Rivalries. They make college football fun. And Florida State's has an excellent pair of rivalries with Florida and Miami. Earlier this year, I made the case for Clemson as FSU's third rival, with no real objection. But does FSU have a fourth rival? Some would argue Georgia Tech, but FSU has played the Jackets only twice in the last seven seasons. Is that a rival? I don't think so.
Nor do I believe Florida State needs a fourth rival. Florida has four rivals: FSU, UGA, Tennessee, and LSU. But most teams do not. Alabama has three: Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee. Texas has just two: Oklahoma and A&M. But having a fourth rivalry would help FSU fans focus more on the ACC slate; something badly needed for FSU's program to improve, as FSU fans for far too long disregarded the conference slate.
But like it or not, FSU might just be establishing a fourth rivalry: the Virginia Tech Hokies. FSU has played the Hokies four times in the last six seasons, winning two of four.
And the Seminoles might just be seeing a lot more of Virginia Tech in the coming years. While the Hokies are not on the schedule this season, they are the overwhelming favorite to win the Coastal Division, just as FSU is to win the Atlantic. That would set up a December meeting between the two. FSU is scheduled to play the Hokies in 2012 and 2013. If Virginia Tech continues to win the Coastal Division in those years as well, FSU could play the Hokies five times in a span of nine football months! To put it another way, FSU could play Virginia Tech 5 times in a 30-game span!
Granted, while FSU and Virginia Tech may be the favorites to reach the ACC Championship Game in 2012 and 2013, the odds are strongly against the possibility of having this match-up for four-straight years.
Can a team have a rival that it doesn't play every year? What do you think?