Returning Starters – Offense: 4 Defense: 7
Preview: Florida State has had tremendous success as a program under head coach Jimbo Fisher as the team is 58-11 in Fisher’s 5 years as the head man. Last season the Seminoles came up just short of their lofty expectations as FSU went 13-0 through the regular season, but they lost in the first round of the playoff to Oregon by a final of 20-59. Florida State will look to reload in 2015 with only 11 returning starters including just 4 on the offensive side of the ball.
The Seminoles need to do the impossible, which is replacing QB Jameis Winston, but the team also lost plenty of other key contributors across the offensive unit. The QB competition will come down to former backup Sean Maguire and Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson. It would be a surprise if Golson didn’t end up winning the job. Coming out of the backfield RB Dalvin Cook will carry a large portion of the workload after picking up 1,000+ yards last season. The O-line needs to replace 4 starters and it should be interesting to see how this newly former unit looks right out of the gate. WR is a position of strength headlined by guys like Rudolph, Lane, and Wilson.
Even though the Seminoles lost guys like Goldman and Edwards along the D-line to the NFL, this unit still has considerable depth ready to potentially put up better numbers in 2015. The LB position appears to be the weakness of the defense again coming into the year, but guys like Smith and Northrup are looking to prove themselves coming off injuries. Florida State has talent in the secondary with guys like Ramsey, Marshall, Hunter, and Andrews headlining the unit.
Prediction: Florida State will have teams gunning for them on a weekly basis after their recent dominance in the ACC. It’s incredible that the Seminoles rode a 29 game winning streak prior to their loss to Oregon to end last year. With a young offense mixed with a defense that could improve, Florida State isn’t expected to make a run at the playoff this season.
Projected Record: 9-3 (6-2)