Noles News: ESPN says its FSU and Clemson vs. the field for ACC championship (2024)

Recruiting

Florida State football took its first setback on the recruiting trail after a recent hot streak, with linebacker target Tavion Wallace shocking everybody by choosing the Arkansas Razorbacks over the Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators:

A new Tomahawk Nation recruiting thread is here! Come kick it with the Three Stars and pick their brains with questions about this year’s recruiting class:

  • QUARTERBACK: 4 star Tramell Jones Jr (FL)
  • WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star CJ Wiley (GA)
  • TIGHT END: 4 star Chase Loftin (NE)
  • OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 5 star Solomon Thomas (FL)
  • DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Javion Hilson (FL)
  • DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Myron Charles (FL)
  • DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 4 star Kevin Wynn (GA)
  • LINEBACKER: 4 star Ethan Pritchard (FL)
  • DEFENSIVE BACK: 4 star Gregory “Zae” Thomas (FL)

Football

60 days until we find out who is the 2nd best college football team in Florida pic.twitter.com/XUsN2dEMNK

— Hard Rock Bet (@HardRockBet) July 2, 2024

Taking a look at the ACC in 2024, ESPN’s Bill Connelly says its basically FSU and Clemson vs. the field for this year’s conference championship:

Last we saw Florida State, Mike Norvell’s Seminoles were the victim of the College Football Playoff committee’s worst-ever decision and laying the egg of all eggs in the Orange Bowl. It was unfortunate for any number of obvious reasons, but it also just distracted us from the fact that, in the period of just two years, Norvell had transformed the Seminoles from a listless mess to the class of the ACC. They won their first league title in nine years and, despite the Orange Bowl, enjoyed their best finish in SP+ in 10 years.

Elsewhere, Louisville secured its first ACC championship game appearance thanks to a 4-0 record in one-score finishes in conference games, but Jeff Brohm’s Cardinals were among a large batch of similar teams. Including SMU — which, like FSU, dealt with its own late-season QB injury issues — seven current ACC teams finished between 23rd and 40th in SP+. And that doesn’t include a Virginia Tech team that enjoyed a massive midseason turnaround. After starting the season 2-4 and ranking as low as 76th in SP+, Brent Pry’s Hokies won five of their last seven, overachieved projections by an average of 14.7 points per game and charged to 46th. And now they rank in the nation’s top five in returning production.

Meanwhile, the other new additions, Cal and Stanford, were basically West Coast Georgia Tech and West Coast Virginia.

While conference schedule strengths indeed vary dramatically, the average conference win totals set the table pretty nicely. FSU and Clemson are over 6.0, and five teams are between 5.1 and 5.6. If either the Seminoles or Tigers underachieve, any number of other contenders, from hot and experienced Virginia Tech to ultra-talented and perpetually disappointing Miami, could make a title run.

It’s basically FSU and Clemson (combined: 51.3% chance of winning the ACC) versus the field. That’s a little bit more aggressive than what ESPN’s FPI has (45.5%) and quite a bit more confident than the ESPN BET odds that have more confidence in Miami and NC State, among others. But the general vibe here is set. Can FSU sufficiently hit the reset button after last year’s awful ending? Can Clemson rebound as projected? Among the quintet of other challengers, who stands out?

Odds of Winning 2024 ACC Championship

TEAM CONF. TITLE % 11+ WINS % 6+ WINS % RET PROD (RK) OFF RET DEF RET
TEAM CONF. TITLE % 11+ WINS % 6+ WINS % RET PROD (RK) OFF RET DEF RET
Florida St. 27.5% 17.1% 99.5% 56.4% (90) 55.8% (87) 56.9% (83)
Clemson 23.8% 12.4% 99.7% 67.7% (33) 79.3% (13) 56.2% (88)
Miami 11.7% 11.5% 98.6% 68.2% (30) 78.6% (15) 57.8% (77)
SMU 9.7% 13.4% 99.4% 78.5% (11) 81.6% (11) 75.3% (16)
Louisville 6.8% 1.5% 92.8% 65.7% (48) 50.5% (100) 81.0% (8)
NC St. 6.7% 5.9% 98.3% 59.3% (82) 63.2% (60) 55.5% (91)
Va. Tech 5.8% 6.2% 97.3% 83.8% (4) 90.6% (1) 76.9% (13)
N. Carolina 2.0% 1.1% 87.4% 52.5% (99) 44.4% (112) 60.7% (65)
California 1.3% 0.0% 64.9% 66.3% (41) 71.1% (36) 61.6% (58)
Syracuse 0.8% 0.2% 67.5% 71.9% (16) 78.1% (16) 65.8% (45)
Duke 0.6% 0.4% 78.3% 59.4% (81) 57.9% (78) 60.9% (62)
Ga. Tech 0.6% 0.0% 16.4% 66.0% (44) 82.5% (8) 49.4% (108)
Boston Coll. 0.3% 0.0% 24.4% 68.4% (27) 75.3% (21) 61.5% (59)
Pittsburgh 0.3% 0.0% 27.1% 55.5% (92) 57.1% (80) 53.8% (98)
Virginia 0.3% 0.0% 16.9% 81.0% (6) 86.2% (6) 75.7% (15)
Wake Forest 0.3% 0.0% 27.9% 60.5% (73) 63.4% (59) 57.6% (79)
Stanford 0.2% 0.0% 10.9% 85.2% (2) 89.7% (4) 80.8% (9)

