Bowl comes with more issues for Florida State in sad season

By RALPH D. RUSSO

AP College

Football Writer

Florida State has faced one problem after another since starting the season ranked No. 3.

Now, on the verge of putting a forgettable season behind them, there are questions whether the Seminoles are actually bowl eligible.

Florida State will play Southern Mississippi in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Wednesday. But a possible administrative error, apparently discovered by a user of the website Reddit, called into question whether the Seminoles’ victory against Delaware State should count toward the NCAA’s bowl-eligibility requirement.

As of Friday afternoon, no one was talking — not Florida State, Delaware State, the Atlantic Coast Conference or the NCAA had responded to requests for comment.

“We are continuing preparations for our game between Southern Miss and Florida State,” Walk-on’s Independence Bowl spokesman Stefan Nolet told The Associated Press in an email.

The NCAA has a waiver process for bowl eligibility and an issue like this could have been sorted out, likely in the Seminoles favor, had it been discovered sooner.

Instead, it’s just the latest bad news for Florida State.

The Seminoles lost their high-profile opener to Alabama and their quarterback in week one, had two games postponed by severe weather, stumbled to a 2-5 start, needed to play Louisiana-Monroe on championship weekend to have a chance to get bowl eligible and did so a day after former coach Jimbo Fisher left the program to take the Texas A&M job.

Scrambling to finish 6-6 allowed the Seminoles to extend their record streak of consecutive years with a bowl appearance to 36. Or did it? The bowl game is still on but even that has come with a catch.