Dare I say it…the Florida State Seminoles basketball team is better than its football team. Okay, maybe I’m reaching a bit, but the fact is, the Seminoles basketball program has hovered near the top of the standings in the ACC the past few years.
They’ll be looking to crash their third straight tournament dance this season, something they haven’t done since 1991-1993. To help to accomplish this, the Noles have done a great job of mixing in some guarantee wins with some stiff competition in their schedule this year.
FLORIDA STATE’S 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
The season begins November 12 at home against North Florida. I only mention this because my ex-girlfriend went to North Florida and I just thought it was important.
The Seminoles roll gently into their schedule with five straight cupcakes (North Florida, UNC Greensboro, Gardner-Webb, Florida International and Mercer). All five should be W’s, but they’ll be on the road against UNC Charlotte and Florida International.
Both schools have plenty of experience taking on the “BCS” schools, so upsets can happen.
Let’s hope after the first five, coach Leonard Hamilton has worked out most of the kinks, because the next two will be much tougher.
Florida State will take on their favorite foes from Gainesville, an improved Florida Gators team, followed two days later by Ohio State. The Gators were a tournament team last year, but should be better in 2010-2011. Ohio State brought in a stuff recruitment class this past summer and they should be ranked in the top-10.
The Noles will benefit from the fact that both games will be at home. In fact, eight of their first 10 games will be played in Tallahassee. One of those home games will be their first ACC game. The Noles have the Clemson Tigers visiting December 12. Florida State better be ready. Clemson swept Florida State last year, including a 53-50 win in Tallahassee.
After a brief stopover in California to take on Loyola Marymount for the first time ever, the Seminoles will head to Hawaii for Christmas to play in the Diamond Head Classic.
First up with be the home team, Hawaii. If they win, they’ll take on the winner of the Butler/Baylor game. Either team would be a great match up for Florida State.
However, they will need to be careful against Hawaii. On any given night, I’d take the Noles over the Rainbows, but there are factors I don’t like. First, that’s a long trip from Florida. Second, they need to not look ahead to Butler/Baylor.\
After the Diamond Head Classic, the Noles will take a nice nine-day break. They’ll go on the road to face Auburn before starting off in ACC officially (minus the Clemson game).
Their final 15 are all in ACC play and the first one will be a true measuring stick, when they head up to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech. Next up they’ll host Duke, followed by an improved NC State team. If the Noles aren’t careful, that could be a rough three games.
Overall, it’s a tough ACC schedule. They do face Duke, North Carolina and NC State twice each. Of the four teams they’ll only face once, the two home games will be against Virginia and Boston College, two teams expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. On top of traveling to play Virginia Tech, they’ll also head up to face Maryland, with no return game back home.
I’ve always had a theory that to win more games, you want to travel to the bad teams and host the good teams. However, many of my past theories have been wrong before, so there’s that.