Expectations are sky high in Tallahassee this fall. But I have to be honest, I believe the main theme of this Florida State Seminoles season will be more like 1991 or ’92, or some of those mid 90s teams that just missed than the 1993 or 1999 national championship seasons. When I look at this roster, and focus in on class standing, I think 2012 is their year to win it all. So hopefully the Mayan calendar is wrong with its late December apocalypse, because that would fall a few weeks ahead of the title game.
Former ‘Noles legend Danny Kanell seems to agree with me.
2010 was: a step in the right direction and a prelude to something bigger this year; most likely.
BMOCs: QB EJ Manuel. According to the Orlando Sentinel:
Monday was the first day of class at FSU. By noon, quarterback EJ Manuel said he had been stopped some 10 times by fellow students and offered season well wishes.
“I had to go deposit some money my dad gave me and a lot of people kind of looked at me,” Manuel said. “But it was all positive stuff. And I really appreciate that. I’m sure if we have a bad game or anything like that, it could get bad. But as far as right now, it’s all good.”
CBs Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid are as good a pair as you’ll find in the nation. And no “wide right U.” here, PK Dustin Hopkins and P Shawn Powell are as good a duo as you’ll find. FSU led the nation in sacks last season, and the biggest star up front is DE Brandon Jenkins. DT Bjoern Warner and LB Nigel Bradham are studs too.
2011 will be awful if: they can’t find a play-making wideout to stretch the field. People are pretty sold on the defense and special teams, so it’s up to a WR1 to step up, also the running game looked bad in the spring. Then again spring football is kind of…meaningless at times. They play Oklahoma and Clemson early in the season. OU waxed them last year, and FSU hasn’t won at Death Valley since 2001. Losing either of those could trigger some bad karma for the year.
2011 will be fruitful if: they get to 12 wins and reach their first BcS bowl since 2005. Second year coach Jimbo Fisher led them to their first 10 win season in seven years last fall. In order to improve upon that, Manuel, a blue-chip recruit needs to live up to the hype. He’s 4-2 as a starter including two bowl wins; earning MVP honors in one of them. Christian Ponder was the school’s best signal caller since Chris Weinke, but Manuel needs to exceed him if FSU is to reach the promised land.
Bottom Line: The Seminole moment of the national title game probably won’t happen this year. But less than national contention and ACC domination will be underachieving. I must admit, Deion $anders was my favorite athlete as a child, which probably makes him my all-time favorite athlete, and that carried over into me liking the ‘Noles as my out of market national team when I was a teenager. Nowadays, I don’t have any real connection to the team/program, but it is kind of cool to see them back on the national stage again.
FSU Rankings: USA Today, Lindy’s, #6 AP, Phil Steele, #4 Athlon
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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