The 2011 edition of the Maple Street Press Florida State Seminoles preseason annual is now available for order over the Internet and will hit the newsstands on July 19. This is our first year contributing to this book and we took a page from the crew at RockyTopTalk.com, securing a fantastic hybrid group of mainstream and new media contributors to bring you the best FSU publication anywhere. You'll find that we stayed true to what makes TN great: analysis. You get the why as well as the what.
I recently went to the magazine rack at the local grocery store last week and pulled the competition off the stands to see how much actual FSU coverage was in those things. Listen, we all love Phil Steele, but he covers everything and, in doing so, he says very little about Florida State. Two pages, maybe, although it's in 2-point font (only a slight exaggeration), so he's efficient with space. Most of the others have maybe 3-5 pages of 'Nole stuff. And yes, there are other publications devoted to FSU. But unlike some others, Seminole Kickoff 2011 is free of any advertising. Who wants to buy an annual with a bunch of advertising?
So no Florida State preseason publication has more information than Seminole Kickoff. It's 128 pages of ad-free FSU football. In selecting the writers and stories, we focused on creating a publication that you will keep and refer to all year. This is not an annual with a few fun stories. This is jam-packed with information that will be relevant today, this August and next.
What exactly is in this beast?
Here's a sample.
It starts with extensive player profiles by Bud Elliott of TomahawkNation.com. And this is forward looking, because we know you aren't interested in paying for long recaps of previous seasons. What does a player do well? How does he compare to his competition? What will his role be this season and what must he do to earn more playing time or take his game to the next level? How does this player help the team?
Next you get an incredible spread of scouting reports on FSU's opponents by Bud Elliott of Tomahawk Nation. No outlet comes close to the opponent previews done in Seminole Kickoff, as we give you the best evaluation of each team on FSU's schedule and how FSU will look to attack.
After that comes a bunch of great feature pieces:
- Down-Home Recruiting: Go Inside FSU's Recruiting Strategy by Ingram Smith: Smith is a contributor to Comcast Sports South and produces the Chuck Oliver show on Atlanta radio. Smith does a great job examining FSU's historic recruiting patterns in-state, in-region (and defines the region) and out-of-region. Did FSU get away from its roots? Is this a bad thing? How much should Jimbo stick close to home to bring maximum success?
- BCS Blueprint: Does Playing a Difficult Schedule Translate Into BCS Success? by Matthew Dutton: Dutton has a Ph.D. in biostatistics and a great sense of humor, making him the perfect guy to analyze the BCS formula in an interesting, fun and understandable way. He gives an excellent history of the BCS formula, including the changes that followed the 2004 season. Some programs have analyzed the new formula and scheduled to maximize their chances of making a BCS game. Others have not. Just how much do the computers value big games? Is resume really more important than pure win-loss record?
- Snap Judgment: FSU Has One Of Its Best Defensive Lines In Years On Paper, But What Will It Take To Get The Best Results? by Adam Tolliver: Tolliver is a columnist for The Examiner and frequently has his work featured here. He has an excellent piece on how FSU will need to juggle its defensive line like a baseball manager utilizes his bullpen. Is his theory on substituting correct?
- Size Matters: How Much Does Size Factor Into The Success of Jimbo Fisher's Defensive Line? by Bud Elliott: You've enjoyed this series during the previous two years on TN. In the magazine we get into the theory of why bigger on defense really is better, who influenced Fisher in this decision, and how to craft the roster to this approach. I also present this statement: "When recruiting in Florida, if you go for speed you won't get enough size. But if you go for size, you'll still have plenty of speed."
- Defense By The Numbers: Comparing Mark Stoops' First Year to Those of Other First-Year Defensive Coordinators & How Much More Improvement is Reasonable in 2011 by Rob Hodges: Rob is a frequent contributor to Tomahawk Nation and his article should shut up any Mark Stoops doubters. Also some excellent information on first-year starters.
- Golden Opportunity?: As A Rival Continues to Weaken, A New Coach Must Reverse the Trend by Bud Elliott: You've seen me author quite a few articles on Miami's troubles, but I've never pooled them all together like this. You will love to use these tidbits to talk trash to your Miami acquaintances (not friends, obviously).
- Take a Number: Breaking Down The Greatest Players in FSU History by Jersey Number by Frank Diaz and Skip Foster: Our two resident historians undertook an enormous task and produced what might be my favorite piece in the book.
- On The Warpath: Hitting The Road with the 'Noles in 2011 by Ingram Smith: FSU's six road games (we're counting the ACC Championship) involve some really fun places, stretching from the big city to the small college town. Where should you stay? Eat? Drink? The 'Noles should be elite this year and you can enjoy every minute on the road by following these recommendations from locals at each spot.
- The Joy Of Lofty Expectations: After a Prolonged Drought, FSU Fans Can Once Again Begin Setting Their Sights High by Jeff Cameron of 1270 The Team: Were FSU fans spoiled during the dynasty years? Probably so. The success came quickly and didn't let up. Now that FSU is close to reaching elite status once again, don't forget to enjoy the ride. Realize you are in the moment and enjoy the build, not just move-in day.
- The Final Word: What Can Fans Reasonably Anticipate From FSU in 2011? by Bud Elliott: I get the last word. What would encourage or discourage me. How far I think this team can go, and why I feel the program is in good hands.
Order your copy today! Don't be a slowpoke and wait until July 19 for it to hit newsstands!
This annual is an independently published source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.