FSU Football: Potential Bowl Locations and Opponents For Seminoles

Here are the bowls FSU football could be playing in to conclude the 2016 season as well as a look at who they would play in each game.

For the longest time when the FSU football team was sitting with a 5-3 record entering the month of November, the questions were raised about whether the Seminoles would be able to get a sith win, thus making themselves eligible for a bowl game for the 35th straight season.

Not only did the ‘Noles do that by winning all four games in the month, but now Jimbo Fisher’s team is set to head back to a New Years Six bowl game – one of the most tradition rich bowls that’s right in the backyard of FSU football. Well, it’s in the same state…but we pretty much have owned the area where the bowl is played of late, so we’ll count it.

Where FSU football will play in the postseason does depend on the winner of the ACC Championship Game this weekend between Clemson and Virginia Tech. Here’s a look at where the Seminoles would likely end up depending on that game’s winner – and who the Seminoles might play in each contest.

Jan 1, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles react following the win over the Northern Illinois Huskies at the 2013 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. The Seminoles defeated the Huskies 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 1, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles react following the win over the Northern Illinois Huskies at the 2013 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. The Seminoles defeated the Huskies 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If Clemson Beats Virginia Tech

The Tigers will be on their way to the College Football Playoff for the second straight season – which would open up the conference’s tie-in with one of the oldest bowls in the sport.

Capital One Orange Bowl (December 30th in Miami Gardens)

Per the ACC’s contract with this game that started with the 2006 season, the game must take the highest ranked team from the conference if the champion is playing for the then-BCS title (now playing in the CFB Playoff). Thanks to Louisville’s upset loss last weekend, the ‘Noles jumped back into that spot and should stay there when the final rankings come out Sunday.

Likely Opponents: The Orange Bowl ties in with the SEC, Big Ten and Notre Dame on a rotating system for years it’s not a playoff semifinal spot to take the highest ranked team. With Mississippi State getting the honors for the game in the 2014 season and 2015 being a playoff season, the Big Ten will be filling the spot this year – with Michigan being the reported favorite.

The only small chance of an SEC rep would be if Alabama some how loses to Florida for the SEC title, but remains ranked ahead of Michigan – sending Florida to the Sugar Bowl and Alabama possibly to South Florida.

fsu recruiting

Apr 9, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; A general view of the Florida State spring game at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

If Virginia Tech Beats Clemson

Well, this is where things could get interesting. If this were to take place, it would be the Hokies who would head to South Florida as the conference’s reps for the Orange Bowl. It would also put Clemson within a game in the loss column of both the Seminoles and Louisville – meaning both teams could be selected over the Tigers for a bowl spot. Here’s the options.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (December 31st in Orlando)

In the scenario where the Big Ten’s team (again, likely Michigan since Ohio State seems playoff bound and the title game winner goes to the Rose Bowl) is selected for the Orange Bowl, the ACC would fill the spot in this New Year’s Eve game – for the first time since the 1991 season.

Likely Opponent: The ACC would be matched up with the loser of the SEC Championship Game – which means a potential rematch with the Florida Gators if they lose as expected against Alabama. If Alabama loses Saturday but still goes to a New Years Six bowl, the Auburn Tigers would be next in line for Orlando.

Russell Athletic Bowl (December 28th in Orlando)

Now, on the off chance that the Big Ten doesn’t send a team to the Orange Bowl as expected, their rep would go back to the Citrus Bowl. In that case, the other bowl game in Orlando (part of three played in the city) would get to pick from the group of Atlantic Division foes.

Likely Opponent: This is where it gets even trickier. Right now, the other conference tied into the bowl game, the Big 12, is the odd conference out of the playoff system. If that holds true and the winner of this week’s Oklahoma/Oklahoma State game goes to the Sugar Bowl, the loser would likely head to the Alamo Bowl and send West Virginia to Orlando.

If chaos breaks out and the Sooners win and make it into the playoff (since the Cowboys are too far out at this point), then Oklahoma State would head to the Sugar Bowl. In that scenario, the Mountaineers would likely still come to Orlando since the Alamo Bowl will likely select the winner of the Kansas State / TCU game this weekend.

Belk Bowl (December 29th in Charlotte, NC)

Now, there is a nightmare scenario that has about a hundredth of a percentage point of happening. That would be where a losing Clemson team gets to one of the Orlando games and FSU gets demoted another level to play in the Queen City for bowl season.

Likely Opponent: It’s another ACC-SEC bowl showdown in this one, with this one being third in line after the Sugar and Citrus bowls. If everything goes chalk and Alabama wins Saturday, then the Tide go to the playoff, Auburn goes to the Sugar Bowl, Florida to the Citrus and likely the Tennessee Volunteers destined for this one.

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