The Florida State football team has now passed the halfway point of the season. Therefore, this is a good time to assess how the season has gone so far and where the team is headed as we move into post-season.
This is a real question asked by real people in the sense that it is an actual question (ends with a question mark) and I am a real person. I have written all the questions.
Florida State is currently 7-0-2 (3-0 ACC). The Noles are seventh in the latest coaches poll and tied with Duke and Pitt at the top of the ACC with nine points. Did you expect for the season to be going this well?
Based on results alone, I’m not surprised by FSU’s performance to date this season. However, when the eye test counts, I’m a bit surprised at how well the team has performed on the pitch so far this season.
What surprises you about how the season has played out to this point?
There are several things. On the same subject : Top 10 favorite video games of all time Countdown: 9th place. I will hit the highlights in no particular order.
I didn’t know that the results on the pitch would be so much better if former coach Mark Krikorian and players like Emily Madril and Yujie Zhao stayed on and Kirsten Pavlisko would avoid injury. It was a surprise.
I want to make it clear what I mean because I’ve seen some chatter out there questioning whether this team is better than last year’s champions. Let’s take a break now. This year’s team has proven that (at least so far) they are capable of playing elite football. However, last year’s team was really versatile. They are undefeated and not tied at full strength (unless you count national championship games as a draw). You don’t lose players like Jaelin Howell, Gabby Carle, Emily Madril, Yujie Zhao and Kirsten Pavlisko and get better. Howell and Carle won’t be back in any case, but if the other three were in this team I’m sure Noles would be 9-0 now and be the unanimous #1 team in the country.
However, the fact that anyone can even credibly compare this year’s team to last year’s edition says a lot about how well this year’s team is playing. This is what I mean when I say that the results on the pitch may not be better this time. The record would have been better if those players had held because the early draw would have most likely been a win but the actual product on the pitch is very high now even without those players and probably wouldn’t have been much higher if those players were still on the pitch. list.
The team has really come together and played really well since the Auburn game. Seminole seems to have found the answer. Onyi Echegini has been a revelation on the left. We know that Echegini is truly talented from her game in the State of Mississippi, but we’re not sure how well her skills and talent will translate to Tallahassee playing in a different system with different teammates. Also keep in mind that Echegini signed with FSU without ever visiting campus or meeting his new teammates. Given that fact, it’s a bit surprising that things went so smoothly even with such a talented player as Echegini.
Echegini is of course a new player added to the roster, but we also see some returning players having to adjust to new positions. Basically every instance of the change has worked. Ran Iwai has never played at the back at this level but he has taken a step up to left-back like a duck to the water. The game really strengthens the back line. LeiLanni Nesbeth has moved on to take charge of midfield and his overall game is very good. Nesbeth has strengthened the spine of the midfield and allowed the FSU attackers to move forward without worrying about the problems behind them.
The freshmen’s play was also a little surprising. The State of Florida is usually less dependent on contributions from freshmen. However, with all the turmoil we witnessed over the summer, Noles is in the unusual position of having to rely on new signings to play significant minutes. Heather Gilchrist has stepped into an early role at centre-back and she doesn’t look out of place. The same could be said for Sophia Nguyen when she had to spell Heather Payne at right-back. Olivia Garcia looks dangerous when she comes in on the wing. They have really improved and their game has been key to the team’s overall strong run.
Keeping all of that in mind, where do the Seminoles sit in the national conversation?
Obviously there’s plenty of season left, but right now the State of Florida should be on anyone’s short list of national championship contenders. On the same subject : The Biggest Tree in Video Games.
FSU is now seventh in the coaches poll, 14th in RPI and second in Massey Ratings. Massey’s rating is football’s answer to KenPom. Massey rates FSU’s attack and defense as first in the country but they are second in the overall rankings for UCLA mainly because the Bruins are 9-0 and have played the toughest fixture in the country so far this season.
Noles’ rating is on hold because his schedule (to date) isn’t too heavy. Massey has a 14th-ranked FSU schedule now. FSU’s best win according to Massey is over #23 Clemson.
Basically, FSU is playing very impressive football at the moment, but people will want to see if they can keep it up as the opponents get tougher.
Okay, that is a great segue to take our focus to the rest of the season. How do you see the next few games playing out?
Seminole is about to enter a challenging part of the season. To see also : Bloomberg UK Politics: Chasing the Seagulls and Sunak’s Supporters. Let’s discuss some of the opponents next.
The first is Miami (3-4-2, 0-3-0 ACC) on Saturday. Canes are not ranked in the coaches poll, #47 RPI and #89 Massey. Not much to say about this game. Miami does look moving in the right direction as a program. They had an impressive win over #5 Alabama. However, Canes lack FSU talent and it would be a surprise if Noles didn’t win this game with lots of goals. It would be nice to see Megan Morgan again.
Massey gave FSU an 80% chance of winning while Miami had a 9% chance of winning. The other 11% are draw odds.
