Just one day after it was confirmed that Florida State will open the 2017 football season against Alabama in the first game played at Atlanta’s new football stadium, it appears the Seminoles are still in the business of scheduling solid non-conference games. But, just like the battle with ‘Bama, it looks like fans will have to travel somewhere other than Tallahassee to see it.
According to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post, Florida State is working to schedule a neutral site game with West Virginia in 2018. Whether that means Jacksonville, Orlando , or somewhere further from home like Philadelphia or Washington D.C., has not been announced at this time. Either way, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher wants these games on the schedule:
“It’s the best preparation you have for going into a playoff game or a national championship or major bowl game,” Fisher said. “It’s a major game, the hype, that atmosphere and environment. And I think it’s good for college football.”
In addition to the Crimson Tide, FSU will open the 2016 season in Orlando against the Ole Miss Rebels. Currently, the Seminoles have non-conference games against Florida and Notre Dame scheduled for 2018, so adding West Virginia would give them three games against solid Power Five conference teams.
Surely, fans of the garnet and gold would like to see more of these games played at home. Notre Dame, Michigan State, South Carolina, Auburn, Oklahoma, Colorado and USC are the power five schools that have traveled to Tallahassee in the last 30 seasons, outside of in-state rivals Florida and Miami. Negotiating non-conference games is a difficult task though and neutral site games seem to be a good compromise to the traditional home-and-home series that would necessitate a follow-up road game.