So, if you’ve followed FSU football or college football, the fortunes of the Noles kind of went like this: The 70s were a building decade, the 80s saw the Noles come into their own as a national power, and the 90s were a decade dominated by FSU. By 2000, the team began to lose it’s mojo, and the late 00s Noles were an afterthought. Enter Jimbo Fisher & Mark Stoops. Both men are highly respected and have a history of success everywhere they’ve coached. I expect the first year to be a bit of up and down, but ultimately building to the 2010-2020 decade to be a decade full of FSU dominance. And away we go…
09/04/10 Samford (Win)
Well, looks like I basically called this one (FSU won 59-6, I had said 56-3). A fairly dominant effort in every phase of the game by the Noles – they blocked a kick, ran one back for a TD, Ponder threw 4 TDs in a half, and the running game was able to rip off yards by the bunch. A good start to the season.
09/11/10 @ Oklahoma (Win)
I feel like FSU’s got a shot here. I’m going to say they win, but I’m the least sure about this game of any all year. Noles win by less than a TD. If, and this is a huge if, the Noles can stop the Oklahoma running game, I think they do enough in the other phases to win the game. Oklahoma has a potent offense but has lost a lot of talent in the past 2 years. They keep on reloading, but I feel like the Noles can do enough to win on the road.
09/18/10 BYU (Win)
FSU is just too fast for BYU. Watch the pass rush for the Noles to absolutely overwhelm BYU. FSU wins by 28.
9/25/10 Wake Forest (Win)
This game could get ugly, fast. FSU should just run by Wake, running up the score and getting the backups in. FSU by 5 touchdowns.
10/2/10 @ UVA (Win)
UVA is a team being rebuilt and I think they just don’t have the horses on defense to slow down FSU’s attack. FSU should be able to spread the field, throw tons of screens and just abuse the corners, getting huge yards after the catch. FSU doesn’t win as big as you’d think, as they have backups in after the half, focusing on Miami. FSU still scores 50+ for the 3rd time of the season.
10/9/10 @ Miami (Win)
This game is the beginning of the tough mid stretch for the Noles. Other than Oklahoma, there really hasn’t been any real competition yet. But the next few games feature Miami, BC, Clemson and UNC. Going on the road to Miami is never an easy task, but I think that FSU is due to finally contain the big game passing of Jacory Harris. This is the first game in 4 or 5 years that both teams will really be competitive top 25 teams, so this could be a great one. FSU wins late, in a close one. They’re always close.
10/16/10 Boston College (Win)
This one really could go either way. In my mind, the winner of this game should go to the ACC title game assuming neither slip up anywhere else.
BC is stout on defense, with two of the best linebackers in the nation. They should play well enough to really slow down the FSU attack and keep the game very close. BC’s running game is nothing to sneeze at, and I see them attacking FSU’s tackles head on, and wearing the smaller guys down. FSU by less than 10.
10/28/10 @ NC State (Win)
I look for a repeat of last year’s game, where neither defense seemed interested in stopping the other. FSU scores 50+, but gives up 4 or 5 TDs of their own.
11/06/10 UNC (Win)
I fully expect UNC to give FSU a run for their money, but ultimately the forthcoming suspensions will be too much for the Heels to handle. FSU wins by 14, setting up a huge game with Clemson.
11/13/10 Clemson (Loss)
FSU’s going to be riding high and I feel like Clemson has this rare ability to ruin FSU’s season almost every year. Watch them to do it again. By now, both teams will know who they are and what they’re good at, and I think Clemson’s offense will be a very potent attack that will be hard for the Noles to stop. FSU loses by 10 on a late big play by Clemson dashing any hopes for a comeback. Close, but just not enough.
11/20/10 @ Maryland (Win)
Maryland is a team in freefall, and FSU will put them out of their misery – and clenching a berth in the ACC championship game in the process. FSU by 17.
11/27/10 UF (Loss)
This should be the game that makes this a rivalry again. The past few years have been an utter embarasment for the Seminoles, with UF just blowing them out. The tide is beginning to turn though, with FSU finally recruiting like it’s the 90s, they have some continuity on offense and defense, and UF realizes they don’t really have a QB that’s perfectly suited to their offense like Tebow was. That doesn’t mean UF is going to stink, mind you. This is still one of the best, if not the best, programs in the nation over the past 10 years. However, I think that the pendulum is beginning to swing back.
FSU’s defense should be able to contain the spread option by this time of the year, and that alone will keep the game competitive. UF’s defense will also stifle the running game of FSU, turning this game into essentially a showdown between Ponder and Brantley. I think you know who I think should win that contest.
However, Florida is still Florida, and FSU is just a program that’s back on the rise. Championship teams find ways to win big games like this, and UF is a championship team. FSU isn’t (yet). With that said, I see UF winning a close game that renews the rivalry and makes next year’s game that much bigger.
So that brings us to 10-2, heading to the ACC title game. FSU should lose to VT in that game, and the Noles are a total Jekyll/Hyde sort of team in bowl games, so we could possibly see the season end on a 3 game losing streak. Still, 10-4 or 11-3 seems attainable to me in what is essentially the dawn of the next era of FSU football. I think that next year FSU re-enters the national picture again, but this year is just a bit of buildup for that. The offense is back, and once the defense gets back to the levels they’re capable of, FSU will be an ACC and national power again.