ESPN

2024 ACC Preview

TEAM SP+ (RK) OFF. DEF. AVG. W CONF. W SOS RK
TEAM SP+ (RK) OFF. DEF. AVG. W CONF. W SOS RK
Florida St. 21.4 (12) 36.9 (16) 15.5 (10) 9.3 6.2 32
Clemson 19.8 (14) 37.0 (15) 17.1 (13) 9.1 6.3 30
Miami 14.4 (19) 36.9 (18) 22.5 (36) 8.8 5.5 62
SMU 12.9 (23) 36.3 (22) 23.4 (39) 9.1 5.6 84
Louisville 10.8 (28) 29.6 (57) 18.9 (23) 7.6 5.2 40
NC St. 10.6 (29) 29.7 (56) 19.1 (25) 8.5 5.4 65
Va. Tech 9.7 (32) 31.5 (42) 21.7 (33) 8.4 5.1 82
Duke 4.6 (47) 26.5 (70) 21.9 (34) 6.7 3.3 54
N. Carolina 3.8 (50) 32.1 (36) 28.3 (65) 7.2 4.3 74
California 1.9 (52) 32.6 (34) 30.7 (88) 6.1 3.5 49
Ga. Tech -0.6 (63) 32.5 (35) 33.2 (99) 4.2 2.3 15
Syracuse -0.9 (64) 25.7 (73) 26.6 (54) 6.2 3.4 90
Boston Coll. -3.8 (75) 25.2 (77) 29.1 (72) 4.6 2.5 38
Virginia -4.5 (77) 25.5 (75) 29.9 (81) 4.1 2.5 42
Wake Forest -4.5 (78) 23.0 (86) 27.4 (59) 4.7 2.4 44
Pittsburgh -4.8 (81) 21.5 (97) 26.4 (53) 4.6 2.5 64
Stanford -5.6 (84) 26.0 (71) 31.6 (94) 3.8 2.0 33

ESPN

2023 ACC Recap

TEAM REC. (CONF) SP+ RK OFF. SP+ DEF. SP+ ST SP+
TEAM REC. (CONF) SP+ RK OFF. SP+ DEF. SP+ ST SP+
Florida St. (ACC) 13-1 (9-0) 19.4 (9) 34.1 (23) 16.5 (9) 1.8 (8)
Clemson (ACC) 9-4 (4-4) 10.5 (23) 29.3 (51) 19.0 (21) 0.2 (66)
SMU (AAC) 11-3 (9-0) 10.1 (24) 34.1 (22) 23.0 (39) -1.1 (98)
Miami (ACC) 7-6 (3-5) 9.6 (28) 30.7 (41) 23.1 (40) 1.9 (3)
Duke (ACC) 8-5 (4-4) 9.4 (30) 27.3 (63) 19.5 (25) 1.5 (18)
Louisville (ACC) 10-4 (7-2) 8.0 (34) 30.1 (46) 22.3 (36) 0.2 (64)
NC St. (ACC) 9-4 (6-2) 7.4 (39) 25.5 (73) 19.7 (26) 1.6 (15)
N. Carolina (ACC) 8-5 (4-4) 7.4 (40) 34.4 (21) 27.8 (78) 0.8 (46)
Va. Tech (ACC) 7-6 (5-3) 5.8 (46) 27.5 (62) 23.3 (42) 1.7 (14)
Ga. Tech (ACC) 7-6 (5-3) 0.3 (65) 29.4 (50) 29.1 (86) 0.1 (68)
California (Pac-12) 6-7 (4-5) -0.1 (67) 30.6 (43) 28.7 (84) -2.0 (128)
Syracuse (ACC) 6-7 (2-6) -4.4 (80) 22.2 (88) 26.1 (61) -0.5 (85)
Boston Coll. (ACC) 7-6 (3-5) -5.9 (83) 22.2 (87) 27.6 (77) -0.5 (83)
Pittsburgh (ACC) 3-9 (2-6) -7.3 (91) 19.3 (108) 26.0 (59) -0.6 (87)
Wake Forest (ACC) 4-8 (1-7) -7.9 (96) 20.2 (102) 26.9 (68) -1.2 (102)
Virginia (ACC) 3-9 (2-6) -10.8 (105) 21.0 (98) 31.7 (99) -0.1 (70)
Stanford (Pac-12) 3-9 (2-7) -11.9 (108) 21.4 (95) 34.5 (116) 1.1 (36)

