In recent years, the Florida State Seminoles experienced a downfall unlike any they had ever seen in team history. A demoralized program was a shell of what it once was in its glory days. However, during the 2022 season, we witnessed the Seminoles’ historic turnaround.
Almost nine years ago, Florida State brought the college football championship trophy back to Tallahassee over Auburn in a nail-biting 34-31 victory. While the Seminoles saw ups and downs in the years that followed, the 2018 season solidified their downward slide, with the team’s first losing season since 1976. This was also their first season with now-infamous head coach, Willie Taggart.
Following the 2019 season, the Seminoles finally did what was necessary and fired Taggart in exchange for current head coach, Mike Norvell. Prior to becoming the remedy for unprecedented losing, Norvell coached the University of Memphis, reaching a bowl game every season. He left the school with an impressive 12-2 record, seeing only one regular season loss, and a loss in the Cotton Bowl that year. Before Norvell, Memphis had only a handful of winning seasons since 2003.
Even after acquiring Norvell for the 2020 season, the new status quo took time to materialize. Between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the Seminoles only saw a combined eight wins and thirteen losses. However, this year proved that the potent mixture of Norvell’s seasoned football intellect and Jordan Travis’ gift for being a leader on the field shifted the tides in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and college football at large.
The Norvell-Travis led Seminoles opened the season with historic achievements, giving Florida State its first 3-0 start since 2015. In fact, with their win over Louisville, Florida State became the first team in college football history to start the season 3-0 with each win on a different day of the week. The 2022 season also gave the team their first winning record since 2017.
Quarterback Jordan Travis has had the burden of sharing the spotlight with other quarterbacks throughout his tenure at Florida State but proved himself to be a team leader and perhaps the most valuable player this season. In 2020, Travis had a 1-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio, and barely skimmed over 1,000 passing yards. This year Travis threw for almost 3,000 yards and managed to throw 22 touchdowns with merely four interceptions.
This season was also full of exciting victories. The Seminoles made a statement early in the season when they defeated the LSU Tigers by a single point. LSU went on to play in the SEC Championship game and put up 30 points against the number one team in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs. For the last five games of the season, the Seminoles averaged 43.6 points per game, beating rival schools such as Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Miami, and Florida.
Now, our underdog football program is heading into the Cheez-It Bowl on December 29. Whether or not the Seminoles take down the Oklahoma Sooners in a few weeks, Florida State should be proud of a legendary season that was so badly needed. With Travis confirmed to return next year and all doubts about Norvell’s leadership put to rest, this record of victory may very well foreshadow the story of the Florida State Seminoles for the near future, and beyond.