By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on August 16, 2014
Coming off a national championship last season, Florida State is likely to be the biggest game on the schedule for all of their opponents. Of course, that doesn't go both ways, but the Seminoles will have their share of big games throughout the course of the season as they defend their title. Here are five must-watch games on Florida State's schedule in 2014.
The first game following a championship can often be the toughest, and the Seminoles will open up their title defense on neutral ground against Oklahoma State. It'll be interesting to watch how the Seminoles handle a target on their backs, as well as the expectations to repeat as national champs. On top of that, the Cowboys may be able to keep up with the Seminoles offensively, making this a can't-miss game on opening weekend.
This isn't technically a conference game despite Notre Dame's association with the ACC, but it is one to circle on the schedule. How the Irish will fare this season after losing a few key players remains to be seen, but they are a big-time program that should be a top-25 team in 2014.
Despite last year's blowout, Clemson is one of the few programs in the ACC that has a realistic chance of knocking off Florida State this year, as the Tigers could provide an early-season test for the Seminoles. Clemson doesn't have the same offensive firepower it had last season, but they'll go to Tallahassee motivated to find redemption for last year's embarrassment.
This is always one of the top rivalry games of the regular season, although who knows what the state of the Gators will be at season's end. The Seminoles are likely to be in the running for a playoff spot, and even if Florida has another disappointing season, the Gators will be looking to play spoiler for their in-state rivals, so Florida State won't be able to take this game for granted.
The Hurricanes were one of the few teams that were competitive with Florida State last year, at least for a half, and Miami could be even better this year. This may actually be Florida State's toughest ACC game of the season, and it'll come late in the season down in the Orange bowl. If things go well for Miami this season, the Hurricanes will be thinking upset in this game, making this a must-watch game between two Sunshine state rivals.
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