fisher was leaving the Seminoles for the Aggies. It was a move that didn't make much sense considering Florida State is the more accomplished program. Shortly after the hiring was announced, the deal was confirmed for a record 10-year, $75-million contract. The move suddenly made a lot more sense.
9. Beat Louisiana-Monroe to become bowl eligible
Florida State hammered Louisiana-Monroe to push its record bowl streak to 36 years. Given the challenges presented this season, the fans will take it.
10. Reddit user raises questions of bowl eligibility
In a sentence that would only seem realistic in 2017, Florida State was forced to confirm its bowl eligibility after a Reddit user called it into question. The issue pertained to the amount of scholarship players FCS opponent Delaware State had. The investigation alleged that they didn't have enough to allow the win to count toward bowl eligibility. Florida State confirmed their opponent did hit the scholarship threshold, removing any questions surrounding their participation in the Independence Bowl.
While it may have been a tough year for Florida State, there's plenty of reasons to be positive going forward. Francois returns to the lineup next season, along with a ton of talented players on a young roster. Willie Taggart was hired to replace Fisher, a move many consider to be a home run with his deep ties to the state of Florida. It wouldn't shock anybody if the Seminoles were back in their usual place and challenging for the ACC as early as next season, a fairly remarkable feat considering what they went through this year.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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