It's likely going to be a battle between Florida State and Clemson for top honors in the ACC. Let's look over the Seminoles' chances on the college football odds board for the coming season.
We'll first look over the ACC landscape to see where Florida State stacks up. As of now, the Seminoles are essentially in a dead heat with Clemson on the futures odds list. They're at right around +250 to emerge as the conference champions, with the Tigers in the same kind of range.
If we take a step back and look at the grand scheme of things, we see Florida State in seventh place on the futures list for the national champion. College Football odds quote the at anywhere between +1600 to +2000 win it all.
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Florida State Seminoles: 2014 Recap
Before looking ahead, it's always wise to recount the past to see what kind of shape these teams will be in heading into the new collegiate football season.
The Seminoles, as you probably know, blitzed through all the competition in the 2014 regular season, going undefeated and doing in style behind the leadership of QB Jameis Winston. Florida State picked up wins over ranked opponents Clemson (#22), Notre Dame (#5), Louisville (#25) and Georgia Tech (#11) on their way to a perfect 13-0 record.
Unfortunately, the good times didn't keep on rolling come college football playoffs time, as the Seminoles got destroyed by Oregon in the semi-finals (59-20). Winston was outplayed by Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and Florida State was shown the door in a surprising blowout loss against the high-flying Ducks.
Winston didn't have the most productive of individual seasons in his final college season, as he finished with a forgettable 25:18 TD:INT ratio. Florida State had a few different running backs who contributed, namely Dalvin Cook and Karlos Williams, and Rashad Greene was the leading receiver with 99 catches for 1,365 yards and seven touchdown grabs. As a team, the Seminoles averaged 33.7 points per game (#35 in the country) while allowing 25.6 points on average, ranking them 50th in the nation in that regard.
Florida State Seminoles: 2015 Look-Ahead
After losing a lot of key personnel, it's going to be intriguing to see if Florida State is able to plug the missing holes and stay near the top. If the college football odds are anything to go by, the Seminoles should be right back in the thick of things, challenging for not only the ACC title but for the national crown too.
Schedule-wise, matchups with conference foes like Clemson and Georgia Tech, both of which are on the road, are going to be very tough, as is the regular season finale against in-state rival Florida. Nonetheless, the ACC as a whole isn't nearly as difficult as the SEC, so the Seminoles should be able to hold their own and pile up the victories once again.
The big question in terms of personnel will be at the quarterback spot. There are big shoes to fill now that Winston has moved on to the NFL, and it looks like the race to replace him is going to come down to junior Sean Maguire and transfer Everett Golston, who you may remember from his team with Notre Dame. J.J. Cosentino is also in the mix, but he's expected to settle in as the third-string when everything's said and done.
Elsewhere, Dalvin Cook has been suspended, meaning Mario Pelford and a couple other young bucks like Jacques Patrick and Johnathan Vickers will take over the workload. At wideout, both Greene and Nick O'Leary are gone, leaving more opportunities for the likes of Travis Rudolph and Jesus Wilson.
We know Florida State is going to be just fine defensively, with another great recruiting class incoming, and a light non-conference schedule should help the Seminoles settle in (and figure out the quarterback situation). That being said, we'd be a little hesitant to go all in on Florida State at these types of college footabll odds until we see what they're made of early on.