- SB Nation’s Bill Connelly released his Florida State preview on Monday, recapping how the numbers, and his personal thoughts, think the ‘Noles will be in 2016.
Because of the consistent level of success, consistent quality in recruiting, and amount of returning offensive production, FSU is projected fifth in the country. I've seen the Seminoles ranked pretty close to that in a lot of preseason publications. It makes sense.
FSU's projected rankings makes me marvel that much more at the Seminoles' projected win total. Their schedule features six projected top-30 teams, three tossups (in this case, games with win probability between 48 and 54 percent) and six not-guaranteed wins (games with win probability between 64 and 75 percent).
Two of the three tossups take place in the first three weeks. The Noles get Ole Miss in Orlando and Louisville at Papa John's Stadium, and a stark narrative might have taken hold by the time they head for another tricky test at USF: either this team will be undefeated and primed for a national title run or will be 2-1 or 1-2 and playing the role of Clemson Spoiler for the rest of the season.
The Seminoles are a high-ceiling, low-variance squad, and despite win projections, I have a hard time imagining FSU losing more than twice in the regular season.
- FSU’s Dalvin Cook is one of a number of running backs who represent a large portion of Pro Football Focus’ early Heisman watch list compiled by Steve Palazzolo.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Few running backs can change a game on one play quite like Cook. In just two years at Florida State, Cook has been the catalyst for a number of fourth-quarter comebacks, whether 2014 against Louisville or last season against Miami. He brings a big-play threat every time he touches the ball as evidenced by 62.9 percent of his years coming on breakaway (15-plus yard) runs last season, highest in the nation. Even when fighting through injuries last year, Cook took the slightest bit of daylight and made opposing defenses pay as his speed is unmatched once he gets to the second level. With questions surrounding the quarterback position in Tallahassee, Cook will be relied upon more than ever and he’s proven up to the challenge as a freshman and sophomore. Given Cook’s ability to change angles with his speed and his incredible acceleration that gets him to top speed, he is the nation’s best running back when given strong blocking up front. While he may not be the classic runner that will keep the offense on schedule and fight for the tough, early-down yards, Cook’s big plays will keep him entrenched in the Heisman race.
ESPN’s David Hale once again arranged an ACC mailbag recently, taking a question of if Florida State can avoid a disappointing loss in 2016.
@DavidHaleESPN hate to say it but jimbo has lost to an unranked acc team every yr w/o jameis. Do you see that happening this year?— FSU RTs (@fsuretweets) June 16, 2016
Yikes, I thought the offseason was a time for optimism. Looking at this year's schedule, it's hard to envision a big upset. Miami is certainly a game FSU could lose, but there's also a good chance the Hurricanes will be ranked at the time. USF should be competitive, but a road game in Tampa will likely feature as many FSU fans as Bulls fans. So if I've got to pick one, the obvious choice seems to be NC State, as Carter-Finley has been a house of horrors for the Seminoles in the past. But if I were betting, I'd say Jimbo Fisher navigates the unranked portion of his slate pretty easily this time around.
In some non-Florida State news, District Attorney Jerry Jones confirmed that the felony and misdemeanor charges brought against Alabama football players Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones would be dropped. What makes the situation truly unique is the additional answer on why Jones decided to not pursue charges.
- In case you missed it, one of Florida State’s newest commits, legacy cornerback Stanford Samuels III, discusses with his father which of the two of them is better.
- Our own Bud Elliott named the two teams who have been blowing the rest of the nation out of the water lately in his daily Crootletter for SB Nation.
- Bucky Brooks of NFL.com addresses one way to ease the adjustment of young quarterbacks, such as Jameis Winston, to the NFL.
- Malik Beasley, the first one-and-done in FSU basketball history, got an invite to the Green Room at this Thursday’s NBA Draft. Beasley, who projects to be picked anywhere between 15th and 25th, could become one of the highest-drafted Seminoles in program history come Thursday.
- The Florida State women’s basketball team announced an impressive non-conference slate on Monday highlighted by a home showdown with the premier program in women’s basketball.