Mike Norvell, the head coach of Florida State, keeps his team focused ahead of the Orange Bowl

Mike Norvell gets team ready for Orange Bowl (Not pictured) – Pictured: Fear the Spear FSU T-shirt — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Ruth Peterkin

Next week, Florida State will play No. 6 Georgia in the 2023 Orange Bowl; the Seminoles are finishing up practice before traveling to Fort Lauderdale. This game has garnered a lot of attention since, despite having a 13-0 record and winning the ACC Championship, FSU was historically passed up for a spot in the College Football Playoff in favor of Alabama and Texas. 

Following the last home practice, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell spoke with the media to discuss how he has kept his team focused after hearing the devastating news of their exclusion.

“It’s still our opportunity. You get to play against a great opponent. You get to play in the 90th Orange Bowl, which is just a special, special game. I don’t ever want to make it about that,” Norvell said about the snub. “It’s what’s in front of us. Yes, we all are hurt. All of that was real coming out of the championship weekend. But at the end of the day, the good Lord’s blessed us with an opportunity.”

The controversy surrounding the exclusion of Florida State from the playoffs in the football world has taken over social media. Senators have spoken out in response to the decision to exclude FSU, joining notable members of the news media in doing so. 

In addition, the Florida Attorney General has opened an investigation. Norvell conceded that his players may become distracted if they have access to outside noise and that he need not provide additional motivation to a team that is prepared to compete.

“There’s so much access, whether it’s social media and all the news and all those things. So, it’s easy to get distracted by other things. But, you get a chance to go compete. You get a chance to go get better, and that’s been it.” Norvell said. “‘Cause, in this game, heck, in life, you’re not guaranteed anything. You’ve got to make the most of what you have. I think the practices have been really good. So, it’s not something that I’m having to go out there and ramp up.”

Norvell stated that the team was concentrated on the Orange Bowl, which takes place on December 30 at 4:00 p.m., and that the situation could not control what was in front of them.

“I mean, it is what’s in front of us. And if we’re only dictated by circumstance, you can miss out on some great things that are out there. We have a great opportunity, and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys go out there and compete to the best of who they are.”

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