Lots of FSU news and notes for you today, and some coverage of Seminoles' opponents as well. I hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Florida State kicks off in 68 days.
Alabama vs Virginia Tech In the Works for 2013? - Roll 'Bama Roll
Seems like FSU said no to the lunacy that is playing more than one game against a winning team from a BCS conference. UF and three cupcakes is plenty. Hopefully FSU will follow that strategy by 2014 once the nonsense that is the 2012 and 2013 schedule is completed or fixed.
Coming Attractions: Greg Reid, Florida State’s lethal lightweight - Dr. Saturday - NCAAF Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Assessing 2011's most intriguing players (not necessarily the best).
HD nails this. Says FSU has the 5th-best offensive line, and I think she nailed them 1-12.
Friday, It's So Fetch! Vol. 8
Felder and Young talking ACC football? Absolutely.
Games at M&T Bank Stadium Will Net Maryland an Extra $2mil Apiece - Testudo Times
Maryland moves its home games, but makes bank.
Florida State and Clemson have always had more recruiting advantages than their Atlantic counterparts due to location, prestige and support. But the talent divide has grown in the last two recruiting cycles. (In 09-10 it was Florida State 13, Clemson 7, Maryland 1). Florida State is returning to its 90s dominance in the recruiting game. Dabo Swinney is cementing his standing as one of the nation's top recruiters. While Boston College and Wake have always done a nice job of developing players and they'll be challenged to be even better in the coming years.
Chris Martin To Transfer From Florida - Alligator Army
Martin was extremely talented and tore it up in practice last season. He was not expected to start this season, but was expected to play. Martin had multiple disciplinary issues and has now transferred twice. Expect UF to use this vacancy in the recruitment of Dante Fowler, Jr.
How UNC Avoided Lack of Institutional Control Charge " Tar Heel Fan
Despite plenty to chew on in a 42-page notice of allegations from the NCAA, the University of North Carolina avoided the scarlet letter(s) of NCAA violations, lack of institutional control. Although ABCers and many national media types who have not followed this story from the beginning have been bloviating about how UNC escaped LOIC given the egregiousness of the charges, there are a couple of clear-cut instances that can be pointed to as why the NCAA chose not to level the most serious of accusations against Carolina.
A gamble on an old friend could cost Davis his job at UNC - NCAA Football - CBSSports.com
Critics refer to John Blake as 'Black Santa' for his alleged gifting on the recruiting trail. Brett McMurphy says UNC coach Butch Davis knew Blake's reputation all too well, yet still hired him. That gamble could cost Davis his job.
The Two Reasons Butch Davis Isn’t Going Anywhere " Tar Heel Fan
Good analysis here.
Make sure to click the link and read the reasoning behind the conclusions. 2011 Season Preview: The North Carolina Tar Heels And That Damned Dark Cloud - SBNation.com
North Carolina's defense could be deep and outstanding in 2011, and its offense could be explosive. But with yesterday's NCAA Notice of Allegations, the Tar Heels' on-the-field performance has taken a backseat.
The good news for North Carolina fans (and the bad news for fans growing increasingly concerned about the impact of agents, under-the-table money, etc.) is that, at first glance, the NCAA's Notice of Allegations could have been much worse. Considering what appears to be a growing number of scandals, the NCAA could have chosen to make even more of an example out of North Carolina, a non-traditional power, than they did USC, but with no "Lack of Institutional Control" charges, that might (might) not be the case. Still, they're almost certainly looking at scholarship restrictions, postseason bans, et cetera.
There is an NCAA hearing in October, so the chances are this cloud will continue to follow the program around all season; and honestly, they deserve it. But it further blurs the projectability (that is now a word, by the way) of this squad. In a vacuum, without hearings and allegations and a potential new coaching search (you never know) getting in the way, this is a team with solid potential. The offense might be more hit-and-miss, but the hits could be lovely; meanwhile, the defense is deep and athletic and could benefit from the experience players generated in light of suspensions last year.
With seven home games and trips to East Carolina and N.C. State, the Tar Heels play nine games within the borders of their home state; and considering their toughest home games are against Louisville and Miami, they could very well rack up the wins this season in the aforementioned vacuum. But in reality, the distractions will be epic. The Heels handled them well last year, which was amazing considering the shuffling of personnel, but the cloud only gets darker this fall, and if the NCAA moves quickly enough, last year's Music City Bowl might be the last time North Carolina tastes the postseason for a while.
I like Troy to take back the Sun Belt crown, though that’s far from an indictment of Florida International’s chances heading into 2011. This year’s team should be even better, thanks to a roster that remains largely intact on both sides of the ball. There is plenty of talent throughout the offense: Hilton is a star and the headliner on offense, but there’s also depth and experience at running back and even along the offensive line, though the interior of the line must be retooled. The biggest question on offense is at quarterback, and even Carroll’s not too large a concern: he just needs to do a better job protecting the football, and there’s reason to believe he will as a senior. More than anything, the defense just needs to continue to get pressure on the quarterback. If the Golden Panthers can do that – and it’s not as easy as it sounds – it will provide an enormous boost to a secondary that needs some help, though Cyprien is one of the Sun Belt’s best defenders. So why do I have Troy ahead of F.I.U.? Just call it a hunch: I really can’t say why other than to say that I think the Trojans will be rejuvenated by their latest challenger, having vanquished all other Sun Belt comers over the last half-decade. Now, the biggest question facing F.I.U. in 2011: Can the Panthers live up to the hype? It’s one thing to come in under the radar and another to succeed when everyone thinks you will, as F.I.U. will soon discover. The rest of the Sun Belt will be gunning for the Golden Panthers, who must take on an opponents best shot and return the favor. They’re good enough to do so. I’m thinking another win on last year’s mark, leaving F.I.U. at 7-5 in the regular season, just behind Troy on the Sun Belt ladder.
FIU should be pretty good this year. I'm thinking 8-4 or 7-5. But they probably will finish second again in the Sun Belt to...
I see the Sun Belt remaining Troy’s playground. Yes, Florida International is a program on the rise, and yes, Troy does have some issues to address as look ahead to 2011. But no other Sun Belt team can quite match what Troy brings to both sides of the ball: offensively, it’s a group that can score early, quickly and often; defensively, the Trojans have terrific athleticism and conference-best depth along the back seven. In my mind, picking anyone else would be foolish — and I’ve picked against Troy in the past, only to regret the error. Not that Troy looks good enough to make a run towards 10 wins, however. The non-conference slate will probably find Troy finishing 2-2 at best, with the very real chance at a 1-3 mark — losses to Clemson, Arkansas and Navy. Six wins will be easy to come by in conference play, but what about seven? Eight? It’s doable, but the last two Troy teams have shown a tendency to come out flat on occasion, such as they did against Louisiana-Monroe a year ago. The trick will be find more consistency on defense, which should come with increased health, and to avoid turnovers, which Robinson should do as a second-year starter. Eight wins is the baseline for success in this day and age of Troy football, and even with some lingering conerns I have no doubt that this year’s team will get there in the regular season.