Why Jimbo Fisher Was Kidding When He Suggested The 'Noles Play UF In Atlanta To Open The Season

After thinking about this for a while now, I truly believe that Jimbo Fisher was kidding when he suggested the 'Noles play UF in Atlanta to open the season in a two-year set. 

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There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, Fisher was speaking at a booster function in Atlanta.  Some of the boosters there would like to see FSU play in the Chik-Fil-A kickoff classic, which is typically an ACC-SEC matchup.  Fisher was trying to dodge a question about playing Alabama and by suggesting UF, I believe that he was trying to point out an issue with Florida State's scheduling.  That issue of course, is that the 'Noles schedule is brutal already and Florida State already plays the best SEC team from the last 2 decades (UF).  It is important to play one marque non-conference game, and Florida State annually plays one of the toughest non-conference opponents every season.  Fisher is trying to build Florida State back up to a level where it can compete for a national championship, and part of that is setting up a schedule that allows a school to try for one.  As the chart at right shows (D1 record only), the teams that schedule unnecessarily difficult non-conference games do not give themselves a chance to play for the championship.  Alabama played the 34th ranked regular-season schedule, UF the 54th, Texas the 98th, Cincinnati the 88th, TCU the 89th, Boise State the 117th, and Ohio State the 58th.  It's abundantly clear that the media cares about record and not a team's resume.  The media creates the polls that the BCS uses.  Fisher doesn't make the rules but he is trying to make FSU run the same race as the rest of the big boys.  What Fisher should have told the people of Atlanta is "I know this is an SEC town and you want to see FSU play in the ACC-SEC opener, but we already play the best SEC team and we're not adding unnecessary potential losses to an incredibly difficult schedule as we already receive enormous credit in the polls for playing UF in the last game of the seasonThanks and go Braves 

The second reason Fisher probably was not serious with his suggestion is money.  Florida State can't sell out its allotment of season tickets in most years.  The program can't even get its scholarships endowed.  Nobody understands the money problem more than Fisher and he has indirectly addressed this many times.  Under no circumstances can Florida State afford to give up a home game with UF.  The only chance that FSU has of selling out its season tickets is when it has a home game with the Gators, and sadly, that is because it is cheaper to buy Florida State season tickets than it is to pay the fee to become eligible to purchase Gator season tickets.  FSU needs Gators to buy FSU season tickets, even though it knows they are buying only to get the UF game ticket, because the 'Noles need money.  You'll never see a Florida State home schedule that doesn't include either the Canes or Gators.

Relax.  Think about it.  The 'Noles and the Gators will not play in Atlanta and the game will always be around Thanksgiving.

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