Recently, Las Vegas released betting lines for nine FSU 2018 football games. Florida State Seminoles football is an underdog in three games: by 10 hosting Clemson, by 5.5 at Miami, and by 5.5 at Notre Dame.
An interesting debate arose in the comment section of the piece: Which upset, if the Seminoles could pull it off, would most benefit FSU?
I think there are really only two choices.
The Notre Dame game will be great to watch, but the Irish are not a rival of FSU, don’t recruit against the Seminoles very much, and don’t have an impact on the conference race. So it’s out.
Clemson is a rival of Florida State, however. And it’s a division favorite, so a win over Clemson would impact the division race. And FSU does recruit against Clemson some, so a win there could also help. But Clemson isn’t my pick, because even if FSU beats Clemson, the Tigers would still likely win the division. FSU has the toughest schedule in the country this year, and it draws both Miami and Virginia Tech from the Coastal. If FSU were to beat Clemson, the odds are that, all things being equal, its 6-2 probable league record would still lose out to a 7-1 Clemson, for example.
So my pick for the most meaningful upset to pull would be at Miami.
Miami is FSU’s No. 2 rival. Beating Miami in Miami would prevent the Hurricanes from getting a winning streak of two games against the Seminoles. It would be FSU’s 11th win in the last 14 games. And it would help recruiting more than the other two wins would, since FSU and Miami compete against each other more. It could, potentially, keep Miami out of the ACC Title Game. And it would be big for narrative purposes, with Willie Taggart in Year 1 taking down Mark Richt in his third year.