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Are the Florida State Seminoles Legitimate National Title Contenders?

Florida State represents the cream of the crop in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season as the Seminoles possess the conference’s best offense and defense.  While some may be concerned about redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, he looked outstanding this past spring and will be aided by the nation’s best receiving corp.  Head coach Jimbo Fisher also enters the 2013-2014 campaign with an outstanding defense that is led by a veteran group of defensive backs who could be college football’s most talented unit.  I also like the fact that Florida State has one of the best special team’s units in the nation, which will pay immediate dividends for Fisher’s squad.  Please find below a position-by-position breakdown for Florida State, a team that I believe is a legitimate national title contender in 2013.

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (Position-by-Position Analysis)

Quarterbacks lose strtr (NFL) & b/u; rFr J.Winston will start & could contend for Nat’l Honors
lot less exper, but could improve on LY’s ratio of 23-10
none ranked

Running Backs – lose top RB (NFL, inj LY); return exc. #2 & 3 RBs (ea.more carries than #1 RB)
formidable group w/ J.Wilder (power) & D.Freeman (speed) = tFr PS#6
D.Freeman (#23 RB), J.Wilder (#24 RB)

Receivers – lose #3 recvr but return O/S group of WRs
S/B one of NCAA’s best rec corps

Offensive Line – lose 1 strtr (NFL) from LY’s O/S group (206 ypg, 5.6); return 3 2nd tm ACC OL
might be best OL in FBS (96 car sts return)

Defensive Line – lose top 5 DL (4 to NFL)- LY allw’d 92 ypg, 2.8, 36 sks; talented w/ 13 VHTs
how many units have had 4 plyrs drafted in same yr?!?

Linebackers – lose 2 strtrs (both NFL) from unit that allw’d 14.7 ppg; return top 2 tklrs
S/B just as strongTY; add 5 VHT frosh & PS#9 rFr

Defensive Backs – lose 1 strtr (NFL) from #3 ranked unit; return 7 of top 8
C/B even stronger than LY; led by 1st Tm ACC SS L.Joyner

Special Teams – always finish high & were #1 again (like ’11); lose O/S K (NFL)
will contend for #1 rank w/exc punting, but big shoes to fill at K

Coaches – HC J.Fisher enters 4th yr (prev OC here & LSU); OC of 3 yrs left & HC
(na/5) will call plays w/o filling OC spot;
new DC J.Pruitt was Bama DB cch last 3 yrs (’12 Recruiter of Yr)

Overall Off NCAA projections – #1 ppg, #5 ttl ypg; ACC proj #2 rush ypg ,#3 pass ypg, #1 ppg

  • 7 starters return

Overall Def NCAA projections – #10 rush ypg, #2 pass ypg, #2 ppg, #2 ttl ypg
ACC proj #1 rush ypg, #1 pass ypg, #1 ppg

  • 4 starters return

Experience Rank – 78 (of all NCAA FBS tms)

  • only 11 returning starters (4 on Defense) after losing 11 to NFL

Team Positive/Negative Factors -Impact for 2012

Lost to NFL Draft – Most lost in NCAA Football
Coach Change – new defensive coordinator