Florida State could once again be celebrating at the end of next season. Photo: USA Today Sports
CBR's "Way Too Early" Top 10
No. 1 Florida State Seminoles
If you have been following our countdown then this should come as no surprise. Florida State looks to have all of the ingredients in the cupboard to cook up another championship run in 2014. From a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who showed no signs of discomfort in 2013 to a head coach who has become one of the top brains in the game and a roster that is budding with top talent, Florida State looks very tough to beat in the coming year.
The Good: Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher as prepared this program for long term success. Through recruiting, Fisher has built a deep and talented roster that will be prepared with players ready to step in to some key positions in 2014. One position that will not need a new face will be quarterback, with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston coming back to show off his cool level of confidence once again. The Seminoles should be the favorite to start the year with a top ranking for the first time since 1999.
The Bad: Florida State loses some key players from their 2013 roster, including wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and defensive back LaMarcus Joyner. The schedule also gets a bit more difficult in 2014 with a season opening game in Arlington, Texas against Oklahoma State and home games against Notre Dame and what should (hopefully?) be a better Florida team. The ACC schedule also includes road games at Louisville and Miami.
The Uncertain: Is it possible to run through the season from start to finish with as much dominance on the scoreboard as Florida State did in 2013 for a second straight season? You have to figure that is going to be difficult to do again, especially with the schedule looking much tougher in 2014. Florida State opens the year against Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas and also hosts Notre Dame as a part of the new ACC schedule rotating the Irish in to the mix. Florida State also plays road games at Louisville and Miami, and what are the odds are Florida is as bad gain next year as they were this past season? Also, in the College Football Playoff era the Seminoles would have to win one extra game to win a national title. Florida State escaped Auburn, but could they dodge a second bullet in the playoffs?
Verdict: It was a stretch to find too much negative to say about Florida State's fortunes in 2014, and that is a testament to just how good this team looks coming off a national championship season heading in to the new playoff era. They are about as stocked on either side of the football field as any team looks to be going in to 2014, which makes them the early favorite without much question. Perhaps it is too easy to pick the most recent national champion to be the number one team heading in to the next season, but Florida State is difficult to knock off the top of the mountain as we sit here in mid-January.
Here is the rest of the top ten...
6. Ohio State