After getting unceremoniously dumped from West Virginia’s 2012 non-conference schedule earlier this month, Florida State looked to such BcS-level schools such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Pittsburgh to fill the sudden hole.
Unfortunately for all fans of, ya know, quality college football matchups, the Seminoles were forced to settle for a level or two below the aforementioned possibilities.
FSU announced Wednesday morning that it has plugged Div. 1-AA (FBS) Savannah State into the Sept. 8 hole created by WVU’s bailing on the non-conference date. For its part, the Tigers will receive a guarantee of $475,000 for the game at Doak Campbell Stadium.
FSU received $500,000 from WVU for breaking the contract, although the ‘Noles are still considering further legal action.
Statements issued as part of the press release, though, show that FSU remains none too pleased that WVU pulled the plug on the game a scant seven months before it was to be played.
“West Virginia’s announcement at the 11th hour really put us in a very difficult position,” said FSU athletic director Randy Spetman. “We contacted every BCS school that had an opening in hopes of replacing WVU with a BCS opponent, but none of those few schools could make it work either because of our dates or theirs. It is important for our fans to realize that the schools we contacted during the search did not pass on the 2012 game out of concern for the competition, but because of challenges they faced with schedule changes this late in the year.”
“I know our administration was frustrated by West Virginia’s decision and I can tell all our fans that we’ve done everything we could to explore all the options for a home game,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher. “I believe the plans are for the ACC to go to a nine-game conference schedule once Pitt and Syracuse begin play. With Florida always on the schedule, it will leave us just two non-conference games every year so scheduling BCS teams will be more challenging from here on out for everybody.”
Spetman added that playing on the road against a BcS school was given consideration, but was ultimately nixed because “that would cost our fans and the university one of just seven chances to play a home game and also would have a negative impact on our local economy.”
With Savannah State officially scheduled, FSU will now play two 1-AA schools in 2012. The Sept. 1 opener against Murray State had been scheduled prior to WVU’s decision.