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In what many felt was the top game of Week 1 college football action, the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles battled the SEC’s Louisiana State Tigers. Billed as a duel between Heisman-candidate quarterbacks Jordan Travis and Jayden Daniels, it lived up to that hype in the first half. But the Seminoles blew the game open in the second half, recovering from early mistakes and bad breaks to outscore the Tigers 31-7 to win big, 45-24.
Travis’ standout performance featured 23-of-31 passing for 342 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, as well as 36 yards rushing on seven carries. He connected with Keon Coleman for a career-best nine receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns, along with 104 yards on seven receptions from Johnny Wilson.
Big Time Play @BallgameDuce
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 4, 2023
However, one game does not a season make and both programs can still have great years – maybe even draw a path into the College Football Playoff.
FSU was set to gain more from this win long term than their opponents. The Seminoles’ schedule features only a single preseason nationally-ranked team after this point – the Clemson Tigers. Ranked ninth to kick off 2023, that Clemson game as a potential ACC Championship game preview will not only help the ‘Noles on the path to winning the conference but also in battling their way back into the top four should they take care of business on the rest of the schedule.
1⃣ 3⃣ ➡️4⃣ 🔥
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) September 4, 2023
While the Gators would have been an interesting potential springboard to make a push in the last week of the season, their loss to Utah currently puts a damper on that. However – should LSU beat the Gators on November 11th and FSU lose to Florida to close the regular season, that could be a compelling piece for the committee to consider.
LSU is in a position to enjoy the extra latitude of a victory with their allegedly harder schedule. After all, a harder schedule means more opportunities to cancel out any missteps. Ole Miss, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M are all preseason-ranked teams that give the Bayou Bengals a bit more lift in their narrative. That being said, the common opponent between the two teams is Florida. Assuming LSU wins that November 11th matchup, during the last week of the season LSU may find themselves shouting Go Gators if LSU can come out of the SEC.
Would LSU need a lot of help and stumbles from all over the country such as USC, Tennessee and Ohio State among others? Yes. But the Tigers need far more missteps for this to truly become lost.
Needless to say, that assumes that both programs avoid catastrophe in injuries or upset losses. But as things can get crazy quickly in college football, both of these teams are still alive to win their conferences and a spot in the CFP.