10/8 Update: Following the loss to Miami, Florida State sits at 1-3 for the season. Assuming a loss at Clemson, FSU can only lose one game out of a list that includes home games vs. Louisville, Syracuse and Delaware State and away games at Boston College, Duke and Florida to secure a spot in a bowl game.
Two losses in the span, with the loss to Clemson, would put FSU at 5-6 at the end of the regular season. Make up the ULM game during the ACC Championship weekend or during Army vs. Navy weekend, win, and FSU would get that important sixth win.
On Monday, ESPN’s David Hale reported that Florida State is considering playing a makeup game vs. ULM on the weekend of the ACC Championship Game. Florida State may need to play that makeup game to become bowl eligible and extend its streak of 35 straight bowl games.
Florida State currently has two losses on the season already and as of now, will only play 11 games total in the regular season. FSU still has away games at currently undefeated Wake Forest, Duke, and Clemson teams. The ’Noles will also host a currently undefeated Miami team.
That’s four of its final nine games against teams currently undefeated— and that list doesn’t even include a home game vs. Louisville or road trip to the Swamp.
I’m not saying Florida State will lose all those games, but at this point, losses against Louisville and Clemson are looking likely, which would put the Seminoles at four losses for the season.
That means, in that scenario, FSU must go 6-1 in a seven game stretch with games at Wake Forest, Duke, Florida, Boston College, and at home vs. Miami, Syracuse and Delaware State to remain bowl eligible.
If Florida State were to win a makeup game vs. ULM, it would give the Seminoles an extra cushion, in which they could go 5-2 in that seven game span above and still be bowl eligible. With two more loses in that span and no ULM makeup, FSU would finish the regular season with a record of 5-6 which would be unlikely to get the ’Noles into a bowl game.
The reason its important the makeup game is against ULM, or a different FBS opponent, is due to the NCAA rule that a team may only count one FCS opponent toward its bowl eligibility record. While not in the Power 5, the Warhawks are apart of the FBS’ Sun Belt Conference.
There are still ways for Florida State to play in a bowl game at 5-6 with exceptions due to Hurricane Irma or not enough bowl eligible teams to fill in spots in all the bowls. At 6-6, Florida State is guaranteed to be playing in a bowl and won’t need to rely on any NCAA ruling or the records of other FBS teams.