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6 questions, 6 answers: Breaking down expectations for FSU in 2023

Analytics and Vegas odds are high on the Seminoles’ potential this upcoming season.

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

Updated with the latest Florida State Seminoles odds from DraftKings

As the start to the 2023 Florida State Seminoles football season creeps closer, the hype for Mike Norvell’s squad continues to grow.

After a 10-win season in 2022 and an offseason that saw FSU retain 79% of its overall production while also infusing talent from the transfer portal, the Seminoles have become a trendy pick to, at the very least, challenge the Clemson Tigers’ ACC dominance and at most, earn Florida State’s first playoff bid since the 2014 season.

National media, analytics and Vegas odds have all showcased the Seminoles’ potential this upcoming season, with each riding high on what FSU can accomplish in 2023.

DraftKings has Florida State’s win total set at 10 wins, with +1800 odds (seventh-best, tied with Clemson) to win the national championship and +165 (again, tied with Clemson) to win the ACC Championship.

In ESPN writer Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early post-spring rankings the Noles sit No. 3 behind only the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s SP+ rankings have Florida State at No. 11 in the country and consider FSU’s ceiling to be 11-1 and floor to be 8-4, with a 19% chance of finishing 11-1 or better. Its FPI rankings have FSU at No. 14, with a 17% chance of winning the ACC, 4.4% chance at making the playoffs, 1% at making the national championship and 0.2% at winning the title.

What does the Tomahawk Nation staff think of some of the big preseason questions swirling around FSU football?

Here are six questions and six answers.

First things first, nice and simple: Will FSU win more than, less than or exactly 10 games in 2023?

NoleThruandThru: More.

JonLoesche: More

LastNoleOfKrypton: More

Brian Pellerin: Sign me up for exactly 10 in the regular season. With ACCCG and bowl/playoff, it’s more.

Frank DNole: Let’s see. 12 regular season games, the ACC Championship game, the Capital One Orange Bowl game, and the National Championship game in Houston. My answer is more than 10 games because 15 is more than 10.

Perry Kostidakis: More — 11 regular season wins is my current feeling, with 9 more likely than 12.

Jon Marchant: More.

With that answer in mind, what are your overall expectations for Florida State?

NoleThruandThru: I expect FSU to make it to the ACC Championship game, win the ACC, and secure a Playoff berth. Anything less would be a significant disappointment. From there it’ll all depend on the other CFP opponents, but it’s clear that FSU is all-in on 2023.

JonLoesche: You don’t shell out the kind of NIL cash FSU has this offseason unless your goal is to win the conference and make the playoffs. Anything less for FSU will cause a lot of soul searching in Tallahassee.

LastNoleOfKrypton: I expect FSU to enter the playoffs with a 12-1 record and the No.2 overall seed behind undefeated UGA.

Brian Pellerin: This is a team that, on paper, has the makings of a title contender. Top notch QB, strong run game and pass rush. The schedule sets up pretty nicely for an ACCCG berth. They’d be favored in every ACC game except Clemson if they played tomorrow. The question will be depth because football is guaranteed to churn out a few bumps and bruises. But the sky really is the limit this year.

Perry Kostidakis: I need a little bit more Kool-Aid to drink before I fully am in — at the moment, my gut feeling is a 12-2 season that ends in the first round of the playoff.

Frank DNole: This Mike Norvell fella is going to bring the National Championship trophy to back to Tallahassee after 10 years of mediocrity. Unfortunately, this is going to put a lot of pressure on him to repeat next year.

Jon Marchant: Borderline playoff team. With a little bit of luck, they get in. But my real expectation is they finally wrest control of the conference from the Clemson Tigers.

If FSU scored between 35 and 45 in every single game, what would you say their record is?

NoleThruandThru: Looking at the schedule, it’s hard to see any teams that could boast a more explosive offense than FSU. LSU poses the biggest threat and Clemson can’t be dismissed due to the hire of Garrett Riley. If FSU can hit those numbers on offense, I can’t see more than one loss in the regular season.

JonLoesche: Assuming no major injuries on the defense, at worst 11-1.

LastNoleOfKrypton: If FSU had scored 36 every game last year they would’ve been 12-0; so if you’re telling a better overall roster is scoring between 35 and 45 every game then they should be 12-0.

Brian Pellerin: It’s 12-0. If they average 35 or more, I can’t see a world where they’d lose. As NoleThruandThru said, LSU is the only team I’d expect to push that number. But if you tell me FSU scores 35-40 on the LSU defense, they win.

Frank DNole: If they average between 35 and 45 every game during the regular season they will finish 12-0. However, I expect FSU to average 45 or more every game during the season, then 35 to 45 during the conference championship game, the bowl game, and the National Championship game.

Jon Marchant: Based on the positive progression of the defense under Adam Fuller, and assuming no collapse, 11-1 minimum.

