TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State announced Wednesday that Savannah State will replace West Virginia on the 2012 football schedule.
Florida State will play SSU on September 8th in Doak Campbell Stadium. The Tigers will also be opening their 2012 football season with Oklahoma State on Sept. 1 in Stillwater.
The Seminoles were slated to play the Mountaineers on September 8th in Tallahassee, but West Virginia notified FSU on February 3rd that they would not honor the agreement.
“West Virginia’s announcement at the 11th hour really put us in a very difficult position,” said FSU Director of Athletics Randy Spetman in a statement released by Florida State sports information on Wednesday. “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.
“We worked with Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Pitt to name a few along with our current non-conference opponents and television partners, but reached a point where our options simply dried up, Spetman also stated. “We might have been able to play on the road at some BCS schools this season, but 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.”
SSU was 1-10 in their previous season, and is on a seven game losing streak.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher has been working with FSU athletic director and staff searching for the best match-up to fill the spot.
“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 in a statement released by Florida State sports information. “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.”
Florida State is still scheduled to play West Virginia next year on the road.
“We’re planning on going up there,” said FSU Athletic Director. “We look forward to going up there and playing that game. We hope we have that opportunity.”