2018 Florida State Seminoles Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 7-6
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 8.0
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
At this time last year Florida State was No. 2 in the country, on the short list of teams with a shot at the National Championship, and gearing up for an epic opener against titan Alabama.
Things went sideways quickly.
The Seminoles lost their starting quarterback, Deondre Francois, while also losing their game against the Crimson Tide. They went on to lose a slew of other players to injury while dropping five of their first six games. And it took a three-game winning streak to close the season for FSU to barely become bowl eligible for the 36th straight year. They ended the season not in the college playoff, but in the Independence Bowl against Southern Miss.
Jimbo Fisher, who bolted for Texas A&M, was replaced by Willie Taggart as head coach. Taggart plans to overhaul the Seminoles attack, bringing his up-tempo spread option offense from Oregon. And the key to Florida State's season is how quickly Fisher's recruits can adapts to Taggart's approach.
Speed will not be a problem for Taggart and the Florida State offense. Sophomore Cameron Akers has serious breakout potential, and senior Jacques Patrick and freshman Khalan Laborn are both Top 10 recruits in the backfield. The receiving corps is young but chock full of athleticism.
Florida State also has a massive offensive line, with their five starters averaging nearly 325 pounds apiece.
The Seminoles defense finished 2017 in the Top 30 in all major statistical categories despite getting minimal help from the offense. They do return only four starters, and the Seminoles lost six of their top seven tacklers. Perhaps more important than how the offense adjusts is how well the defense will perform with new schemes and a lot of new faces.
Taggart won't get much time to find his feet. Florida State has a mammoth ACC tilt at home with Virginia Tech in the season opener. Then the Seminoles play their next three league games on the road - at Syracuse, at Louisville and then at Miami. Things soften up slightly after an Oct. 13 bye week. But the Seminoles have to host Clemson, Boston College and Florida surrounding a road trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame.
If the Seminoles hold off the Hokies then they could be 5-0 when they head to Coral Gables to take on Miami. If we assume a loss to Miami, a loss to Clemson and a loss at Notre Dame, then this wager will come down to FSU's season finale against rebuilding Florida.
After all the tough luck that the Seminoles endured last season, I think that they are due to get a break or two their way this season. FSU has a pretty rugged schedule, especially early. But here is an abundance of talent on this roster, and I think these players are excited about Taggart's system and a fresh start. I think Florida State will win nine games, and I think they will get past this number.
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