Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

FBS preseason top 10 countdown: No. 8


It’s that time of the week again; time to reveal who checks in at number eight in my FBS preseason top 10 countdown. This week’s team comes by way of the ACC:

8. Florida State Seminoles

2011 Record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)

Bowl Game: Defeated Notre Dame 18-14 in Champs Sports Bowl

Overview: In 2011, big things were expected of coach Jimbo Fisher and Florida State, but they failed to deliver. A difficult 0-3 stretch against Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest derailed the lofty aspirations of the Seminoles and relegated them to just average status. However, 2012 could be the year that the ‘Noles finally break out and return to their former glory. Sustained success on the recruiting trail and the development of veterans may help Florida State back to the top. A relatively weak schedule and and a now healthy quarterback EJ Manuel will also certainly benefit Fisher’s squad (they only travel outside the state of Florida three times in 2012). Florida State should be considered the class of the ACC, and now will be aiming to become nationally feared as well.

Offensive Player to Watch: QB E.J. Manuel, RS Sr.

Despite playing with nagging shoulder and leg injuries for most of the season, EJ Manuel was able to turn in some impressive numbers during his 2011 campaign. The redshirt senior threw for 18 scores and 8 interceptions last season while completing 65% of his passes. Though his overall numbers were good, Manuel struggled to stay consistent. In fact he often had his most inconsistent games during the team’s most important contests. His two interceptions and paltry 85 yards passing against then #1 Oklahoma come to mind when you think about his big game performances. If the Seminoles are to reach their lofty goals, Manuel must improve.

Defensive Player to Watch: DE Brandon Jenkins, Sr.

When Brandon Jenkins announced he would be returning for his senior season, Florida State’s defense became much more formidable. As a junior, Jenkins was named a preseason All-American and racked up 8 sacks, good enough for second most in the ACC. His natural pass rushing ability makes him a terror for opposing lineman trying to block him. Jenkins also was responsible for 41 total tackles, 12 of which were tackles for loss. Though he did suffer a slight dip in production going from his sophomore to junior year, expect the senior to bounce back strong.

Key Games: September 22 vs. Clemson, November 8 @ Virginia Tech, November 24 vs. Florida

2012 Prediction: 10-2 (7-1 ACC)

Wins: Murray State, Savannah State, Wake Forest, Clemson, South Florida, NC State, Boston College, Miami (FL), Duke Maryland

Losses: Virginia Tech, Florida


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  • G

    Greg RomagnaJun 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I agree, as long as they play to their potential, Fla St. should be the ACC’s BCS representative. But as we’ve seen in the ACC the past few seasons, inconsistency has been rampant.

  • E

    EliJun 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Manuel and the gang are finally gonna get a shot in a major bowl game this year. Haven’t been in one since ’05 and haven’t won one since they were the champs in ’99