Florida State Football - Seminoles 2023 Season Preview, Predictions & Best Bets

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) scores a touchdown. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators 45-38 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Fsu V Uf First Half1522
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Sam Avellone


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Long-time suffering Browns fan born and raised in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area who now resides in SEC country. University of South Carolina alum. Sports handicapper for close to 10 years with a primary focus on NCAAB while enjoying NFL, PGA, NCAAF, NBA, and Soccer. For Sam Avellone media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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Coach Mike Norvell has turned the Florida State football program around, improving the Seminoles from 3 wins in 2020 to 10 wins in 2022. Now, expectations are higher than they have been in years, as Florida State ranks in the top 10 in the preseason poll and returns its Heisman candidate quarterback in Jordan Travis. 

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Florida State Seminoles 2023 College Football Season Odds

Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

Florida State National Championship Odds

With odds listed at 25/1, the Seminoles are 1 of just 10 teams that have odds less than 30/1 to be national champions.

Florida State Seminoles ACC Championship Odds

The Seminoles are the second favorites to win the ACC at +170. The only team in front of them is Clemson at +150.

Florida State Seminoles Odds to Reach the College Football Playoff

The odds of Florida State making the playoff are currently listed at +380.

Florida State Seminoles 2022 Season Recap

The Seminoles finished 10-3 overall with key wins over LSU and Miami, but had a 3-game stretch where they lost to Wake Forest, North Carolina State, and Clemson by 18 combined points. Despite the losing streak, Florida State had one of the best offenses in the country, ranking in the top 10 in drive efficiency, touchdown rate, points per drive, and PFF’s total offense. Furthermore, the Seminoles scored over 35 points and accumulated over 471 yards per game while finishing the season with at least 41 points in 4 of their last 6 games. Travis was exceptional from the pocket and accumulated 3,215 yards to go along with 24 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. He was great as a runner too, adding 417 yards and 7 touchdowns with 5.1 yards per carry.

Travis played behind an offensive line that finished in the top 50 in average line yards, standard down line yards, opportunity rate, and sack rate, and he had an elite group of skill position players on which he was able to rely. Running backs Trey Benson and Treshaun Ward combined for more than 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging at least 6.4 yards per carry, and Lawrance Toafili added 457 yards and 5 touchdowns. Wide receiver Johnny Wilson paced the pass-catching group with 43 receptions, 897 yards, 5 touchdowns and a 20.9 yard per catch average. 

Florida State was not quite as good on the defensive side, but it was still better than average and ranked in the top 35 in drive efficiency, points per drive, and touchdown rate. The Seminoles allowed just 21.8 points and 334.9 yards per game – both top 25 in FBS – and were especially good at getting to opposing quarterbacks. They averaged 3.3 sacks per game and finished in the top 3 in sack rate according to FootballOutsiders. Defensive back Jammie Robinson led the defense with 99 tackles, but Jared Verse was arguably the most important piece. He accumulated 48 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 9 sacks in 12 games and was graded a top 10 pass rusher among the Power 5 conferences by PFF. Linebackers Tatum Bethune and Kalen DeLoach combined for 149 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 6 sacks and 10 passes defended, while Patrick Payton added 31 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. 

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Florida State Seminoles 2023 College Football Season Outlook

The Seminoles enter this season with high expectations and ample returning pieces from their 10-win team in 2022, including 11 all-ACC players. In addition to Travis, 8 starters return from last season’s efficient and explosive offensive unit. Florida State loses 2 starters on the offensive line, but coach Norvell brought in 3 transfers including right tackle Jeremiah Byers (UTEP) and left guard Casey Roddick (Colorado) – both of whom possess a pass-blocking grade above 80 per PFF. Together with Bless Harris, Maurice Smith, and D’Mitri Emmanuel, this offensive line is one of, if not, the most experienced groups in the country. Travis will have an abundance of playmakers around him again starting with a running back group that returns Benson, Toafili and Rodney Hill.

Ward may not be in the mix anymore, but the trio of remaining running backs combined for over 2,000 total scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns last season to go along with Travis’s rushing production. The wide receiver group is loaded with big-bodied pass catchers headlined by Wilson, and Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman gives Travis a bonafide second option in the passing game. South Carolina transfer Jaheim Bell will lead the tight end group and can be effective in multiple different spots of the formation. 

Depth could be a concern for the defense, but the Seminoles return multiple key pieces and add multiple highly-regarded transfers to the mix. Despite receiving a high draft grade, Verse returns to Tallahassee and will be joined by Payton, Fabien Lovett, and highly-coveted Western Michigan transfer Braden Fiske on the defensive line. An experienced group of linebackers in DeLoach, Bethune, and DJ Lundy round out the front 7, providing the Seminoles with stability in the middle of their stop unit. The secondary will have to replace the production of Robinson, but Norvell and company brought in Fentrell Cypress II from Virginia to bolster the position group. Cypress II is one of the top cover corners in the nation according to PFF and should make an instant impact alongside returning contributors Greedy Vance Jr., Akeem Dent, and Renardo Green. All things considered, Florida State appears to be a top 10 team on paper and should be in the mix to at least find its way to the ACC Championship for the first time since 2014,  especially with the conference’s new alignment sans divisions.

The Seminoles kick off their season with a neutral site game in Orlando against LSU before a Week 2 home game against Southern Miss. They start conference play with consecutive road games at Boston College in Week 3 and at Clemson in Week 4 before an early off-week to end the month of September. Following the bye week and a tough opening month, Florida State will play 3 straight games at home against Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and Duke. The Seminoles then have a second pair of back-to-back road games at Wake Forest and Pitt before hosting in-state rival Miami and North Alabama in Weeks 10 and 11, respectively. Finally, the Seminoles close the season with their other in-state rival, the Florida Gators. 

Best Bet: Florida State Seminoles to make the College Football Playoff (+380)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of publishing

I have the Seminoles winning the ACC with a Week 4 victory in Clemson and a rematch win over the Tigers in the ACC title game. I am also confident in their abilities to beat another group of Tigers in Orlando in Week 1 and would not be surprised to see an undefeated regular season for this team given the caliber of returning pieces it has. Even if the Seminoles lose to LSU in Orlando, there is still a path to the playoff as a 1-loss conference champion. Therefore, I see value in passing on Florida State’s ACC Championship odds to bet on the Seminoles earning a berth to the College Football Playoff. Depth is a concern, so injuries to key pieces could spoil this position, but I project Florida State as the best offense in the ACC with Clemson and Miami incorporating new offensive coordinators. Furthermore, the defensive front 7 could be better than advertised with Verse, Fiske, and the rest of the experienced upperclassmen leading the way.

If the Seminoles achieve the type of season that I envision, Travis should be squarely in the Heisman race – if not the favorite. A sprinkle on Travis to win the Heisman at +1200 is certainly worth consideration as well. 

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