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Florida State football, recruiting news: Will FSU and Clemson remain on top of ACC in five years?

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Florida State v Clemson Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Football

- Tomahawk Nation's David Visser wrote on why Derwin James could be Florida State's best chance at a Thorpe Award winner in a long time.

- David Hale of ESPN held an ACC mailbag recently, fielding a pair of questions which directly relate to Florida State.

Given the money invested in those two programs and the level of talent they’re accumulating on the recruiting trail, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which anyone else overtakes FSU and Clemson as the ACC’s elite. Still, the Justin Fuente hire at Virginia Tech should have the Hokies’ ship righted within a couple of years; Miami’s potential appears closer to being realized under Mark Richt, and the investment in football from places like North Carolina and Louisville could put both programs in the mix of nationally elite schools in five years. Long story short, I’d bet the ACC is a more competitive league five years from now, but I’d also wager the favorites will remain the Tigers and Seminoles.

Sure, insofar as its chances will be better than zero. But what seems obvious from the first two years of the playoff is that the committee strongly prefers to have the four best conference champions.

In the 10 years before the playoff (2004 through 2013), only once did we arrive at bowl season with teams from four conferences in the top four spots in the AP poll. That came in 2009, when both Cincinnati and TCU were represented from outside the Power 5 leagues. However, in the two years with the playoff, we’ve not come particularly close to having two teams from the same conference crack the final top four.

In other words, the committee has shifted our thinking on how rankings work, so the only way we’re likely to get two teams from the same league would be if multiple Power 5 champs (and Notre Dame) have at least two losses and the strength of schedule disparity between the team that didn't win the conference and the two-loss champ significantly favors the former.

Can that happen for Clemson or Florida State? Sure, but it’s a long shot.

- The top-ranked signee of FSU's 2016 recruiting class, defensive back Levonta Taylor, recently arrived on campus with some things to prove, as reported by Safid Deen of the Tallahassee Democrat.

- Newly-enrolled FSU specialist Logan Tyler quickly got to work on his punting in the Indoor Practice Facility and showed exactly what he is capable of.

Recruiting

- FSU added a legitimately big recruit to its 2017 class over the weekend when 6'7, 240-pound tight end Alexander Marshall committed to the Seminoles after his visit on Saturday.

- Over the weekend, the 'Noles also offered 2018 four-star cornerback Anthony Cook from Houston, Texas.

NFL

- Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation, the SB Nation blog covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, uses trends of quarterbacks entering their second seasons in the NFL to suggest that Jameis Winston will improve in his sophomore season.

This is also true of quarterbacks, unsurprisingly. Of 18 first-round rookie quarterbacks to have started at least eight games since 2006, 14 improved in their second year, according to SB Nation's Adam Stites. Quarterbacks improved across the board, though the biggest differences were in touchdowns and interceptions.

Other Sports

- The FSU baseball team completed an impressive Tallahassee Regional Sunday night with a 18-6 win over South Alabama to finish off the three-game sweep of the regional.

- The Florida State softball team won a pair of games over the weekend, advancing to the semifinals of the Women's College World Series before falling to Auburn. Still, the Seminoles return both starting pitchers and a number of key contributors to next year's team and could very well make a return trip to Oklahoma City next June.