FSU Football Sells Fans Out With Another Neutral Site Opener


FSU football will open the 2020 season with a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers – in a game again not being played in Tallahassee.

For three of the last four seasons, the Florida State Seminoles have started off their season on the road – with two of them coming in what has become the craze in the sports of neutral site contests, with FSU football playing in Arlington, Texas and Orlando for theirs. In 2017 and 2019, the ‘Noles will be starting off in Atlanta and Jacksonville, respectively.

So you would figure that eventually the Seminoles would allow their fans to see at least one big non-confernce game to open the season in Tallahassee…and you would be wrong.

Thursday, FSU announced that they would be open the 2020 season against the West Virginia Mountaineers – in Atlanta, Georgia for the second time in a four season period (as the Seminoles open next year against the Alabama Crimson Tide).

Yet again, the fans of FSU football who pay thousands of dollars for season tickets and booster fees that go with it are being short changed with a schedule that is not always worth the money. I don’t expect every team to come and play in Tallahassee, but it almost seems as if the athletic department isn’t even trying. The 2017 was concluded with FCS member Delaware State – one of just two teams in all of Division 1 to go winless last year.

The argument is that it is going to be a BIG payday for the ‘Noles to return to Atlanta and play a team they have scheduled before only to have it be cancelled. Just like when those in charge moved the 2019 opener against Boise State from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, fans end up losing.

Now, the 2020 home schedule will consist of Florida, Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburgh – not exactly making me run to renew my season tickets. With the Boise State game move, the 2019 home slate includes Miami, Louisville, N.C. State, Syracuse, Louisiana-Monroe and likely a FCS team to finish things off…yikes.

These neutral site games aren’t for exposure or recruiting, because FSU football has been a name program for the last three decades even during the lean years. Could it be because the program needs financial help because the Champions Club experiment has turned out to be a disappointment?

Just watch every game last season…the stands are packed and standing room only most of the time, while you would be hard pressed to say half of the new luxury seats had butts in them. It was noticeable to those in the stands and those watching at homes.

I like athletic director Stan Wilcox. I had a chance to interview him at this year’s Orange Bowl and I do think he is a smart man who has helped the school to an extent. Moves like this, however, are not in the best interest of the fans and those who have supported FSU football long before he got there.

The new age of college football has gone from the increasingly rare home-and-home series to teams playing one-and-dones away from their home…but not in the opposing team’s house. I get that FSU football is playing the game – but it’s not right.