Florida State football, and the focus has shifted to the 2022 season.
The Seminoles suffered through their fourth straight losing season last year, but a 5-2 stretch in October and November has brought optimism.
FSU's 2022 schedule isn't as daunting as it has been in years past.
Only four of the Seminoles' 12 opponents for this upcoming season won more than seven games in 2021. FSU will also face four foes with a first-year head coach.
Under head coach Mike Norvell, the expectations are much higher this season.
In what may be a put-up-or-shut-up year for Norvell, here's a look at the slate his team will face:
Week 1 – Aug. 27 vs. Duquesne (Tallahassee, Fla.) Florida State's aura of invincibility against FCS opponents evaporated last season with a stunning 20-17 loss to Jacksonville State. Duquesne was 7-3 last season and is entering its 17th year under head coach Jerry Schmitt. This will be the earliest home opener ever for the Seminoles. FSU hasn't started 1-0 since 2016.
Week 2 – Sept. 4 vs. LSU (New Orleans) For the second straight season, FSU's first game against an FBS opponent will come against a Brian Kelly-coached team. After spending more than a decade at Notre Dame, Kelly takes over for an LSU program that just had its first losing season since 1999. In what will be a two-game series on neutral fields, the contest will take place in New Orleans. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 1991.
Week 3 – Sept. 16 at Louisville (Louisville, Ky.) For the first time since 2017, Florida State will play on a Friday night as it visits Louisville. After getting blasted in its last trip to Louisville, FSU's rally came up short last season in a 31-23 loss in Tallahassee. The Seminoles haven't won a season opener since 2016, but they haven't started 1-0 in ACC play since 2015.
Week 4 – Sept. 24 vs. Boston College (Tallahassee, Fla.) Florida State's first ACC home game will come against a Boston College team that it held off last season in Chestnut Hill. The Seminoles have won the last three in the series. Boston College has shown promise under head coach Jeff Hafley. The winner of this contest could be in the driver's seat to have a very productive season.
Week 5 – Oct. 1 vs. Wake Forest (Tallahassee, Fla.) Wake Forest handed FSU its largest margin of defeat with a 35-14 win in Winston-Salem last season, and the Demon Deacons will remain a threat to repeat as ACC Atlantic champions. Wake Forest has won the last two matchups but hasn't left Tallahassee victorious since 2008.
Week 6 – Oct. 8 at NC State (Raleigh, N.C.) Carter-Finley Stadium has never been an easy place to play for Florida State. The Wolfpack are coming off a nine-win season under Dave Doeren and are 7-5 in their last 12 home games against FSU. NC State returns key players on both sides of the football and has the look of a contender in the ACC Atlantic.
Week 7 – Oct. 15 vs. Clemson (Tallahassee, Fla.) Florida State was unable to hold a late lead at Memorial Stadium last season as it dropped its sixth straight contest to Clemson. Clemson's offense struggled for most of last season, and the Tigers will have to replace longtime defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
Week 9 – Oct. 29 vs. Georgia Tech (Tallahassee, Fla.) Georgia Tech has struggled to find its footing under head coach Geoff Collins, but the Yellow Jackets haven't lost to Florida State since the 2014 ACC Championship Game and not during the regular season since 2003. Norvell's FSU tenure began with a 16-13 home loss to the Yellow Jackets to open the 2020 season.
Week 10 – Nov. 5 at Miami (Coral Gables, Fla.) Momentum seems to be going in the right direction for Miami. The Hurricanes feel revived with the hiring of alum and new head coach Mario Cristobal. Miami won five of its final six games last season after a 2-4 start. The only loss? At Florida State. FSU will look for its first road win over the rival Hurricanes since 2016.
Week 11 – Nov. 12 at Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.) Florida State's midseason turnaround in 2021 began with a thrilling 33-30 win over Syracuse on Ryan Fitzgerald's last-second field goal. This time, the Seminoles will make the trip to Syracuse to wrap up ACC play. The Orange return the ACC's leading rusher in Sean Tucker. FSU has won the last two matchups in the series and 12 of the last 13.
Week 12 – Nov. 19 vs. Louisiana (Tallahassee, Fla.) Senior Day in Tallahassee will take place against a Louisiana team that won the Sun Belt last season. The Ragin' Cajuns, however, have some serious names to replace, starting with head coach Billy Napier. Another notable departure is quarterback Levi Lewis, the program's all-time leading passer. This will be the first-ever meeting between the schools.
Week 13 – Nov. 26 vs. Florida (Tallahassee, Fla.) Napier may no longer be in Louisiana, but he is still on Florida State's schedule. The new Florida head coach will be welcomed to the Sunshine State rivalry as the Gators come to Tallahassee for the first time since 2018.
Florida has won the last three contests in the series. This contest could shape Norvell's future in Tallahassee in a significant way.