On October 6 the Gauntlet began. The State of Florida will face Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina and Pitt in back-to-back games. Massey’s ranking of those opponents in order was sixth, ninth, fourth, third and seventh. That’s right. The gauntlet consists of five against the top 10 in a row. Let’s discuss these teams in a bit more detail. Before we get to that it should be noted that Heather Payne will definitely miss the Notre Dame and Duke game and possibly the Virginia game due to national team commitments.
Virginia (9-1-1, 2-1-0 ACC) first on October 6 in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavs (coach #2, #6 RPI. #6 Massey) had talent all over the pitch as usual. However, UVA hasn’t been that impressive lately. I can’t believe I’m saying this about the #2 team in the country (at least according to the coach) but something is missing with this team. I know, they are 9-1-1 so how much can they lose. However, you need to look deeper with this team. In politics, they have the top row numbers in the poll and then they have cross tabs that let you take a deeper look into the results. With Cavaliers you really need to look at crosstabs. UVA have a total of six shots on goal in a combination of their last three matches. They are 2-1 in that game (against UNC, ND and Louisville) as they have scored five of those six shots. I highly doubt that UVA will be able to become this clinician against the FSU goalkeeper. It’s surprising that the Cavs haven’t been able to produce more chances considering they have a forward line featuring Haley Hopkins, Rebecca Jarrett and Alexa Spaanstra. I think what’s happened is that Hoos haven’t been productive enough in midfield and therefore a strong front line hasn’t been served well enough. This led to the strikers having to commit too many fouls on their own due to lacking build in midfield. I want to emphasize how talented the Cavs are because they have the players to fix this problem. However, if they don’t find out it will be difficult to deal with FSU as Noles will be very hard to beat if Jenna Nighswonger, Clara Robbins and Co dominate the midfield.
Massey gave FSU a 47% chance of winning and gave UVA a 38% chance of winning.
Next up is Notre Dame (8-2-0, 1-2-0 ACC). The match will take place on October 9 in South Bend, Ind. Ireland (#16 coach, #4 RPI. #9 Massey) are a very solid team. They take care of business at non conference and win over Virginia on their resume. They also lost to Clemson and Pitt. They have quality players like Korbin Albert, Olivia Wingate and Kiki Van Zanten but overall the talent level at South Bend is not as good as FSU can offer. Assuming FSU plays to the standards we’ve seen in recent games, it’s hard to see Noles losing here.
Massey gave FSU a 53% chance of winning and gave ND a 32% chance of winning.
Duke (8-2-0, 3-1-0 ACC) next. The match will be played on October 13 in Tallahassee. The Blue Devils (coach #4, #3 RPI. #4 Massey) are a dangerous team. Of course it all started with striker Michelle Cooper at the top. Cooper had a lot to deal with with his speed and athleticism. He doesn’t need much space to attack. The Noles family needed to know where he was at all times. However, Duke is Jekyll and Hyde’s team. They were completely dominated by UNC at Durham 3-0 in a match where the Heels held them down for two shots. They followed up that performance with a languid 1-0 win over Syracuse. I would write them as redundant at that. Then they came out and literally took NC State to the barn with a ruthless 6-0 scoreline. Now I’m not sure what to do with the Devil. It really depends on which team decides to appear. In the end, I think FSU is a bad fight for Duke. I don’t think that the Blue Devils defense will be able to stand up to Seminole’s loaded front line. Also, the game is in Tallahassee and that matters.
Massey gave FSU a 59% chance of winning and gave Duke a 27% chance of winning.
North Carolina (9-2-0, 2-1-0 ACC) travel to Tallahassee on October 20. Tar Heels (Coach #2, #2 RPI. #3 Massey) is loaded of course. And I mean loaded with talent and players. UNC has 37 players on the roster. For context, FSU has 21. If you’ve watched any college football in the last 10 years or so, you know what Heels will do in this game. FSU will see high press. That will be the key to the game. If Noles can avoid (or at least minimize) mistakes at the back, they should be fine in this game. The FSU will then be able to take advantage of the space in the back that will be exposed due to the high pressure. Tar Heels has another problem. The goalkeeper has been suspected. Against Virginia (prospective game of the year) UNC was 2-0 up in the first half. Carolina completely dominated the Hoos in the first half. UVA didn’t even try to make a shot and basically couldn’t get the ball out of their half. Then everything changed in the second half. UVA scored three goals in the first half for the win. However, the first and third goals were due to a highly questionable goalkeeping from UNC goalkeeper Emmie Allen. If that’s not cleaned up, Heels will have a very hard time staying in the Sunshine State.
Massey gave FSU a 54% chance of winning and gave UNC a 31% chance of winning.
The Noles travel to Pitt (10-1-0, 3-0 ACC) on 23 October. The Panthers (coach #14, #7 RPI. #7 Massey) are looking a lot better but I’ll save my observations on them for later as the game is almost a month away.
However, currently Massey gives FSU a 52% chance of winning and gives Pitt a 34% chance of winning.
Overall, Seminole played as well as could be expected. Any decline from the Krikorian era has been minimal (at least so far). Assuming FSU can continue to play at this level and avoid injury, Noles is the main contender for another round of the College Cup.
As always, comments are yours.