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Preseason College Football Top 25: #18 Florida State | The Sports Report Girl

Preseason College Football Top 25: #18 Florida State

Why They’re Here: Eh heh heh hee, Bobby’s gone. Apparently, in his absence new coach Jimbo Fisher has been putting in work. The Noles had the 10th best recruiting class according to Rivals and Scout.com and number six, according to ESPN. They lost a lot of talent on defense last year, including LB Dekoda Watson and DBs Myron Rolle and first-round pick Patrick Robinson. I know I said no one from Florida State’s 2009 team deserved to be picked in the first round, but for a Seminole he wasn’t bad.

The Good: As hard as it is to say anything good about Florida State, this is their year. If the Seminoles are ever going to end their six-game losing streak to Florida, this is the time. Christian Ponder looks like a solid quarterback and their offense returns all 11 starters. Last year Gary Danielson remarked at one point during the UF-FSU game, “It’s the varsity versus the JV out there,” and he was completely right. Since Florida beat Florida State in the Chris Leak sweepstakes, the Noles haven’t even been competitive (outside of that 2003 game we won’t speak of). But with the loss of Tim Tebow and almost the entire 2011 senior class to the NFL draft, Florida State is in great position. They’ve also got probably the best offense in the ACC this side of Virginia Tech.

The Bad: It’s hard to replace guys like Watson, Rolle, Robinson, Kendrick Stewart, Kevin McNeil and Korey Mangum. The Florida State defense is probably going to have to start some of the freshmen from its stellar class this year and whether or not they’re ready to make the leap to the college level will determine how far the Noles will go this season.

The Last Word: The ACC is back and Florida State is one of the teams leading the way. If Christian Ponder can play like the conference’s MVP, this is a team that can go places. This season is on his shoulders. He’ll have his whole offense from last year back, but everyone will be looking to him to lead. From what I’ve seen, I don’t know that he’s up to it, but we’ll see.

Final Record: 11-3

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