David Visser of Tomahawk Nation points out that this year’s Showtime series covering Florida State is a chance to reintroduce the program to the nation in a positive light.
Phil Steele has a seemingly insane rating of secondaries (Florida State 21st, without explanation). FSU will face the following. This is astoundingly bad. I’d wager 15 of the 20 teams above FSU would trade with the Seminoles.
9. Florida Gators
The Gators were 16th last year in my pass defense rankings, and lost two first-round draft choices this spring. But they are still loaded. Both CB Jalen Tabor and FS Marcus Maye could be first-rounders in the next draft and they are joined by seven other impressive young players, including true frosh Chauncey Gardner.
16 North Carolina
Gene Chizik guided a much improved defense in 2015 and the Tar Heels went from No. 108 in my pass defense rankings up to No. 23 last season. This year, they return their Nos. 1, 4 and 5 tacklers, including second-team All-ACC CBs MJ Stewart and Desmond Lawrence. Experience-wise, they have 595 career tackles, 15 career interceptions and 52 career pass breakups.15. North Carolina Tar Heels
Bruce Feldman ranked Dalvin Cook as the No. 6 player nationally and Derwin James ninth. Deshaun Watson is No. 2 and Florida’s Caleb Brantley is in the “just missed” list. Thoughts on the list?
ESPN listed the major issues facing 25 teams. Here are some of FSU’s opponents. Three opponents have offensive line questions and FSU’s defensive line is pretty awesome...
2. Clemson Tigers: The pass rush. It's not that Clemson doesn't have talent at defensive end. Dabo Swinney is convinced that Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell and Richard Yeargin will develop into top-flight defenders. But none of them has much experience. That's the downside of putting four defensive ends into the NFL the past two years. Swinney's hope, however, is that the closer competition among the inexperienced talent will generate better practices during fall camp and have the Tigers ready to pick up where they left off on defense last season. -- David M. Hale
13. Ole Miss Rebels: Hugh Freeze likes the talent and depth coming back on his offensive line, but he doesn't have many starts to hang his hat on. Ole Miss lost 156 starts -- and five starters -- from last year's offensive line and returns just 36 career starts. There will be moving and shaking up front all camp, but freshman Greg Little is the X factor. If he can cement his spot at left tackle, Freeze might find the perfect combination before taking on Florida State. -- Aschoff
18. North Carolina Tar Heels: Can the defense get the ball back to what should be a dominant offense? Opponents saw what Baylor did in the bowl, coupled it with the fact that the Tar Heels lost two key linebackers and are thinking they will be able to run all over North Carolina. The defense needs to play better against the rush to prevent time-sustaining drives, get off the field and give the offense a chance to showcase its skill. -- Shanker
24. Miami Hurricanes: Brad Kaaya has first-round potential, but will the offensive line allow the offense to flourish? Mark Richt is determined to run the football to help the passing game, but Miami was 61st among 65 Power 5 teams in rushing yards before contact last season. The good news is the Hurricanes return a lot along the offensive line, so there should be more cohesion, despite adjusting to a new coaching staff. -- Shanker
25. Louisville Cardinals: The offensive line. Plenty of attention has gone to QB Lamar Jackson, who we're told has made huge strides as a pocket passer this offseason. None of that will matter, however, if his line doesn't take a big step forward. Last season, Louisville allowed the third-highest rate of pressures in the Power 5 (38.9 percent of dropbacks), and its ground game offered little support, which forced Jackson to become a runner rather than a passer. Most of last year's O-line returns this season, but it'll need to be a year better -- not just a year older. -- Hale
At yesterday’s Florida State football practice, we saw a new quarterback working with the first team.
Our own Michael Rogner put together a fascinating list comparing each ACC football coach to a coach from the basketball ranks. You may not like the Jimbo comparison.
FSU recently offered 2018 four-star defensive back Tyson Campbell.
Bud Elliott details which program is benefitting most from Texas’ struggles and more in his daily Crootletter.