For nearly a decade the Florida State Seminoles reigned as the King of the college football landscape. Led by one of the winningest coaches of all time the Seminoles won conference titles, national championships, Heismans, and served as a direct pipeline sending their college stars to the NFL. However those glory days are no more and the “Nick Saban disciple” Jimbo Fisher has successfully brought in a cupboard full of five-star thoroughbreds who have the talent to dominate the ACC and end the SEC’s stranglehold on the BCS title.
The Seminole faithful have stood behind their program and continue to believe that each year will be THE year that their team will again to being one of the nation’s elite college football programs. Dedicated Seminole loyalist had this to say:
“I believe the Noles will be favored in 11 of 12 games. They should win all of those games, but until this team proves they have the killer instinct and focus to do so, it’s hard to predict anything beyond 9-3 or 8-4. I expect better, and I’ll be disappointed with anything less than 10 wins, but I can’t bring myself to say this is the team that brings FSU back to glory. We’ve been there every year since 2001 only to be sorely disappointed. With that said, I can’t wait for them to prove me wrong!” – Jared Ross (@FSUNOLE21)
On offense the Seminoles are led by quarterback EJ Manuel who passed on the NFL to improve his draft stock and to fulfill his promise. Manuel has battled injuries and struggled with consistency often showing glimpses of dominance and great mobility in the pocket. Manuel will have a number of playmakers at his disposal in promising wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and running backs James Wilder III and Devonta Freeman who both appear poised for breakout seasons. There are several questions along the offensive line and their play will dictate the direction of the offense as well as the success of the team overall.
The Seminole defense will be downright scary led by future first round picks and preseason Americans Lamarcus Joyner at cornerback and Brandon Jenkins at defensive end. FSU has an embarrassment of riches with defensive linemen who run like linebackers and linebackers who are as fast as gazelles. Although the secondary suffered a major loss with the dismissal of starting cornerback Greg Reid there will be little talent drop off due to the depth and talent of unproven underclassmen biting at the bit to prove themselves. The defensive line will dominate the line of scrimmage and their depth along the d-line will keep the players fresh making life for opposing quarterbacks causing nightmares for opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.
Despite clear advantages in talent the Seminoles have been unable to dominate their lesser talented ACC opposition. Year in and year out the Seminoles out recruit traditional powers like Alabama and USC, but the success on the recruiting trail has yet to translate into ACC titles and BCS bowl game appearances.
Wins over crosstown rivals Florida and Miami used to be enough to satisfy the masses, if the Seminoles fail to meet expectations and finish another season unranked changes will definitely be in order because mediocrity to Seminole fans is not acceptable. Will the Seminoles win the ACC? Will James Wilder III allude trouble like he alludes tacklers? Will the 15 year streak of not having a 1,000 yard rusher continue? Stay tuned…I Know I will. – A. Denmark (follow me on twitter @eatdrnkslpsprtz)