Florida State has just one bowl appearance over the last four seasons and hasn't recorded a winning record since 2017. Coach Mike Norvell went 3-6 in '20 but improved to 5-7, with four of those losses coming by one score last season. The Seminoles seem to be heading in the right direction under the third-year coach, but it's crucial for this program to show more on-field progress this fall. Quarterback Jordan Travis returns after recording 207.4 total yards a game last season, and the defense brings back seven starters after limiting teams to 26.5 points a contest.
Is Florida State on the right path and poised to show marked improvement in the win column this fall? The Seminoles have an early test in New Orleans against LSU on Sept. 4, followed by games versus Louisville (road), Wake Forest (home), NC State (road) and Clemson (home) before mid-October. Although Norvell isn't atop the hot seat list for '22, progress in the on-field product and win column is a must to keep this program trending up going into '23 and beyond:
Florida State Football: Will the Seminoles Make a Bowl in 2022?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Yes, I think Florida State will make a bowl in 2022. The Seminoles are making progress under coach Mike Norvell, and even with a tough slate ahead, I think this program can get to seven wins this fall. The path to a bowl starts with quarterback Jordan Travis after he accounted for 22 total touchdowns and averaged 6.3 yards per play last season. With another offseason to work as the starter and develop under Norvell, Travis should add to a deep class of talented quarterbacks in the ACC. A couple of transfer additions have bolstered the receiving corps, and the offensive line — a weak spot in recent years — is poised to take a step forward. Florida State's defense gave up 6.5 yards per play in '20 but cut that total to 5.2 last fall. Assuming coordinator Adam Fuller can find replacements for ends Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas, this unit should rank as one of the top defenses in the ACC. The schedule is not kind, however. Non-conference dates against LSU and Florida are on tap, Clemson and Wake Forest visit Tallahassee, and road treks to Louisville, NC State and Miami won't be easy. However, I think Norvell has this program trending in the right direction, with a 7-5 or 8-4 finish a reasonable expectation this fall.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
If not this year, when? And that's a pretty important question Mike Norvell has to answer because if he doesn't get Florida State to a bowl game this season he may be looking for a new job come December, if not sooner. The good news for Norvell and disheartened Seminoles fans is that this team showed improvement towards the end of last season, winning two of the final three games with the loss being by just three points on the road to in-state rival Florida.
As for this season, Norvell has continued to build up the roster and quarterback Jordan Travis appears to be the right choice to help this offense take another step forward. There are some big shoes to fill on defense, namely ACC Defensive Player of the Year Jermaine Johnson II and fellow end Keir Thomas, but the cupboard is far from bare. FSU will definitely need to earn its bowl trip with a challenging schedule awaiting, but I think the Noles will win at least seven games.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
Florida State may have missed back-to-back bowl games, but the Seminoles will have something in 2022 they haven’t had in far too long: consistency under center. Jordan Travis looks ready to take off after completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 7.9 yards per attempt last season. He also finished 21st in the ACC in rushing despite only playing 10 games. Head coach Mike Norvell continues to successfully mine the transfer portal, particularly at wide receiver and offensive line, which should give the offense another shot in the arm. The non-conference schedule is brutal with games against LSU and Florida — don’t sleep on Louisiana — but there are at least five winnable conference games between Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, and Wake Forest, plus the free Week 1 win against FCS member Duquense.
Antwan Staley @antwanstaley)
I have Florida State finishing 8-4 this season as I think this is the year the Seminoles finally return to a bowl game. They have some tricky games against LSU and Miami, but there are some very winnable games outside of those. How FSU finishes will hinge mainly on the play of quarterback Jordan Travis. He has been inconsistent during his time with the Seminoles but has shown signs of brilliance at times.
Beyond the quarterback position, the Seminoles have most of their offensive line returning. Also, I love what Treshaun Ward brings to the table after rushing for 515 yards and leading the ACC in yards per carry a season ago (6.4). FSU will need to replace Jermaine Johnson II's production, but Robert Cooper and Fabien Lovett collectively could pick up the slack on the defensive line.
Mike Ferguson (@MikeWFerguson)
Florida State should make a bowl game in 2022 and honestly, it should finish with a winning record. On paper, the 2021 campaign was a disaster, but FSU won five of its final eight games and was a different team from October on. Defensively, there is a massive void up front with the losses of Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas, but virtually every other major contributor returns for the Seminoles with safety Jammie Robinson being the headliner. FSU worked to fill major voids with transfer portal additions of linebacker Tatum Bethune and defensive end Jared Verse. Offensively, quarterback Jordan Travis being reinserted into the starting role changed the trajectory of FSU's 2021 season. At his disposal, he'll have running back Treshaun Ward, tight end Camren McDonald and a revamped wide receiver corps. Transfers Kayden Lyles and Bless Harris could also be immediate starters up front.
On paper, FCS member Duquesne, a rebuilding Louisiana program and floundering Georgia Tech should be wins for FSU. That leaves FSU looking for three other victories. October will be tough with contests against Wake Forest, NC State and Clemson but the bookend of those contests is at home. In addition to Louisiana, three of FSU's other opponents — LSU, Miami and Florida — are led by new head coaches, albeit pretty good ones. The expectation for FSU should be 7-5. If third-year head coach Mike Norvell fails to make a bowl, his time in Tallahassee will likely be over.
Jon Kinne (@JonRKinne)
The FSU schedule is a bear. Duquesne and Georgia Tech are likely wins, but beyond that, nothing is guaranteed. Playing LSU, Florida, and Louisiana in non-conference is a difficult proposition, even if all three schools are breaking in new head coaches. Clemson, Wake, and NC State will be formidable in the Atlantic and Miami is hoping for new life under Mario Cristobal. But I say the Noles will break through and achieve bowl eligibility. Jordan Travis is constantly improving at quarterback, the offensive line is making progress, and the defense, despite losing Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas, has enough returning pieces to be competent. It may not be enough to save Mike Norvell's job, but Florida State will get to six wins and play in the postseason.
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