Originally written on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 10/1/14
2012 Record: 12-2 (7-1 in ACC) Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher (31-10 at FSU, 18-6 in ACC) Last Bowl Game: 2013 Orange Bowl: beat NIU 31-10 Stadium: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL (capacity = 82,300) Home Field Advantage: ranked 11th out of 69 BCS teams Schedule Glimpse: 2013 Schedule Link Out of Conference: 9/14 vs Nevada, 9/21 vs Bethune-Cookman, 11/23 vs Idaho, 11/30 at Florida Toughest Home Game: 11/2 vs Miami (FL) Toughest Road Game: 10/19 at Clemson   Statistical Snapshot: 2012 Statistics Link Stats to Fear: had 27 turnovers in 2012 (10th in ACC), allowed opponents to score on 87.10% of trips to red zone (11th in ACC) Stats to Cheer: scored on 91.55% of trips to red zone (3rd in ACC), had 245 plays of 10 or more yards (1st in ACC), held opponents to 27.15% on third downs (2nd in ACC) Advanced Stats (Football Outsiders 2012 FEI Ranking): 13th out of 124 teams   Personnel: Phil Steele's Returning Starters: Offense: 7, Defense: 4, Special Teams: 0 Key Defensive Returnees: LB Christian Jones (95 tackles), LB Telvin Smith (64 tackles), S Terrence Brooks (51 tackles), S/CB Lamarcus Joyner (51 tackles) Key Offensive Returnees: RB Devonta Freeman (660 yds rush, 5.9 ypc, 8 TD), RB James Wilder Jr (635 yds rush, 5.7 ypc, 11 TD), WR Rashad Greene (57 rec, 6 TD), WR Kelvin Benjamin (30 rec, 4 TD) Top 2013 Recruits: LB Matthew Thomas, CB Jalen Ramsey, DE DeMarcus Walker, RB Ryan Green, OG Ira Denson       Verdict:   Last year was the year that many thought FSU would break through and get back to being a National Championship contender. The Seminoles had their best year under Jimbo Fisher and finished 12-2 but didn't quite get to the level that many were hoping for after a mid-season upset to NC State. Jimbo Fisher is now in his fourth year as head coach. Last year the Seminoles won their first ACC Championship under Fisher, can they make it two in a row this season?   The Seminoles offense must replace three NFL draft picks in QB EJ Manual, RB Chris Thompson and OT Menelik Watson. Red-shirt freshman QB Jameis Winston has a huge up-side and he showed it off this spring and that caused last years back-up Clint Trickett to pack up his bags and move to West Virginia. At RB, the Seminoles lose the explosive Chris Thompson but do return two 600+ yard rushers in Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. The receiving corps is in dire straights right now. What was once considered the top unit in the ACC has now lost Jarred Haggins (8 rec), Willie Haulstead (38 rec in 2010), Greg Dent (27 rec) and Marvin Bracy. There is still talent at WR but the depth is gone. The OL returns five players with 12 of more starts and has two others that have starting experience.    The defense must replace seven players that were drafted by the NFL. Among those seven players were four defensive linemen, two of which combined to make 24 of FSU's 36 sacks. Reloading up front on defense will be critical. The LB returns two of their top three players in Christian Jones and Telvin Smith. The secondary losses only Xavier Rhodes. The defense should be good, but could be great if the big guys up front come together.   The schedule is not particularly tough but that's probably what the Seminoles were thinking last year when they traveled to Raleigh and came home with their first loss of the season. There are a lot of moving parts in terms of coaching changes for the Seminoles, they are breaking in a new QB and they have to replace some really good play-makers on defense. I expect the ACC to be a two team race between FSU and Clemson although there are a few other teams that could make some noise. Mark October 19th on your calendar as that is the day that will decide the ACC as the Seminoles travel to Clemson.    Prediction: 10-2     Previous 2013 Pre-Season Previews: ACC- Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, NC State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest Big 12- Baylor, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, Texas Tech, WVU Big Ten- Illinois,  Indiana,  Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State,  Minnesota,  Nebraska, Northwestern,  Purdue,Wisconsin C-USA- ECU, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, Tulane, UAB, UTEP, UTSA Independent: Army, BYU, Idaho, Navy, New Mexico St, Old Dominion MAC- Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, CMU, EMU, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, Toledo, UMass, WMU MWC- Air Force, Boise St, Colorado St, Fresno St, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, SDSU, SJSU, UNLV, Utah St, Wyoming Pac-12- Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Oregon St, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington St SEC- Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt Sun Belt- Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy, ULM, WKU The American-  Cincinnati,  Houston, Louisville,  Memphis,  Rutgers,  SMU, Temple, UCF, UConn, USF  
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