Revisiting Preseason Expectations for Seminoles Baseball

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

We review what preseason expectations were and how the Seminoles lived up to them

At the beginning of the season I wrote this article breaking down the Noles schedule and what I thought were reasonable expectations. This was all after the Noles lost a ton to the draft as well as their Saturday pitcher but before the senior shortstop was shelved for the season with a hip injury.

Aaron Fitt probably sums up the way things work in Tallahassee the best:

The Seminoles don't rebuild; they retool, and they win 40 or 50 games, and they compete for conference championships, regardless of roster turnover. This program has earned the benefit of the doubt. FSU will be good, even if it won't be the clear-cut favorite in the ACC.

Again the Seminoles won 40 plus games in 2013, 20 games in the toughest conference in the nation and earned a national seed, so lets see just how they did it.

Final RPI via NCAA, Preseason Rank and Projections via Baseball America

The "Lets figure out who is going to play where" Games:

Rhode Island - 3 Home Games - 2/15 - 2/17
2012 Results: Overall 33 - 25 : Conference 16 - 8 : Non-Conf. 16 - 15 : Post Season 1 - 2
Final RPI: 126 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 2nd Place finish in Atlantic 10

Villanova - 3 Home Games - 3/1 - 3/3
2012 Results: Overall 27 - 27 : Conference 10 - 17 : Non-Conf. 17 - 10 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 187 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 11th (Last) Place finish in Big East

Presbyterian - 2 Home Games - 3/5 - 3/6
2012 Results: Overall 24 - 31 : Conference 10 - 14 : Non-Conf. 14 - 17 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 156 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 4th Place finish in Big South (South Division)

PREDICTION: There are not any shutdown aces on the teams that could allow them to steal a win so not finishing off these games with a perfect 8-0 record would be a disappointment.

OUTCOME: 8-0

Rhode Island proved to be a solid opening test for the Seminoles as they challenged them in each game, in the end though the Noles came out victorious. Villanova and Presbyterian on the other hand were completely out matched and were crushed to the combined score of 51-12 in 5 games.

The Midweek "Let's keep fans happy" Games:

Jacksonville - 1 Home Game - 2/19, 1 Away Game - 4/3
2012 Results: Overall 18 - 38 : Conference 7 - 20 : Non-Conf. 11 - 18 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 225 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 9th Place finish in Atlantic Sun

Stetson - 2 Home Games - 3/19 - 3/20, 2 Away Games - 5/7 - 5/8
2012 Results: Overall 35 - 23 : Conference 15 - 12 : Non-Conf. 19 - 8 : Post Season 1 - 2
Final RPI: 61 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 5th Place finish in Atlantic Sun

Florida Gulf Coast - 2 Home Games - 4/2 - 4/3
2012 Results: Overall 26 - 31 : Conference 16 - 14 : Non-Conf. 9 - 17 : Post Season 2 - 2
Final RPI: 94 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 1st Place finish in Atlantic Sun (Projected NCAA Team - AQ)

PREDICTION: ... with eight games scheduled I think a 6-2 record would be acceptable.

OUTCOME: 7-0 (a game with FGCU was rained out)

Not dropping a midweek game even against opponents you are far superior than is tough to do and the Seminoles played great during the week this season.

North Carolina was added late in the season to get the team to 56 games, a late inning loss hurt but proved that FSU can play with anyone. (NOTE: this loss actually helped FSU's RPI)

The "Upper Echelon In-state" Games:

USF - 3 Home Games - 2/22 - 2/24
2012 Results: Overall 38 - 22 : Conference 17 - 10 : Non-Conf. 17 - 10 : Post Season 4 - 2
Final RPI: 71 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 6th Place finish in Big East

Florida - 1 Home 4/9, 1 Away 3/12, 1 Neutral 3/26
2012 Results: Overall 47 - 20 : Conference 18 - 12 : Non-Conf. 22 - 4 : Post Season 7 - 4
Final RPI: 2 NCAA Tournament: Finished 0-2 in CWS
Preseason Rank: 17 Projected: 4th Place finish in SEC East (Projected NCAA Team)

UCF - 3 Home Games - 5/3 - 5/5
2012 Results: Overall 45 - 17 : Conference 16 - 8 : Non-Conf. 25 - 6 : Post Season 4 - 3
Final RPI: 21 NCAA Tournament: Finished 2-2 in Coral Gables Regional
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 5th Place finish in Conference USA (Projected NCAA Team)

PREDICTION: ...a record better than 5-4 versus these teams would be considered a success.

OUTCOME: 8-1

USF and UCF were good early and late out of conference tests to gauge just how good a team FSU was and the Noles proved that they were one of the nation's best by going 6-0 versus these talented in-state schools. The Noles took the first 2 games over rival Florida and were 3 outs away from a season sweep, terrible 9th inning defense was the only hiccup here.

The "Wait? Are we really playing this game?" game:

South Alabama -Home Game - 4/16
2012 Results: Overall 23 - 34 : Conference 15 - 15 : Non-Conf. 6 - 18 : Post Season 1 - 2
Final RPI: 159 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 5th Place finish in Sun Belt

PREDICTION: they will hopefully crush a poor Alabama team the third Tuesday in April (NOTE: USA did make the tourney as a #2 seed in what has been thought of as the toughest bracket)

OUTCOME: 1-0

Florida State had a tough matchup against a tournament teams, a 2-0 win got it done.