Perry Kostidakis: I’m in the 12-0 boat. While FSU’s defense left a little to be desired last season in terms of consistent dominance, there were games lost that were within grasp had the Seminoles not failed to score points that were available to them. With a refined roster and experience in excelling but still falling short, there’s plenty of opportunity to build on those lost chances.

What are the biggest factors in determining FSU’s win-loss record this season?

NoleThruandThru: The health of Jordan Travis. FSU is absolutely loaded at the skill positions and while not yet at a great level, the offensive line is stronger and deeper than it’s been in nearly a decade. Travis is the conductor of this symphony and while the skill level at RB and WR/TE can help hide some deficiencies among the backup QBs, it would still be a significant drop off. I would also say that consistently getting pressure on the quarterback will be crucial for FSU’s defense. The defensive backfield looks to be the weakest unit, so it will be essential for the pass rush to generate enough pressure to force sacks, turnovers, and throw-away passes.

LastNoleOfKrypton: Injury luck to two specific position groups. Safety and offensive tackle; if FSU stays healthy at both of those positions then they should be just fine.

JonLoesche: Injury luck. As the October slide last year showed, FSU has the starting horses to compete with any team in the country but one twisted ankle or torn ACL can be the difference between FSU making the playoff or a 2011-style letdown.

Brian Pellerin: Since I already touched on depth/injury luck, I’ll say limiting big plays in the secondary. The DL is going to feast on a lot of teams when healthy. If the secondary can keep the ball in front and give them more chances to go to work, I love the ability of this unit to match the offense’s growth.

Frank DNole: I agree with the other staffers in that injury luck is the biggest factor which will determine our final record. I feel it’s more important that the defense stays healthy all season in order to make it to Houston. But of course we don’t need no stinkin’ major injuries on offense either, but I think it’s more important for the defense to stay healthy.

Jon Marchant: Will echo injury luck.

Perry Kostidakis: Has anybody ever heard of the concept of “injury luck?” Yes? Because it’s right above my name, something I am fully aware of as I make this lame joke?

Do the Seminoles have a top 3 receiver room in the country in 2023?

NoleThruandThru: Yes. The only WR corps in the nation that is better is Ohio State, in my opinion. If you add in the TE group, I think FSU is squarely in the argument for best in the country.

JonLoesche: I think FSU is just on the outside after Ohio State, Washington, and USC. If this unit lives up to its potential it will be easily the best WR group for the Noles since the 1999 squad.

Brian Pellerin: I love the work they’ve done improving this group. Keon is an enormous get for this program, but I want to see it before I anoint it one of the best in the nation.

Frank DNole: Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Affirmative, Ghost Rider.

Perry Kostidakis: On paper, in my mind, there’s no question. If Johnny Wilson can cut out some of the easily avoidable drops he had in 2022 and if Keon Coleman lives up to the hype, then you can throw in any combination of Kentron Poitier, Ja’khi Douglas, Darion Williamson, Duece Spann, and Winston Wright Jr. to help prove that point (and that’s assuming that Hykeem Williams doesn’t exceed his freshman expectations).

LastNoleOfKrypton: Categorically; there’s only one team in the country has Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman. They’re No. 2 behind Ohio State because the Buckeyes have an AJ Green clone playing college football.

Jon Marchant: How could I say no? The job this staff has done to flip the room in just two seasons is remarkable.

Which Tigers will be more challenging for Florida State — LSU or Clemson?

NoleThruandThru: While LSU is better than Clemson, the game is in Orlando and FSU will be at its healthiest all season. FSU hasn’t bested Clemson in its home stadium since the 2013 beatdown that put the nation on notice. That environment, combined with a new offensive scheme for the Tigers and the game having significant importance in ACC standings, will be more difficult for the Seminoles.

LastNoleOfKrypton: The Tigers of LSU will be a tougher contest for FSU than Clemson for two reasons. 1. First game jitters; things aren’t always in sync. 2. LSU is much, much better at QB and WR than Clemson is until proven otherwise.

JonLoesche: Clemson still has arguably more talent, the Noles have lost 9 of their last 10 trips to Clemson and last beat the ACC Tigers when most of the roster was in middle school. Combine all of that and it makes for the toughest test & defining game of the season.

Perry Kostidakis: If this was an ACC schedule of the past, where the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions still existed and determined participants in the ACC Championship Game, then I wouldn’t be particularly conflicted in declaring LSU the tougher challenge. In a singular game vacuum, that still is true, but with the possibility of Florida State having to face off against Clemson twice makes them the biggest obstacle this season for a major Seminoles year.

Brian Pellerin: I’m a known LSU homer so this may not be a shock, but I believe LSU is the better team of the two. They’re returning a top-10 QB in the country while Clemson’s Cade Klubnik isn’t there yet. LSU added more transfer talent to a strong defense that features one of the best defensive players in the country in LB Harold Perkins, Jr. and returns DT Maason Smith off last year’s season-ending injury against FSU. They’ve got revenge on the mind with all summer to prepare. This could be ACC champ vs. SEC champ in Week 1.