ESPN

It hasn’t been boring. Mike Norvell’s FSU tenure began with odd social media exchanges, an inexcusable and devastating last-second loss to an FCS team and 16 defeats in 28 games. But after a 34-28 loss to Clemson dropped the Seminoles to 4-3 midway through 2022, everything clicked. An improving defense turned into a top-20 unit, and an offense helmed by Jordan Travis averaged 42 points per game in the 2022 home stretch. FSU won six straight to finish 10-3, and after another round of great transfer acquisitions — a trend under Norvell — they won 13 more to start 2023. The turnaround was complete. All that was missing was a shot at the national title. That, of course, never came. When Travis got hurt late in the season, and the Seminoles’ offense struggled (even while the defense began playing like the best in the country), the CFP committee used that as an excuse to give the final CFP spot to SEC champion Alabama.

It was an unforgivable decision; it’s also in the past, and the next act of Norvell’s tenure will depend on how well his Seminoles leave that bitterness behind. In 2024, a relatively new Noles team will have a chance to repeat as ACC champs, and this time, with a 12-team CFP and five autobids for conference champs, it will be awfully hard for the committee to leave them out.

Continuity on the offensive line and in the secondary can be huge for a team, and FSU has quite a bit of both. For the former, three starters return — including All-ACC left tackle Darius Washington — and are joined by Florida’s starting left guard (Richie Leonard IV) and one of a few Alabama transfers, guard Terrence Ferguson II.

Only one other offensive starter, tight end Kyle Morlock, returns. Oregon State and Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei and redshirt freshman Brock Glenn are battling for the starting QB position; slot receiver Ja’Khi Douglas is the only returning wideout who caught double-digit passes last year, and transfers Malik Benson (Bama) and Jalen Brown (LSU) join a huge batch of young blue-chippers like sophom*ore Hykeem Williams. At running back, big-play man Lawrance Toafili returns, but Norvell added both a big back (Bama’s Roydell Williams) and a water bug (Indiana’s Jaylin Lucas, who was more dangerous in the passing game last year) for variety.

The FSU defense has improved for three consecutive years under coordinator Adam Fuller; anything more would be driven by a dynamite secondary. Corners Fentrell Cypress II and Azareye’h Thomas return, as does safety Shyheim Brown. However, the turnover in the front six is pretty extensive: Five of last year’s top seven linemen, plus both starting linebackers, are gone. Fuller still has stars in end Patrick Payton, 318-pound tackle Joshua Farmer and possibly linebacker DJ Lundy, but it’s probably not a surprise that FSU signed four line transfers.

My favorite player: DE Patrick Payton. Jared Verse was awesome. The Albany transfer lived up to every ounce of hype he received when he arrived in 2022, and he was picked 19th in the 2024 NFL draft.

I think Payton might be better?

The 254-pound Miami native made more havoc plays per snap than any defender in the country with 500-plus snaps and finished with more sacks, a higher pressure rate and more run stops than Verse. FSU is still blessed in the edge rusher department.

Connelly also took a stab at ranking the top five conference matchups this season, with FSU claiming three of the spots:

Florida State at SMU (Sept. 28). SMU wasn’t exactly blessed with a set of dynamite home games in its first year as a power-conference team since 1995. Visits from Pitt, Boston College and California might not move the needle a ton, but this one’s huge. It will tell us if Rhett Lashlee’s Mustangs are indeed capable of making a run in their first ACC season.

Clemson at Florida State (Oct. 5). Of the last 12 times these teams have met, the winner went on to win the ACC 11 times. Seems like this one’s relatively big.

