- On Sunday, the preseason AP Poll was released with Florida State coming in at No. 4. With the rankings released, the ‘Noles now know where its opponents currently stand. FSU currently has five of its 2016 opponents ranked inside the top 25, Clemson at No. 2, Ole Miss at No. 11, Louisville at No. 19, UNC at No. 22 and Florida at No. 25. Mark Rogers of Inside the ACC thinks the ‘Noles have the hardest schedule in the league, what do you think?
- Heather Dinich of ESPN delved into the AP top 25 rankings, and asks the question, “Can two ACC teams get into the College Football Playoff?” Do you think two teams from the same conference will ever be selected for the playoff?
If Clemson's only loss of the season is by three points to an undefeated FSU team in Tallahassee, there's no question that the Tigers would at least be considered for a semifinal. The same can be said for a one-loss FSU team that beats Ole Miss and Florida. If there's a one-loss Notre Dame team (No. 10 in the AP's preseason rankings) in the mix, though, this scenario gets much murkier.
- NFL.com is currently counting down its top 25 players currently in college. On Sunday, FSU running back Dalvin Cook had his name called at No. 6. Here’s what some NFL.com analysts said about the powerful RB from Miami, Florida.
"Cook has game-breaking speed and he's also an asset in the passing game. He's capable of leading the Seminoles to a national title." -- Daniel Jeremiah
"Slippery runner with explosive stop-start quickness and burst. Cook has a knack for finding creases in tight quarters, which makes him a threat from anywhere on the field." -- Bucky Brooks
"A home run waiting to happen on each snap. Plus, he feels like he doesn't get the attention he deserves. Each carry reflects his pride, toughness and determination." -- Charles Davis
"Cook was the man on an offense that had lost four offensive linemen and a quarterback headed to the NFL. Everyone knew he would get the ball and he still managed to crank up big plays thanks to his immense talent." -- Lance Zierlein
"Cook uses uncanny vision, patience behind his blocking, and subtle cuts through the hole to set up explosive runs that other backs couldn't find." -- Chase Goodbread
"Cook averaged 7.4 yards an attempt last year, even with an iffy hamstring. Don't be surprised if he uses his elite skills to crack 2,000 yards in 2016." -- Chad Reuter
- Bud Elliott of Tomahawk Nation and SB Nation’s National Recruiting Analyst broke down the blue-chip ratio of teams ahead of the 2016 season. According the history, the ‘Noles have put themselves in a good position to win it all. The team also posses the highest blue-chip ratio in the ACC and sixth highest in the nation.
- On Saturday, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars faced off against each other, with Jags rookie defensive back Jalen Ramsey getting his first taste of NFL game action against former teammate and Bucs QB Jameis Winston.
Adam Schien of NFL.com wouldn’t be surprised if Winston wound up the MVP of the league, picking the second year QB as his sleeper MVP pick.
As I wrote a few months back, the Bucs are my sleeper team in 2016 -- I think they can win nine games and seriously contend for a playoff spot. And I believe Winston, who enjoyed a very solid rookie campaign, will take an even bigger step forward. The game slows down in Year 2. He's on the same page with Dirk Koetter, who not only remains Jameis' play-caller but now assumes head-coaching duties. The coaching change will equal more wins in Tampa. I think Winston will post a very impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio, as his rapport with the receiving corps (particulary third-year man Mike Evans) continues to improve.
Look, admittedly, I was initially opposed to Tampa Bay taking Winston No. 1 overall. All of the issues that arose during his time at Florida State -- from the serious (a sexual assault allegation that didn't end up spawning criminal charges) to the stupid (crab legs, anyone?) -- just didn't sit right with me. I questioned his maturity and ability to take on the role of franchise face. But to his credit, he's been a model citizen in Tampa, drawing rave reviews for his work ethic and dedication to his craft. Winston has kept himself out of trouble and emerged as the Bucs' leader, wise beyond his years.
"He's already great. He sets the bar high for himself. And he's already established himself as a leader," Martin told me. "He always wants to get better. He's the first guy in the building setting the tone, wanting to get better. It shows the type of character he is. It trickles down to everybody else and it's contagious. We are all accountable to each other to stay at that level [that Jameis establishes]."
Winston is primed for a big second season and is a dark-horse MVP candidate.