Frank DNole: LSU will be a tougher win for the Noles than the win over Clemson. Clemson is just a shell of their former selves and will be lucky to win 9 games this season.

Jon Marchant: Since Clemson is more important to FSUs goals this season I’ll go with the game that means more as the tougher challenge.

2023 Florida State football schedule

Sunday, September 3: LSU Tigers (Orlando)

Vegas Pick: LSU -2.5

Last matchup: FSU win, 24-23

Saturday, September 9: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Saturday, September 16: at Boston College Eagles

Saturday, September 23: at Clemson Tigers

Vegas Pick: Clemson -2.5

Last matchup: Clemson win, 34-28

Saturday, September 30: BYE

Saturday, October 7: Virginia Tech Hokies

Saturday, October 14: Syracuse Orange

Saturday, October 21: Duke Blue Devils

Saturday, October 28: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Saturday, November 4: at Pittsburgh Panthers

Saturday, November 11: Miami Hurricanes

Vegas Pick: FSU -16.5

Last matchup: FSU win, 45-3

Saturday, November 18: North Alabama Lions

Saturday, November 25: at Florida Gators

Vegas Pick: FSU -9.5

Last matchup: FSU win, 45-38

2023 Florida State Seminoles odds: ACC Championship, national championship, Heisman, win total

Regular season wins


Florida State, over 10 wins: +110

Florida State, under 10 wins: -130

In comparison:

Florida, over 5.5 wins: -120

Florida, under 5.5 wins: +100

Miami, over 7.5 wins: +120

Miami, under 7.5 wins: -140

Clemson, over 10 wins: +105

Clemson, under 10 wins: -125

Exact season wins


Florida State

  • 12: +750
  • 11: +275
  • 10: +250
  • 9: +350
  • 8: +700
  • 7 or Fewer: +1000

In comparison:

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • 12: +380
  • 11: +275
  • 10: +330
  • 9: +450
  • 8: +750
  • 7 or Fewer: +850

Clemson Tigers

  • 12: +500
  • 11: +350
  • 10: +300
  • 9: +400
  • 8: +550
  • 7 or Fewer: +650

Colorado Buffaloes

  • 7 or More: +3500
  • 6: +1500
  • 5: +700
  • 4: +370
  • 3: +300
  • 2: +350
  • 1: +650
  • 0: +1800

Florida Gators

  • 9 or More: +1800
  • 8: +900
  • 7: +475
  • 6: +320
  • 5: +300
  • 4: +450
  • 3: +1000
  • 2 or Fewer: +1000

LSU Tigers

  • 12: +850
  • 11: +450
  • 10: +300
  • 9: +275
  • 8: +450
  • 7 or Fewer: +500

Miami Hurricanes

  • 10 or More: +1000
  • 9: +600
  • 8: +330
  • 7: +300
  • 6: +400
  • 5: +750
  • 4: +2000
  • 3 or Fewer: +6000

Texas Longhorns

  • 12: +750
  • 11: +400
  • 10: +300
  • 9: +350
  • 8: +500
  • 7 or Fewer: +550

Texas A&M Aggies

  • 11 or More: +2500
  • 10: +950
  • 9: +475
  • 8: +300
  • 7: +320
  • 6: +450
  • 5: +1000
  • 4 or Fewer: +2200

To win the ACC Championship


Florida State: +165

In comparison:

Clemson: +165

North Carolina: +750

Miami: +1800

To win the national championship


Florida State: +1800

In comparison:

Georgia: +210

Alabama: +600

Ohio State: +600

Michigan: +900

USC: +1400

LSU: +1600

Clemson: +1800

Florida: +20000

Miami: +15000

To make playoff


Florida State: +280 odds to make it, -360 to not make it

In comparison:

  • Georgia: -250 to make it, +250 to miss
  • Clemson: +320 to make it, -425 to miss
  • LSU: +370 to make it, -500 to miss
  • Michigan: +105 to make it, -135 to miss
  • Ohio State: -125 to make it, -105 to miss
  • USC: +260 to make it, -340 to miss

To have undefeated regular season


FSU: Yes (+750), No (-425)

In comparison:

Clemson: Yes (+500), No (-700)

Ohio State: Yes (+340), No (-425)

Alabama: Yes (+380), No (-475)

Michigan: Yes (+330), No (-400)

USC : Yes (+600), No (-900)

LSU: Yes (+850), No (-1400)

Heisman Trophy winner


Jordan Travis, Florida State quarterback: +1200

In comparison:

Caleb Williams, USC quarterback: +600

Drake Maye, UNC quarterback: +1400

Jayden Daniels, LSU Tigers quarterback: +1400

Sam Hartman, Notre Dame quarterback: +1500

Trey Benson, Florida State running back: +15000