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Back-and-forth: What should expectations be for FSU football in 2022, 23?

Over/under 17.5 wins for FSU over the next two seasons?

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

At Tomahawk Nation, we’re lucky enough to have a wide group of minds to bounce opinions, ideas, and analyses off of. More often than not, those discussions result in disagreements and dozens upon dozens of messages of why the other party is clearly looking at things wrong, and on occasion, those back-and-forths offer some insight and clarity.

To showcase what those discussions look like, here is a lightly-edited excerpt from a typical Sunday night chat between the Tomahawk Nation staff on the state of Florida State football.

In the comments feel free to answer the question posed at the beginning that started off everything below — over/under 17.5 wins for FSU over the next two seasons?

Matt Minnick: Anyone else have thoughts on the next two years? What if we set the over/under at 17.5 for total wins in the 2022 and 2023 seasons?

NoleThruandThru: I’d take the under, think I’d hit 17 total wins

Perry Kostidakis: I’m still optimistically delusional so I’m going over — 8 and 10. Including bowl, I might go 9 and 11.

CoachAB: I’d take the under also — 7 this year and 8 next

Matt: I think I’m on 8 + 10. For an 18. So, one win higher than David. 7 and 8 wins this year and next year including bowl games, CoachAB?

CoachAB: Most likely outcomes for me, yeah. I am interested to see if they go to a pod system with the schedule in the near future, but FSU OOC still sucks and this roster is still not that talented.

Matt: Okay dang, you are much lower on the team than I am — for me, 15 wins vs 18-19 wins over two years is a huge difference.

CoachAB: I’m wondering where your confidence is coming from? What talent infusion occurred that I missed? I do lean more towards your outcome being more likely than an absolute negative one

Matt: A talent loss for our opponents and either a super senior Travis or second year AJ Duffy. Seems like our roster went from probably outside the top 60 in 2020 to inside the top 45 right now. I’m thinking it’s inside the top 35 next year.

Perry: I’m confident in the equivalent of Wake Forest’s fluke year last season for FSU in 2023 because of experienced talent and new infusions. I also think Norvell needs at least 9 in 2023 to continue to have the support of the fanbase.

When it comes down to it I think it really does depend on what happens with Jordan this year — either you’re getting another year out of an extremely experienced and talented quarterback, you’re stuck with an average QB that scares off transfers and Duffy isn’t ready or, if he really takes a step forward, he declares for the NFL.

CoachAB: Do you want Jordan back in 23? Gonna cost NIL.

Matt: I’d love him back for 2023 — But I’d feel good about Duffy in year 2 in the system too. Hell, FSU wins 6-7 games last year if Mike just commits to Jordan from game 1. I’ve been higher on Jordan than most of this channel for 10 months though. So no surprise I still am.

Perry: If he takes a step up to be a definite top 15-20 QB then for sure — I don’t know if that ruins Duffy though.

In my opinion, the 2023 schedule is built up pretty decent.

Matt: It is — especially with talent losses that will happen on other teams.

CoachAB: I appreciate the talent loss of others but I continue to ask: Where is the talent for FSU coming from? They are probably going to be in the 20s again recruiting class wise.

Matt: Overall, FSU has a better roster than last year.

CoachAB: 3 wins better? You downgrade at DE, but you do upgrade at corner.

Matt: 2 wins better, plus a bowl. Getting to 8 is: 1) not losing to an FCS team, 2) winning one extra game, 3) playing a bowl game — and FSU is cash money in bowls. Basically, I’m saying FSU is gonna beat Duquesne and beat one of UF, Clemson, or LSU.

evenflow58: I think anything over 14 expected wins over the next two seasons is silly. I don’t feel FSU has been competitive enough in NIL and I’m in a “believe it when I see it” mode for anything organizationally related to FSU.

Matt: 14. Sheesh, that’s low. I think 7 wins this year is definitely possible. And 6 wouldn’t be a shock, basically, it’s the same as 7 but probably a loss in the bowl game. 5 would be a shock.

Perry: 5 wins would mean Mike is basically gone IMO, people will be too pissed and it’ll make at least a couple big boosters poke around. 7 wins is gonna piss people off too but another missed bowl will force hands. I think he might need 17 wins over the next 2 seasons to survive.

NoleThruandThru: 7 wins and a bowl game are very doable this coming season IMO.

