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Noles News: Gus Malzahn says UCF should join FSU, UF, Miami as Florida’s “Big 4”

“You look at the last six, eight years, we’ve been, as good or better as any of those other programs.”

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Auburn Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


You can catch up on all the latest Florida State football recruiting news and pick the brains of our recruiting staff in the latest edition of our recruiting thread.

QUARTERBACK: 4 star Luke Kromenhoek (GA)

RUNNING BACK: 4 star Kam Davis (GA)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Camdon Frier (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Tawaski “TJ” Abrams (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Lawayne McCoy (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star BJ Gibson (GA)

TIGHT END: 5 star Landen Thomas (GA)

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Jamorie Flagg (FL)

LINEBACKER: 3 star Jayden Parrish (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 4 star CJ Heard (GA)


Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and running Trey Benson reflected on the handling of major expectations for the Seminoles this season, offseason work, impressions of new teammates and more speaking with the media yesterday:

Travis: I feel like it’s always the same mindset. It’s all about the work, especially in the offseason. That’s all we do is just work — build confidence from work. So we’ve been working hard, I mean, our summers are no joke. Coach Storm pushes hard. Trying to keep weight on, put weight on, get bigger get stronger, faster.

Another week, another entry in the Tomahawk Nation Mount Rushmore series — this time around you all, the wonderful fans, voted on the four best receivers in FSU history:

  • Peter Warrick (95%)
  • Fred Biletnikoff (79%)
  • Rashad Greene (58.2%)
  • Ron Sellers (56.9%)

Previous results

Quarterbacks: Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Jameis Winston, Jordan Travis

Running Backs: Warrick Dunn, Dalvin Cook, Greg Allen, Amp Lee

Wide receiver Keon Coleman, tight end Jaheim Bell and offensive lineman Jeremiah Byers were named to Athlon Sports’ ACC All-Transfer Portal Team.

Is it time for the UCF Knights to join the big boys and be part of a Big 4, now that they’re part of the Big 12+?

Head coach Gus Malzahn thinks so — per The Oklahoman:

A school that didn’t field a football team until 1979, when it charged students $14 a day to stay in dorms during summer tryouts; a school that didn’t join Division I-A until 1996; a school that didn’t have its own stadium until 2007, now is taking aim not just at its new conference colleagues, but the iconic programs in its very own state.

“You, here, think about the Big Three,” Malzahn said of the Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles. “It’s time for the Big Four.

“You look at the last six, eight years, we’ve been, as good or better as any of those other programs.”

Let’s take a rough look at the data, with all, not just Power 5 opponents, used in win percentage.

Over the last six seasons

Average wins

UCF: 9.83

Florida: 7.5

Miami: 6.67

FSU: 6

Winning percentage

UCF: 0.771

Florida: 0.595

Miami: 0.583

FSU: 0.489

Bowl wins

UCF: 3

FSU: 2

Florida: 2

Miami: 0

Top 25 finishes

UCF: 3

Florida: 3

FSU: 1

Miami: 1

Over the last eight seasons

Average wins:

Florida: 8

UCF: 8.125

Miami: 7.5

FSU: 7

Winning percentage

UCF: 0.636

Florida: 0.622

Miami: 0.600

FSU: 0.559

Bowl wins

FSU: 3

UCF: 3

Florida: 3

Miami: 0

Top 25 finishes

Florida: 5

UCF: 3

FSU: 3

Miami: 2

And for good measure, over the last 10 seasons

Average wins:

UCF: 8.6

FSU: 8.3

Florida: 7.5

Miami: 7.5

Winning percentage

UCF: 0.670

FSU: 0.640

Miami: 0.596

Florida: 0.589

Bowl wins

FSU: 4

UCF: 4

Florida: 4

Miami: 1

Top 25 finishes:

Florida: 5

FSU: 5

UCF: 4

Miami: 3

The numbers don’t tell the whole story, of course but maybe, given the lack of an on-campus stadium and success overall over those time periods, things remain a Big 3 but a certain school in Coral Gables finds itself relegated? Just spitballin’.


The first iteration of the ACC-SEC Challenge is set and scheduled:

Florida State’s men’s basketball will host Georgia on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 9:15 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in its first-ever ACC/SEC Challenge matchup.

FSU and Georgia have played 31 times over their men’s basketball history but not since 1981. The Seminoles own a 19-12 advantage with the first meeting coming in 1948. The two met at least once a year over a stretch from 1954-1966 and not again until a midseason tournament in 1980 followed by the regular season Seminole home game in 1981.

The inaugural ACC/SEC Women’s Basketball Challenge comes to Tallahassee when Florida State women’s basketball plays host to Arkansas on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

The Seminoles and Razorbacks meet for just the second time ever and the first since 2011. Arkansas reached the WNIT Great Eight last season and finished 24-13 overall and 7-9 in the SEC.

Florida State is coming off its 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, currently one of just eight programs to enjoy a streak that long. FSU brings in a talented 12-player roster for the 2023-24 season headlined by returning All-ACC performers Ta’Niya Latson (sophomore guard) and Makayla Timpson (junior forward).


Thirteen Florida State Seminoles baseball players, led by two-time honoree Jaime Ferrer, were named to the All-ACC Academic Team:

Requirements for selection to the All-ACC Baseball Academic Team are a 3.0-grade point average for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one’s academic career. In addition, position players must compete in at least 50 percent of their team’s contests and pitchers in 20 percent.

Joining Ferrer, a sophomore that has started all 113 games in his career, are freshmen Ben Barrett, Titan Kamaka, DeAmez Ross and Cam Smith; sophomores Jackson Baumeister, Treyton Rank, James Tibbs III and Conner Whittaker; juniors David Barrett, McGwire Holbrook, Brennen Oxford and Brandon Walker.

All Sports

Florida State finished the year No. 17 in the 2022-23 LEARFIELD Director’s Cup Standings:

FSU has finished among the Top 20 programs in the country for the past six consecutive years (no rankings were announced for the 2019-20 season due to the Covid pandemic) and 17 of the last 18 seasons.

“Consistent success in college athletics is challenging and we take a great deal of pride in that achievement at Florida State,” FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “The credit goes to our talented and dedicated student-athletes, exceptional coaches and outstanding support staff along with the support of Seminole Boosters and our university administration.”

Florida State ranked fourth among Atlantic Coast Conference members this year and has finished among the top four in the ACC for the past six years.

FSU’s beach volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, and softball team finished among the top five in the country this season.

Researchers at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory will receive $5.3 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next five years to develop new techniques to probe the intricate processes of the human body:

The NIH funding will advance three areas of technology development at the MagLab.

The first focus is use of superconducting detectors to give NMR enough sensitivity to analyze extracts from biological fluids such as blood and urine. This is NMR researcher Bill Brey’s area of expertise. Brey is a co-principal investigator on the grant and Research Faculty at MagLab/FSU.

The second focus will be enhancing a process called Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, which uses special chemical additives known as biradicals, along with microwave radiation, to enhance the NMR signal from molecules that are hard to observe using conventional instruments.

And the final focus leverages the record-high magnetic fields found only at the MagLab, including the world’s strongest NMR magnet, the 36 Tesla Series Connected Hybrid, along with a 32 Tesla All-Superconducting Magnet, and a world-class 14.1 Tesla dynamic nuclear polarization NMR platform.

One of the ultimate goals in pushing the NMR technology to new limits is opening up the Periodic Table of Elements to investigate biological systems, since many elements of importance in biology have isotopes that are very hard to see with NMR techniques.