TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Mike Norvell was the first coach Florida State interviewed for its football vacancy and though the search took school administrators around the country, they kept coming back to the man running Memphis’ program.

“We really liked him,” Florida State Athletic Director David Coburn said Sunday during a news conference to introduce Norvell. “The whole way. This guy wanted to be here. Of all the ones we talked to it was crystal clear with Mike that he wanted this job. And he had other opportunities.”

Norvell said he has idolized the Seminoles program since he was a youngster. He said as a 12-year-old growing up in Dallas, the first piece of college memorabilia on his wall was a 1993 Florida State national championship license plate.

“This is an incredible opportunity,” Norvell said. “There is a tradition of excellence here. There is a standard. Success is coming. There are great days ahead.”

Just a day after Norvell guided Memphis to the American Athletic Conference title, he was on a plane to Tallahassee and being introduced as the Seminoles’ 11th full-time coach, replacing Willie Taggart. Norvell, 38, agreed to a six-year deal and takes over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping build Memphis into a Group of Five power with what annually was a top-10 offense.

AP TOP 25: LSU finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma.

The Tigers received 47 first-place votes. Ohio State got 12 first-place votes and Clemson received three. Oklahoma moved up two spots after winning the Big 12 championship.

Georgia slipped a spot to No. 5 after losing the Southeastern Conference title game to LSU. Florida is No. 6, and Oregon jumped six spots to No. 7 after winning the Pac-12 championship.

SUGAR BOWL: No. 8 Baylor and No. 5 Georgia will attempt to bounce back from losses in their respective conference championship games when they meet in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans.

Both teams watched their hopes for reaching the College Football Playoff end Saturday. Baylor (11-2) fell 30-23 in overtime to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, while Georgia (11-2) lost the Southeastern Conference championship game 37-10 to LSU.

Georgia is trying to avoid a repeat of last year, when the disappointment of missing the playoffs created a hangover effect that carried into bowl season. Georgia followed up its 35-28 SEC championship game loss to Alabama by falling 28-21 to 12 -point underdog Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

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