By: Vaughan Sheffey (Twitter: @Vizzle311)
Last season: 12-2, ACC Champions (first since 2005)
Bolstered by yet another recruiting class ranked in the Top 3, Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and this year’s version of the Seminoles enter the season with expectations running high. However, it is noteworthy that the AP and Coaches Polls have them ranked at #12 and #10 respectively. This is a definite contrast to their Top 5 preseason rankings of the last 2 years and to most observers it probably seems like FSU is appropriately ranked going into this season. It is painfully obvious in 2013 that winning the perennially underpowered ACC does not garner an automatic top 5 ranking by any stretch of the imagination. In addition, the lopsided Orange Bowl victory against a completely over-matched Northern Illinois team at the end of last season capped a campaign in which the Seminoles were almost always the favorite going in. Still, it can be viewed as a successful season and returning to the top of the conference is a big step for Jimbo and his plans for returning FSU to annual contention for a national championship.
This season is a real tipping point in that the coaching staff needs and expects many of their own recruits to start living up to their potential and contribute in a big way this season. Florida State only returns 11 of 22 starters this season and were hit with more roster attrition than any other team in the ACC.