Bowl projections and predictions: What bowl game is Florida State playing in?

It is a bittersweet day in Tallahassee. The Florida State Seminoles are ACC Champions after going undefeated this season, but were not quite good enough to make the College Football Playoff.

Mike Norvell, Florida State Seminoles
Mike Norvell, Florida State Seminoles / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

There were only three bowl games potentially on the table for the Florida State Seminoles entering last night's ACC Championship Game vs. Louisville. It was not pretty, but the Seminoles got it done vs. the upstart Louisville Cardinals in Charlotte. Despite going 13-0 and winning the ACC, with two notable non-conference wins, Florida State did not make the College Football Playoff this season.

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee had to pick between four teams for the final two spots. Undefeated Big Ten Champion Michigan and undefeated Pac-12 Champion Washington were shoe-ins, while Florida State and Georgia came up just short of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds that went to Big Ten Champion Texas and SEC Champion Alabama, respectively. This was all about one big thing...

Florida State's stock took a hit once starting quarterback Jordan Travis broke his leg during Cupcake Week vs. North Alabama. His backup Tate Rodemaker sustained a concussion in the big in-state rivalry game a week later vs. Florida. Third-stringer Brock Glenn got the start vs. Lousville. While he guided the Seminoles to another signature victory, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.

So if not the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl for Florida State, where are they going? It is the Orange Bowl.

Florida State bowl projections: Seminoles are going to the Orange Bowl

We do not need to project anything because the ACC has conference tie-in implications with the Orange Bowl in non-College Football Playoff years. The Big 12 and SEC play in the Sugar Bowl two out of every three years and the Big Ten squares with the Pac-12 every three years in the Rose Bowl. Those two games are part of the College Football Playoff, so Florida State is going Miami Gardens.

The most interesting part is who the Seminoles' potential opponent could be. It can be someone out of the Big Ten like Ohio State or Penn State, possibly Georgia out of the SEC, or maybe even the Group of Five champion, which looks like it could be the Conference USA champion Liberty Flames. I would venture to guess it will likely be a Big Ten team with Georgia staying in Atlanta for the Peach.

Orange Bowl recent history

  • 2022-23: Tennessee Volunteers 31, Clemson Tigers 14
  • 2021-22 (CFP Semifinal): Georgia Bulldogs 34, Michigan Wolverines 11
  • 2020-21: Texas A&M Aggies 41, North Carolina Tar Heels 27
  • 2019-20: Florida Gators 36, Virginia Cavaliers 28
  • 2018-19 (CFP Semifinal): Alabama Crimson Tide 45, Oklahoma Sooners 34

Not going to lie, it has been a while since Florida State played in the Orange Bowl. Their last time playing in Miami Gardens in this signature bowl game was in 2016. The Seminoles edged out Michigan by a single point, 33-32. This lengthy Orange Bowl absence has everything to do with Clemson being the perennial Power in the ACC during the first wave of the CFP, and FSU being down.

Florida State bowl game recent history

  • 2022-23: Cheez-It Bowl: Florida State Seminoles 35, Oklahoma Sooners 32
  • 2021-22: N/A
  • 2020-21: N/A
  • 2019-20: Sun Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils 20, Florida State Seminoles 14
  • 2018-19: N/A

Even if the Orange Bowl is not part of the playoff this season, this is the biggest bowl game Florida State has played in in seven years. You have to remember the program went to hell in a hand basket in the wake of Jimbo Fisher leaving for Texas A&M. Willie Taggart had a lot of issues at the helm of Florida State. Mike Norvell needed some time to rebuild this program back to Florida State standard.

When is the Orange Bowl? Date, time, location, TV info

The 2023 Orange Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 30. Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida will be at 4:00 p.m. ET. ESPN will have the national telecast of this New Year's Six Bowl game. The presenting sponsor will be Capital One, so this bowl game will be referred to as the Capital One Orange Bowl. Florida State could play either a Big Ten, SEC or Group of Five opponent.

It may not be what Florida State wanted, but getting back to the Orange Bowl is huge for the 'Noles.

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