Perry: 8 wins including bowl win is decent enough to placate but not quiet down the hoopla especially depending on how UF and Miami go. 7 wins including bowl loss won’t inspire any sort of confidence to the fanbase at large — I think the same with 6, either put him at the potential of a lame duck/short short short short leash in 23

9-10 wins in 2022 though, I’m feeling ACC competitive in 2023.

CoachAB: If Mike wins 7 this year that’s a big vote of confidence for the money people IMO. I don’t really care what the Twitter/Discord population thinks outcome-wise. They are fanatics without realistic expectations.

Perry: I don’t know, the average human I interact with who isn’t focused on the minutia of FSU football is very wary of Norvell as head coach, like a good chunk of friends and co-workers — It’s also something reflected in the national media, Norvell has had a target on his back since the 2020 Georgia Tech loss, whether that’s fair or not. 7 wins don’t impress anyone who doesn’t care about the process.

CoachAB: People who care about process are the ones who matter — You just had 30k at a spring scrimmage off Jacksonville State and 5 wins, I’m not worried there. You’re also getting major commitments to NIL and from boosters.

Perry: And you don’t think some of those people are going to be like “we can be getting a better return on our investment if we’re capable of raising this much money?”

CoachAB: No I don’t. 7 wins and a making a bowl is a major improvement.

Perry: To me, if Miami and UF look good and FSU wins 7 with a bowl loss included he’s gonna be a dead man walking come 2024 unless 2023 is 10 wins.

Jon Marchant: No way — If they win 7 in ‘22 and 8 in ‘23 he’s still the coach for 2024.

Perry: Do you think 15 wins over the next two is enough to bring him back in 24? I don’t know if that sells to people.

CoachAB: No Perry, I don’t think 15 is enough.

Perry: 7 wins then 8 he’s still here in 24 I agree — I think. But then if he loses to somebody like Memphis in mid-September, he’s gone. I really just think you need some sort of excitement in 2022 to make sure he doesn’t get bogged down by unrealistic anger and expectations. Beating some combo of UF/UM/LSU this season for sure does that.

Kevin Little: Boy I hope FSU can string together more than 8 wins in 2023. That would be a red flag for me if they can’t. UL, NCSU, and Wake will all be breaking in new QBs and you’ll have had time to develop your kids. Sorry but FSU, even with 15-25 classes, should consistently be second in the Atlantic.

Perry: 2023 is a very winnable schedule.

CoachAB: At LSU, at UF, Miami which is spending like crazy, at Wake, at VT — guess I’m missing the very part.

Perry: What’s the scary part of it? LSU? It’s easier than the last few years, easier than 2022 — it looks like 2018 was maybe the closest in terms of at least projected toughness, cause 2019-2022 are ridiculous.

CoachAB: I still don’t know where the FSU talent is coming from for some of the optimism I’ve seen. Go re-watch these skill players. Go re-watch that tackle position.

Perry: It’s maybe less optimism than the personal opinion of realism that he’s gotta start actually winning or he’s done because there is no way he makes it to 2024 with 7 and 8.

CoachAB: I’d agree, but I’ve said he might not make it to 204 cause of the task at hand, He’s done an incredible job through this far. A lot of bad luck and a couple of bad decisions killed him.

Jon: That seems unreasonable and unrealistic to me. FSU had nothing in the cupboard when Norvell came on board.

Perry: We’re talking about the realism of the program vs. the realism of expectations of the program, though.

CoachAB: If this is “year 2” then at what point do you have to decide on him, Jon?

Jon: I think it’s a year-by-year thing tbh. He’s to get to a bowl game this year. He can’t backslide in any year. The program has to continue to make progress. He has to get FSU to 10 wins by 2025.

Perry: Oh man if he doesn’t have a 10 win by 25 he’s gone before that season starts I think. It’s not fair to ask of him but he just has to do it.

CoachAB: You can’t be in year 5 and not have a 10-win season. At some point, you’ve got to be able to win recruiting battles and games. You are way too far removed from Willie and Jimbo at that stage and they’ve sunk a lot of resources into the program

Perry: You gotta exceed realistic expectations to meet perceived ones

Jon: If we’re saying 6/7 is realistic this year, I don’t think 10 is the “you win this many or you’re gone” benchmark for 2023.

CoachAB: 9 is enough for me in 23, but I have to say it — my thoughts all along have been the jobs too big for any one man to overcome.

Tim Scribble: CoachAB, would you take Deion?

CoachAB: No.

Frank: I miss hearing the sound a dial up modem made when you connect your phone to the world wide web.