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How ability to handle expectations could play major role during Florida State vs. LSU

Jun 02, 2023Jun 02, 2023


Many have talked for nearly a year about what the keys will be in the rematch between Florida State and LSU. Now, with the week of the game here, On3’s J.D. PicKell anticipates that psyche will play a factor for both the Seminoles and the Tigers.

PicKell analyzed the mindset of both programs heading into this massive season opener during his preview of the contest. To start, he looked at Florida State considering being under the spotlight is a new experience for them under Mike Norvell. He now wonders whether or not they’re going to be able to channel that energy in the right way or if it’ll prove to be too much of a distraction in the end.

“Florida State now? A lot of people – you’ve seen their College Football Playoff predictions. It’s not uncommon to see Florida State in the mix there. They’ve earned that, they’ve earned the right to be talked about in the light they’re being talked about right now. But, to the exact same point? That is a bit of a new thing for this team in the Mike Norvell era,” PicKell explained.

“This time last year? We’re talking about, ‘Is Mike Norvell even the right guy at Florida State? Is he going to be there after this season?’. Now we’re talking about them being a College Football Playoff team.”

“The buzz around this Florida State team has switched a lot, obviously, from this year to last year. How they handle that and how you handle being talked about is going to really impact this first game,” continued PicKell.

“You can take all that buzz and all that excitement and channel it and say, ‘Okay, let’s go prove it. (We) haven’t done anything yet. Let’s go prove it’. (You) channel that to be motivation and produce a positive result on the field. Or you can start to listen to it and say, ‘Man, we’re good baby! We’re ready to roll, we’re good for this! You hear how we’re getting talked about? Forget about it!’. That can cause you to be a little bit complacent. I’m not predicting either side of that. I’m just saying I’m very interested to see how Florida State handles that.”

At that point, PicKell turned his attention to LSU. In 2022, this opening loss may have been what set the Tigers up for the success that they had in Brian Kelly’s first season. If they can start 2023 with a win in this one, though, those in Baton Rouge are going to feel that much better about their team heading into the rest of the fall.

“LSU has kind of a similar conversation around them. A lot of buzz but we saw a different versions of this team from game to game. The reasons (LSU fans) feel so confident going into this game is because of what you were after this game last year,” said PicKell.

“You feel like the way that you played Florida State last year? And not even being at your final form, not even being the team that you were when it came to October, November, when you beat Alabama, and all that? Like, you feel like you got much better after this game.

“Now you’re saying, ‘Okay, we are that team. We do think we can win this game, we believe we’re going to win this game’. That’s one thing to say. It’s a whole other thing to pick up where you left off last year and to start right out of the gate, game one and be in attack mode,” PicKell said. “They’ve got the guys. I think you feel like you’re in a good spot from a roster standpoint. You like where you are this year, compared to last year, heading into this game.”

So much is going to go into whoever wins and whoever loses this game that will have playoff-level implications in Orlando. Even so, mindsets are going to have PicKell’s attention as he wants to see which of these two highly regarded teams has what it takes to lock in and start their year off on the right foot.

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