The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Florida State Seminoles.
No. 18: Florida State Seminoles
Spring Practice Starts: March 21
Spring Game: April 14
Florida State Seminoles Spring Status
And now the Willie Taggart era kicks in.
Jimbo Fisher was a national championship head coach for the program, but with rumors of LSU and other possible gigs being a part of the discussion over the last few seasons, it was time for a change – and now FSU is undergoing a big one.
After a wildly disappointing 7-6 season that never got off the ground, there’s still talent – even with a ton of tough losses – the energy from Taggart is infectious, and the recruiting class is helping to restock the shelves.
But it’s going to take some work to become a national championship player.
The offense doesn’t have too many concerns with a loaded backfield, five starters back up front, and more than enough options to play around with at all the key skill spots.
The D, though, isn’t going to be better without nine starters, including the entire linebacking corps and, somewhat arguably, the best secondary in the country.
And then there’s the tweak to the offensive style, going faster, with more being asked from the quarterback on the ground, and pace, pace, pace.
It’ll be the ACC’s most interesting team – and it’ll be better than seven wins.
Florida State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. It’s not a 100% lock that this is Deondre Francois’s gig again once he’s healthy. J.J. Cosentino is transferring, but James Blackman showed signs of potential greatness last season after being thrown to the wolves. The rail-thin then-true freshman isn’t a runner, and he threw too many interceptions, but it was a training season.
With Francois not quite back to full speed from his horrible season-opening leg injury – he won’t do much this offseason – it’s still Blackman’s gig, but Bailey Hockman is getting his share of work, too.
Florida State Biggest Issue
Offensive production, and more specifically, the O line. The 2016 Seminoles cranked up 6,061 yards. The epic 2013 national champion amassed 7,267. The 2017 team? 4,575.
Obviously, losing Francois didn’t help, and Blackman did what he could, but the big culprit was a leaky offensive front that was dominated way too easily. The Noles were dead last in the ACC in the tackles for loss allowed, and gave up close to 2.5 sacks per game. At the very least, the FSU offense will be quicker and with more pace – and the O line has to be ready.
Florida State Biggest Positive
Running backs. Start with Cam Akers, and everything flows from there.
Again, the offensive line has to be better and more productive for this all to work, but Akers is a special back with All-American potential – and he doesn’t have to do it alone. Jacques Patrick averaged well over five yards per carry as the No. 2 rusher, and there are plenty of other young backs to get into the rotation if needed.
Really, Why Are The Florida State Seminoles Ranked Here?
Is Florida State really and truly in a rebuilding mode? No, but there are so many big losses on defense – even for FSU – and so many changes on offense to expect an ACC title.
Clemson looks too nasty, and Miami and NC State are terrific, but with a few breaks and a win over the Tigers, the Noles can at least be in the hunt. Taggart is known for his ability to build up bad situations, and this is hardly an awful one.
And, at the very least, it’ll be better than a 7-6 season.