It’s still a bit early to call a prediction for the Florida State Seminoles 2013 college football season, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’ll break this down on offense and defense and then come up with a final prediction based on how I see it. A lot can happen between now and the first game but barring any major setbacks with injuries, I see Florida State doing well. So even though we’re in February, here it goes.
Offensively, Florida State’s line seems to be the question. Depth is a concern of most fans and the team failed to land recruits Austin Golsen and Denver Kirkland. The lack of depth on the line could trickle down into the whole offense but it’s doubtful against much inferior ACC opponents.
The Seminoles do however get to face new rivals Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers next season. The two schools offer new looks to FSU and could offer up a loss. That goes both ways though as they both could struggle with new ACC rivals and travel arrangements. I don’t see any problems with the addition of these two opponents.
If quarterback Jameis Winston does indeed win the job moving forward, he is certainly capable of scrambling when a play breaks down due to poor blocking. And as mentioned yesterday, the team has its’ choice of running backs. I failed to mention redshirt freshman Mario Pender in yesterdays breakdown but he is yet another player in the mix at RB. Losing Senior fullbacks Lonnie Pryor and Debrale Smiley won’t help.
On defense, the Seminoles have added coach Jeremy Pruitt from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nothing but upside here. FSU has a fantastic defense. I don’t think it changes for the worse. If anything, it could get better. In the past, Pruitt was given defensive back duties and one could argue that his new job as defensive coordinator may be over his head but I don’t think it is. He certainly has the track record of developing a secondary and he is one hell of a recruiter.
Personnel wise I have briefly touched on the changes in the secondary and at linebacker. Pruitt will have help with his defensive line as Sal Sunseri joined the team for the 2012 Orange Bowl and will continue on into the 2013 season. He brings 28 years experience to what appears to be the biggest area of concern on the defensive side of the ball. The Seminoles hoped to have landed enough recruits and will rely heavily on current team veterans to replace all four defensive line positions for 2013.
With good health, I don’t see the Seminoles defense sliding out of the top ten. They have the coaching and the players to maintain that high level of play. The line does have the biggest question marks surrounding it and may decide the fate of the squad but I see them holding up fine and getting plenty of help from coverage.
Both the defensive and offensive lines remain the unknowns for this Florida State team in my opinion. One could argue that’s the case with most teams however. Part of the game is the turnover in players every season, but if both lines hold up and players step up to fill much needed replacement roles, I see the Seminoles taking home another ACC championship.
I see the 2013 season playing out much like it did in 2012. The rest of the ACC simply doesn’t have the talent of Florida State. They had another stellar top ten 2013 recruiting class. They may be upset once in the division and then go on to lose to the Florida Gators. I see another Orange Bowl in their future. I do not see them as a title team. I see them pretty much just like last year. And if you’re a fan of FSU, that’s good thing.