In the most recent edition of Stewart Mandell's mailbag column, a Boston College fan asked, "As a Boston College alum, I don't understand the love for Florida State over BC in ACC predictions. The Seminoles are no more "talented" than they were the last five years when they were mediocre, most notably on defense. Meanwhile, BC returns 16 starters from a team that beat FSU last year and won more games. That does not even count any possible contributions from Mark Herzlich. Is the media overrating FSU and underrating BC, the same way they do every year?"
You can go to find the column to read Mandell's response, which seems to try to be PC and not totally hurt anyone's feelings.
How would you, as a Seminole fan answer the question yourself though? I would not take the home field advantage angle in the argument based on the last few years. FSU comes into the game after facing Miami. BC comes in after playing NC State, so neither is going to come in after a warm up. What I would do is point to all the recent changes to FSU's defense. There are definitely changes going on, but none of us know for sure how quickly they will improve the defense. I would argue though, by game seven, when the two teams go head to head, there will definitely have been enough time for the defense to have improved enough versus, what as I perceive (though I admit not knowing tons about BC) the less likely fact that their offense will improve at the same rate. I would also argue (though it would probably sound like sour grapes to any BC fans) that FSU's offense had was not clicking early against BC last year and they got somewhat lucky. While their defense deserves some credit for causing some of the FSU offensive breakdowns early on, much of it was self inflicted. The chances that BC will face a slow starting FSU offense two years in a row is not likely, and FSU returns even more experienced depth on that side of the ball.