9. Florida State (2011 Record: 9-4, 2012 Roughly Projected Record: 10-2) Will this finally be the year Florida State lives up to its talent level and its billing? There aren’t many excuses thanks to a defense that should be among the best the program has had since its national title-level days with only two players gone off the two-deep depth chart. Quarterback E.J. Manuel has elite skills, and if he can take a step up in his production to make up for the weak running game the offense will do enough to get by; it won’t take that many points to let the defense take care of the rest. On Thursday, November 8th the Seminoles have to go to Virginia Tech and should be the underdog for the only time all season. Going to NC State won’t be easy, the South Florida away game is a landmine, and road trips to Miami are always entertaining, but the schedule is manageable even with five road games in seven weeks. Florida and Clemson have to come to Tallahassee.CFN has FSU 9th in its pre-season poll. I think that's entirely fair. Inaccuracies: -FSU more than lived up to its talent and billing just two years ago. -Three players are gone off the defensive two deep, not two. Even if you count Erving and Hicks' moves to offense. -EJ has elite skills? True, if you mean some of his skills could be elite. False, if you mean his overall skillset is elite. Overall, not a bad capsule at all. Teams ahead of FSU: UGA, USCe, USC, Texas, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, LSU. I've voiced my objections to teams like UGA and USCe before. And Texas? That's bold. FSU fans think the 'Noles' 32nd rated offense was bad, well, Texas was 62nd. Both teams return elite defenses.