As soon as the clock struck zero in Alabama’s 21-0 BCS National Championship victory over LSU the page turned to 2012. Several publications and websites have already released their early 2012 preseason rankings.
After a 9-4 season that included a 3 game losing streak, expectations are still high for the 2012 FSU Seminoles.
Here’s how they’re being discussed and ranked:
5. Florida St. Seminoles
Today’s freshmen are tomorrow’s sophomores, and while FSU will still be young enough to take a couple of accidental steps backwards, it is impossible to ignore the number of intriguing players they will have: ends Brandon Jenkins and Bjoern Wener, quarterback E.J. Manuel, young receivers Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw, etc., a deep (and still young) offensive line, corners Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes, etc. The Seminoles become bigger, faster and deeper each year.
7. Florida State
Injuries and squandered early opportunities kept the ‘Noles from meeting expectations this season. Defense could be the nation’s best.
7. Florida State
After last season, it’s tough to rank FSU this high but when you look at this Seminoles team, it’s hard not to think they can do well this season. The defense, which was its strength last season, only loses two starters and could be even better than 2011.
8. Florida State Seminoles
We’re taking the bait on the Seminoles again, even after they failed to live up to very high aspirations with a 9-4 finish in 2011. But FSU’s lofty preseason billing might have been a year premature, and injuries plagued the Seminoles throughout the season. FSU’s defense is as good as advertised and it might be even better in 2012 with nine starters coming back. Defensive end Brandon Jenkins and cornerback Greg Reid both passed up entering the NFL draft to return to school. If FSU is going to become a legitimate BCS contender, though, its offense has to be better and more explosive. The Seminoles had young skill players in 2011 and they started four freshman offensive linemen against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. Another concern will be replacing All-American punter Shawn Powell. FSU plays seven home games, but it will travel to Virginia Tech during ACC play.
8. Florida State
Sure, the Seminoles may have been one of 2011’s most disappointing teams, but there’s too much talent to expect another 8-4 record. Injuries to quarterback EJ Manuel and the receiving corps early in the year slowed the progress of the offense. In order for Florida State to win the ACC, the rushing attack and offensive line has to be better next season. The defense is filled with talented underclassmen and should be one of the best in the nation.
15. Florida State
Based on returning talent, Florida State should probably be ranked much higher, but I’m hesitant to put the Seminoles higher after last season when FSU was arguably the nation’s most disappointing team. A top five preseason team, the Seminoles failed to even win the ACC Atlantic Division. Injuries played a part. This season the Seminoles have nine returning starters each on offense and defense. The key will be the effectiveness of QB EJ Manuel and playmakers Chris Thompson and Rashad Greene. The Seminoles’ defense, which led the ACC and ranked fourth nationally, could be even better, especially with DE Brandon Jenkins and CB Greg Reid opting to return for their senior seasons. Florida State’s toughest road trip will be to Virginia Tech, while the Seminoles get West Virginia, Florida and Clemson in Tallahassee.