ACC Home Games:

Boston College - 3 Games - 3/8 - 3/10
2012 Results: Overall 22 - 33 : Conference 10 - 20 : Non-Conf. 12 - 13 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 97 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 6th Place finish in ACC Atlantic

Georgia Tech - 3 Games - 3/22 - 3/24
2012 Results: Overall 38 - 26 : Conference 12 - 18 : Non-Conf. 20 - 6 : Post Season 6 - 2
Final RPI: 28 NCAA Tournament: 2-2 in Gainesville Regional
Preseason Rank: 16 Projected: 2nd Place finish in ACC Coastal (Projected NCAA Team)

Duke - 3 Games - 4/12 - 4/14
2012 Results: Overall 21 - 34 : Conference 9 - 21 : Non-Conf. 12 - 13 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 134 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 6th Place finish in ACC Coastal

Wake Forest - 3 Games - 4/26 - 4/28
2012 Results: Overall 33 - 24 : Conference 13 - 17 : Non-Conf. 19 - 5 : Post Season 1 - 2
Final RPI: 39 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 5th Place finish in ACC Atlantic

Clemson - 3 Games - 5/16 - 5/18
2012 Results: Overall 35 - 28 : Conference 16 - 14 : Non-Conf. 16 - 10 : Post Season 3 - 4
Final RPI: 30 NCAA Tournament: 2-2 in South Carolina Regional
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 3rd Place finish in ACC Coastal (Projected NCAA Team)

PREDICTION: The Seminoles should win every home series this season, finishing in the ballpark of 12-3 is a good goal.

OUTCOME: 13-2

The Seminoles won every series as they should of and there only blemishes came against All-American Buck Farmer and All-ACC Daniel Gossett. Again Florida State taking care of business and winning the games they should against teams they are better than.

ACC Away Games:

Maryland - 3 Games - 3/15 - 3/17
2012 Results: Overall 32 - 24 : Conference 10 - 20 : Non-Conf. 22 - 4 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 32 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 4th Place finish in ACC Atlantic

Virginia Tech - 3 Games - 3/29 - 3/31
2012 Results: Overall 32 - 21 : Conference 11 - 19 : Non-Conf. 23 - 2 : Post Season 0 - 0
Final RPI: 38 NCAA Tournament: DNQ
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 5th Place finish in ACC Coastal

Miami - 3 Games - 4/5 - 4/7
2012 Results: Overall 35 - 23 : Conference 16 - 14 : Non-Conf. 17 - 5 : Post Season 2 - 4
Final RPI: 17 NCAA Tournament: 0-2 in Coral Gable Regional
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 3rd Place finish in ACC Coastal (Projected NCAA Team)

Virginia- 3 Games - 4/16 - 4/21
2012 Results: Overall 39 - 19 : Conference 18 - 12 : Non-Conf. 18 - 4 : Post Season 3 - 3
Final RPI: 14 NCAA Tournament: 1-2 in Charlottesville Regional
Preseason Rank: NR Projected: 4th Place finish in ACC Coastal (Projected NCAA Team)

NC State - 3 Games - 5/11 - 5/13
2012 Results: Overall 43 - 20 : Conference 19 - 11 : Non-Conf. 19 - 4 : Post Season 5 - 5
Final RPI: 13 NCAA Tournament: 0-2 in Gainesville Super Regional
Preseason Rank: 8 Projected: 1st Place finish in ACC Atlantic (Projected NCAA Team)

PREDICTION: ... if Florida State can go 3-3 in those two series (Miami and UVA) that would be huge. Nine wins and six losses on the road this season would make me happy and it would hopefully put the Seminoles in contention for a regular season ACC Title.

OUTCOME: 7-8, 4 of the teams made the postseason. Not ideal but the Virginia was not expected to be national seed caliber and Virginia Tech had probably their best season ever and are hosting a regional.

Let's Recap

PREDICTION: A more accurate count has the totals as follows; 41-15 overall with a 21-9 in the ACC, if my predictions are close it would be hard to call the season anything but a success and a very promising 2014 and beyond.

OUTCOME: The Seminoles finished 41-15 during the regular season and 20-10 in the ACC. Again those results given all of the turnover on this team in phenomenal.

Say what you want about Mike Martin as a coach not winning the big one but no other coach in baseball has consistently put their team in contention like #11 has year in and year out. Take a look at in-state rival Florida who finished 1 game over .500 and were gifted a postseason spot because of the conference they play in. Six time CWS winners LSU have missed postseason play 3 times in the last decade and while Miami can boast they have the longest playoff tenure they haven't really been relevant on the national scene in quite some time.

Will this be the year? Who knows, I tend to think that the Noles will win one when least expected and given the caliber of teams in this year's field it might just happen. The road to Omaha sets up nicely this year as we will detail in upcoming previews. Regardless of what happens from here on out it has been another great season for Florida State Baseball.

Go Noles!

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