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Ranking the 12 weirdest things about Florida State’s 2017 season

From internet detectives to discarded Christmas trees to one of the biggest collapses ever, the Noles had a bizarre 2017.

Florida State v Florida Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

12. This one’s not weird by itself, but it’s important: Florida State was the preseason No. 3 team.

FSU’s usually ranked, but few of the following things matter without realizing how far the Noles fell over the course of the season.

They kicked off the season with the biggest regular-season opener in college football history, against No. 1 Alabama. In the fourth quarter, quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending injury, and FSU lost, 24-7. It all went downhill from there — by late September, the Noles fell out of the Top 25.

11. Jimbo Fisher got in a spat with an FSU fan in the stands.

After a close loss to Louisville which brought the Noles to 2-4, Fisher had, um, a moment with a fan:

10. This play happened.

This non-touchdown was the defining moment of FSU-Florida 2017:

9. FSU used to dominate Wake Forest and Duke, and now only beats them thanks to failed Hail Marys.

This gave the Noles their very first win of the season:

And they were tied with Duke at 10 in the fourth quarter, eventually winning by a touchdown thanks to this:

8. A fan got thrown out of Jimbo’s weekly radio show for asking him about rumors of his exit.

7. The Noles got blown out by Boston College on a Friday night.

You might have forgotten about that one! In late October, Florida State went to BC with a 2-4 record. The Eagles wiped the floor with FSU, winning 35-3, scoring their most points ever against the Seminoles. The Noles were three games below .500 for the first time since Bobby Bowden's debut in 1976.

6. Jimbo’s damn Christmas tree was kicked to the curb.

In the middle of the Fisher-to-TAMU rumors, this gloriousness happened:

He later explained on the Dan Patrick Show why:

“Well what that was, I had no idea, the guys who come to put my Christmas tree up that week, said they got it out, ‘Coach it’s broke,’” Fisher said. “What happened was, it was broke, so I put a new one up and he said ‘So we’ll get rid of the other one’ so they set it on the curb to be picked up. That was what it was — there was a new Christmas tree in my house; it’s still in my house in Tallahassee.”

“I didn’t throw it out,” Fisher continued. “I was actually at work, there was a group that comes in that puts the lights and everything across the house, because you’re always on the road recruiting. We had a group, the Espositos, that comes and does it, and they called me and said ‘Jimbo this thing’s over 10 years old and it’s broke up.’”

5. To keep up a record bowl streak, FSU had to reschedule its ULM game ... for ACC Championship weekend.

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, Florida State’s Week 2 game against Louisiana-Monroe was canceled, giving the Noles just 11 games. But to get to six wins and protect the streak, FSU rescheduled the game to Dec. 2.

All that trouble to get back to the postseason, and starters Derwin James, Matthew Thomas, Josh Sweat, and Ermon Lane are sitting out the Independence Bowl (which makes sense).

4. Fisher left before the regular season ended.

Coaches often change jobs before bowl games, but a recent national champ leaving with a home game to go? That’s a pretty new one.

On Dec. 1, the longtime Noles coach accepted a 10-year, $75 million deal to become A&M’s head coach. Even if FSU had matched the enormous offer, Fisher likely had no choice but to accept the Aggies job:

What I did find, however, was multiple players who stated firmly that they can no longer trust Jimbo Fisher, and that if he comes back, they intend to transfer. They spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“If he’s back, I’m out.”

This is a changed sentiment from earlier in the year, when I reported that they would plan to transfer if their position coach was retained for the 2018 season. Much of the staff should have probably been dismissed following the 2016 campaign, and the message has gone stale.

3. Months earlier, ESPN kinda predicted Fisher not making it through the ULM game.

During a commercial before the season, this happened:

Wait, is that a clay UL-Monroe fan blowing a clay Jimbo Fisher out of the frame? That’d be so weird if that were predicted in a commercial several months ago. Let’s enhance and see for ourselves.

2. Kicker Ricky Aguayo was suspected of burglary and ripping a turtle in half.

In February, Aguayo and two associates were found in an FSU fraternity living room, which had been ransacked. He told police that two months prior, members of the fraternity had jumped him for missing a key field goal. He was also accused of killing a turtle.

Warning: For animal lovers, this might be upsetting. From the FSView & Florida Flambeau:

Fraternity member Daniel Furmanski, who was awoken by loud "celebratory chants coming from the living room," spotted one of the football players holding the house pet turtle, named "Turntle."

Its shell was ripped from its body, according to the police report, and it appeared dead.

... The owner of the turtle, Tyler Carbonelli, Furmanski and the chapter's president Austin Burge, did not want to press charges. On Feb. 23, State Attorney Doug Hall, who oversees the misdemeanor division, declined to pursue the case because no one saw who killed the turtle.

1. Reddit declared the Noles bowl-ineligible.

It all has to do with Florida State’s FCS opponent, Delaware State:

Reddit’s college football page, r/CFB, presented data Thursday that calls into question whether Florida State is actually eligible for a bowl game. Let’s go through it.

FBS teams get to count one FCS win toward bowl eligibility.

The Noles were 5-6 against FBS opposition, but they also had a blowout win of Delaware State, a 2-9 FCS team from the MEAC.

That FCS win has to meet a seldom-cited requirement to count toward a bowl.

It has to come against a team that has used at least 90 percent of the FCS maximum scholarship total (63 per team) “during a rolling two-year period.”

I can’t think of a time this rule has been used to invalidate an FCS win. There are a few 6-6 teams every year that have beaten FCS teams, though.

Under this rule, it appeared Delaware State shouldn’t have counted toward FSU’s eligibility.

And then FSU hilariously released this official statement on the matter:

Going from preseason No. 3 to having to defend yourself against internet detectives in order to leave no doubt about your right to be in Shreveport, Louisiana, all after your national champion head coach left you before your hastily rescheduled game against ULM: officially one of the strangest seasons ever.