Florida State at Miami (Oct. 26). What a streaky rivalry game this has been. Miami won nine of 11 showdowns from 1985-94, then FSU won five straight, then Miami won six straight, then FSU won 10 of 12, then Miami won four in a row, and now FSU has won three in a row.

All Sports

Former Florida State men’s golf assistant coach Matt Whall is coming back to Tallahassee, this time as the associate head coach for both FSU men’s and women’s golf:

During the 2021 season, Whall led the Florida State men to a tied for fifth place national finish and the women to an equally impressive 10th place national finish.

In three seasons at UAB, Whall led the Blazers to five team championships, four individual championships, and an appearance in the 2021 NCAA Stockton Regional Championship. The Blazers won two championships in 2024 – at the Argent Financial Classic and the Graeme McDowell Invitational. Whall coached the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Seb Cave in 2024.

“It is such an amazing feeling to come home to rejoin such a prestigious program at Florida State,” said Whall. “I need to thank Coach Jones and Coach Bond for supporting me and my family and for trusting me with continuing the incredible work that the coaching staff has done over the years. I’m coming back a few years older, a few years wiser, and hungrier than ever to reunite and work alongside three incredible coaches in Coach Jones, Coach Bond and Coach Heisey.

“With facilities that cannot be matched, a winning culture, a thriving developmental environment and a driven collective staff working in the same direction all the way up to Athletics Director Micheal Alford, there really is no place like home. I can’t wait to get this fantastic group of athletes back on campus to help push them to reach their potential.”

A native of Lincolnshire, England, Whall was responsible for recruiting and developing John Pak, the No. 1 ranked golfer in the country and the recipient of the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Award, Ben Hogan Award, and Fred Haskins Award. Pak graduated with the lowest stroke average in Florida State history.

Along with guiding Pak to the nation’s top honors on the men’s side, Whall also coached the 2021 ACC Female Golfer of the Year and First Team All-American Beatrice Wallin. Wallin finished her career with the second-lowest stroke average in school history.

Mirabel Ting begins play as a member of the International Team in the Arnold Palmer Cup on July 5:

She’s making her second career appearance in the Ryder Cup-style competition which was first played in 1997. The three-day tournament, which was co-founded by the great Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), features the top men’s and women’s college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players.

The United States defeated Ting, and the International squad by a 32-28 margin in the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup at the Laurel Valley Club in Ligonier, Pa.

Ting (Miri, Malaysia) earned 2.0 points in four matches during the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup. She helped earn points in the Friday Foursome match as well as in her Saturday Singles match.

Ting, who finished in a tie for eighth place in the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, earned All-American Honorable Mention Honors by the WGCA and Golfweek and was named to the All-ACC team during her first season as a Seminole in 2024. She was named as the ACC co-Golfer of the Month in March of 2024 and won her second career individual championship at the 2024 Valspar Augusta Invitational.

During the spring of 2024, Ting ranked second among her Seminole teammates in stroke average (72.50), tied for first in rounds scored at par or better (12), and second in rounds scored at 75 or better (14). She tied her career-best for a single round scored with a 67 in the third round of the 2024 Valspar to win her first individual championship as a Seminole.

Academically, Ting earned Florida State Academic Dean’s List Honors, and was named to the All-ACC Academic Women’s Golf Team and the WGCA All-American Scholar Team in 2024.

PARIS BOUND‼️ ⛳️

Alumni Morgane Metraux will make her Olympic debut in Paris as she represents her home country, Switzerland #OlympicNoles | #OlympiansMadeHere pic.twitter.com/4dYT880PNr

— FSU Golf (@FSUGolf) July 2, 2024

COMBINED NO-NO @_JamieArnold13, @TylerBremner_22 & @amdavis_2 racked up 14 Ks for the first USA Baseball Collegiate National Team no-hitter since 2015 #InternationalSeries pic.twitter.com/FcHwFBfOgp

— USA Baseball CNT (@USABaseballCNT) July 3, 2024

7️⃣ punch-outs in 4️⃣ innings of work for @_JamieArnold13 ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/V9HD6dNtxg

— USA Baseball CNT (@USABaseballCNT) July 3, 2024

Orlando Magic F Jonathan Isaac has agreed on a five-year, $84 million contract renegotiation and extension, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/4skp5qS2sp

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2024

✋ ‼️

5 Seminoles will report to Athens, Georgia for the final training camp before the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup #OneTribe pic.twitter.com/xE48Ri8jE0

— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) July 2, 2024
Noles News: ESPN says its FSU and Clemson vs. the field for ACC championship (2024)

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