Earlier this week, I wrote about how Florida State’s week-two home-opener against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks could just be the biggest “cupcake” game of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure with the Seminoles. Late on Thursday night, that game was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma’s projected path up through the Florida peninsula.
So FSU’s contest against ULM isn’t happening— and that’s the right call, as the well-being of the state’s citizens should always take precedent over intercollegiate athletics. And no, that game will not be made up. The ’Noles do not have a bye week that coincides with that of the Warhawks, and plus, it’s a non-conference game against a small-conference team. Now: is this a good or bad thing for the Seminoles?
To begin with the Louisiana-Monroe game itself, erasing it from the schedule will not hurt Florida State. The Seminoles were favored by over 30 points, and the College Football Playoff Committee was never going to award the ’Noles any points for merely taking care of business against ULM.
Actually, the most likely long-term effect of playing the Warhawks could have hurt FSU, had it played the game and underachieved behind true-freshman quarterback James Blackman making his first career start. It was an entirely plausible scenario, as numerous Florida State players may have had their minds rightfully preoccupied with concerns about their friends and family across the state.
Voters who dropped the Seminoles to No. 9 or No. 10, depending upon which poll you’re citing, could have added ammunition to further sink the ’Noles, even in a victory, had they not covered against Louisiana-Monroe. What’s more, this would have probably been a look-ahead game for FSU, with Miami looming— or maybe not. That game could be postponed as well, but certainly made up, as these two rivals do share a common bye date on October 7. But we’ll cross that bridge when, and if, we come to it.
Regardless, this cancellation has already afforded Blackman a second two-week fall mini-camp, of sorts, as he’ll get consistent reps at the QB1 spot, all of which are occurring in Tallahassee, at his home practice facility, while sleeping in his own bed. That’s a fortnight of uninterrupted practice time as a first-stringer, depending, of course, on how much the storm affects Tallahassee and the FSU campus.
Every coin has two sides, and so does this discussion, as there’s another way of looking at the cancellation of the ULM game. Instead of No. 1 notching start No. 1 against a vastly under-matched foe with a chance to gain some confidence, Blackman could instead wind up taking the field, for the first time as a starter, for the Miami game, and the ’Canes present a solid front-seven on defense.
So, all things considered, what do you think? Is this schedule alteration helpful or harmful for FSU?