The early read on the schedule is that it is much easier than the brutal slate FSU scheduled in 2014 (games v. Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Florida, which though they turned out not to be as hard as expected, were three bowl teams from the Power 5 conferences).
And that's OK, because Florida State seems due for a drop off on the field in 2015 after going an incredible 27-1 over the last two seasons. This schedule gives Florida State a strong chance to again win 10 or more games (including a bowl), and most of the opponents will be bowl eligible. The strength of schedule is unlikely to help Florida State reach the playoffs, but FSU returns just 11 starters and lost most of its best players to the NFL, so the playoffs might be an unrealistically lofty goal in 2015.
September 5, Texas State: The Bobcats were bowl eligible (7-5) in their third season in the FBS. They play in the Sun Belt Conference (Troy, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Lafayette, Arkansas State, etc.), and are not an FCS/D1-AA team. The Bobcats return 12 starters.
September 12 (moved up from September 26), USF: The Bulls went 4-8 in 2014 in their second season under Willie Taggart. There are some good athletes on the squad, but quarterback play has torpedoed the offense and if that doesn't get fixed, USF will likely be incompetent offensively yet again. USF returns 12 starters. Florida State beat USF in Tampa in 2012, and lost at home to the Bulls in 2009. 11:30 kickoff, by the way.
September 18 (Friday), at Boston College: The Eagles have never beaten Florida State with Jimbo Fisher in charge, but they've often played FSU close. BC returns nine starters, and must find a quarterback, but the defense should be improved.
September 26, Bye Week
October 3, at Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were a mess in 2014, going 3-9 with by far the worst offense in the Power 5 conferences. Wake returns an impressive 16 starters, but some incoming recruits may claim those spots. Wake should continue to be the worst team in the ACC, and it will be interesting to see how much the offense can improve to offset the losses on defense. FSU is 4-1 against Wake Forest under Jimbo Fisher.
October 10, Miami: Florida State played a wild game in Miami last year, and Jimbo Fisher has never lost to the Miami Hurricanes as head coach of the Seminoles. Miami returns 11 starters, including the excellent QB Brad Kaaya, who will have to shoulder more of the load this year thanks to the losses of running back Duke Johnson, receiver Phillip Dorsett and tight end Clive Walford.
October 17, Louisville: The Cardinals and Seminoles played an awesomely entertaining game last year in the first year of Louisville's membership. The Cards return nine starters, and many of their top defenders are off to the NFL. But Louisville will still be dangerous.
October 24, at Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets had an incredible offense in 2014, and gave FSU quite the run in the ACC Championship Game. The Yellow Jackets return 13 starters, and will be a tough out in Atlanta.
October 31, Syracuse: The Orange are still adjusting to the talent differential in the ACC, and returns 11 starters, and Florida State should again be a heavy favorite.
November 7 at Clemson: Florida State has owned Clemson under Jimbo Fisher, going 4-1 against the Tigers. But Clemson is an elite program with elite talent. Both schools return 11 starters, and both have major questions to answer, like at quarterback where Deshaun Watson is coming off knee surgery, and FSU's solidified situation. The Tigers must replace most of their defensive line, while the Seminoles replace most of their offensive line. The winner of this game has decided the Atlantic Division each of the last five years, and this year should be no different.
November 14, N.C. State: Getting the Wolfpack at home in 2015 is nice since NCSU returns 14 starters including 9 on offense. Jacoby Brissett has shown that when he is hot, he is very difficult to stop.
November 21, Tennessee Chattanooga: The Mocs are not the standard FCS/D1-AA opponent to play before traveling to play the Florida Gators. UTC made the final four of the FCS playoffs in 2014 before falling to New Hampshire, 30-35. Still, if FSU has a player or three with nagging injuries, they can sit for this game. And FSU can host senior day with no distractions and cheaper hotels for player parents with a game that won't be all that well attended.
November 28, at Florida: The Gators return 10 starters from the 7-5 season that ended with Will Muschamp being fired. If new head coach Jim McElwain finds a QB and the offensive line stays healthy, Florida could be good. If not, FSU will likely get its third-consecutive win and fifth in six tries.