FSU Football: 3 Reasons Why FSU Got Orange Bowl Bid Over Louisville

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Sep 24, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher looks on from the bench in the second quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football received their Orange Bowl invitation Sunday over Louisville. We discuss three reasons why FSU got the invitation.

The College Football Playoff Committee put FSU football one spot over Louisville in their rankings last week, and then selected FSU over Louisville to play in the Orange Bowl Sunday afternoon.

Of course, Louisville beat FSU football by 43 points in the third game of the season. It was the first true road game for redshirt freshman Deondre Francois, and the first game the FSU defense played after Derwin James was lost for the season.

No excuses, it was their day, but losing by 43 points was an aberration. Louisville would argue that Houston isn’t 26 points better than them right?

College football history has shown that teams typically get better as the season progresses and it’s better to lose earlier in the season than later.

Let’s take a look at three reasons why the committee took FSU over Louisville for the Orange Bowl spot.


Sep 10, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminole cheerleaders celebrate a first half score against Charleston Southern at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Stronger Finish

FSU football won six of its final seven games with the lone loss coming against Clemson by three points. Let’s not forget that phantom penalty that saved Clemson too.


Aside from the Louisville loss, FSU’s other two losses came by a combined five points. UNC beat FSU on a 54 yard field goal as time expired on October 1st.

Once Louisville lost to Clemson to hand over the ACC Atlantic title, they fell off like Big Mac toppings.

They turned in lackluster efforts against Duke, and needed a last second touchdown to be two win Virginia.

Wake Forest led Louisville 12-10 into the fourth quarter of their game at HOME because falling apart.

They followed that up with the blowout loss to Houston and the terrible HOME loss to 26 point underdog Kentucky in their final game of the season.

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Nov 26, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles Chief Osceola holds his spear above his head before the game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Strength of Schedule

Louisville beat FSU in the head-to-head battle, but FSU played a much tougher schedule this season by most qualifying standards. Here’s just a couple that reflect the sentiment:

FBS Schedules:

FSU-No. 13 toughest schedule

Louisville-No. 66 toughest schedule


FSU-No. 18 toughest schedule

Louisville-No. 70 toughest schedule

FSU was Louisville’s best win with Louisville only playing two ranked teams all season, losing the other game to Clemson.

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Nov 15, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. FSU won 30-26. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


Listen, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you the Orange Bowl being played in Miami, Florida, didn’t have anything to do with FSU being selected.

The bowl committee’s want good games, but more importantly, they want that stadium to be packed when the game happens.

Who’s going to have more fans travel to Miami between FSU and Louisville?

You already know.

It’s not difficult, but FSU routinely has more fans in road games at Miami than the Miami Hurricanes. There’s no way more Louisville fans were going to make that trip, especially not since Louisville lost their last two regular season games.

So the committee chose the win-win proposition. They took the best team in the state of Florida that finished the season stronger against a tougher schedule.

FSU Football

Nov 28, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher celebrates after getting a gatorade bath against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators 27-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Listen, Louisville has no one to blame but themselves. All they had to do was beat lowly Kentucky at HOME to secure the Orange Bowl bid.

However, they continued to run through the motions just as they did after losing to Clemson. If they ran through the motions then, who’s to say they wouldn’t do it in their bowl game after all?

The bowl committee knows that FSU will not quit.

It’s not a huge factor, but they also know FSU is a bigger national brand than Louisville when it comes to TV ratings.

Some people on Twitter said they’d rather see Louisville against Michigan and that Michigan will kill FSU. I say to those people, Louisville lost to Kentucky, so I supposed they’d get killed against Michigan too?

In terms of star power, what more do you want than Dalvin Cook going up against that Michigan defense?

The bowl committee made a sound call in picking FSU over Louisville, and a great business decision.

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