Florida State's 2026 schedule could be historically difficult
Florida State’s 2026 schedule was always going to be difficult with its previously-reported nonconference slate.
But the reality of their situation began to set in on Tuesday morning after the ACC announced FSU’s 3 primary opponents in its new scheduling format.
The Seminoles will play Clemson, Miami and Syracuse on a permanent basis, beginning in 2023. The complications come in 2026 with FSU’s nonconference schedule, which includes Alabama, Notre Dame and Florida.
Florida State's 2026 schedule includes…
— Saturday Road (@SaturdayRoad) June 28, 2022
That’s 5 matchups vs. programs that are blue bloods or close to that status. In 2019, ESPN ranked the 50 best college football programs of all time — all 5 of those teams on FSU’s 2026 schedule ranked in the top 25. Alabama and Notre Dame took the top 2 spots.
Of course, things could change between now and 2026. Nick Saban could have retired by then and it’s possible — albeit seemingly unlikely — that Dabo Swinney is no longer at Clemson. There’s also reason to question the longevity of first-year coaches Mario Cristobal, Marcus Freeman and Billy Napier.
But as it stands now, that looks like a daunting slate for a Seminoles program that hasn’t reached 10 wins since 2016.
In addition to that murderer’s row of opponents, Florida State will also face Louisville, North Carolina and NC State in 2026. FSU has struggled mightily with Louisville and NC State in recent years. Virginia, Georgia Tech and Syracuse round out the schedule.
Florida State coach Mike Norvell has a contract that runs through the 2026 season.