2019 Florida State Seminoles College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 5-7
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Oh look, another Florida college football program that everyone in the mainstream sports media treats as if it is grandfathered into relevance.
Florida State's 2013 national title and 2014 national semifinal appearances seem like a long time ago. The Seminoles have seen their record stay the same or worsen each of the last five years. And over the last two seasons, they have been massive underachievers, going from No. 2 in the preseason to unranked in 2017 and then seeing their 37-year bowl streak snapped thanks to last season's 5-7 debacle.
Needless to say, Willie Taggart was completely unimpressive in his first season since taking over for Jimbo Fisher. Taggart had a difficult time shifting the Seminoles from a pro-style offense to his up-tempo spread attack. FSU's most important offseason acquisition is likely new offensive coordinator Kendall Briles. Briles (yes, the son of Art) is tasked with bringing the FSU attack up to date after they averaged just 21.9 points per game last season.
Florida State was No. 113 in total offense, No. 127 in rushing offense and No. 103 in scoring last year. So Briles has some work to do.
Regardless of how Briles performs, I still have major questions about Taggart. Before he threw up on himself and snapped FSU's nearly four-decade-old bowl streak, he missed a bowl game with Oregon in 2017. Why a guy that cut his teeth at Western Kentucky and South Florida is being given so much latitude is beyond me. But here we are.
Florida State does have 16 total returning starters. They have eight returning defensive starters and eight of their 10 top tacklers back. In a normal year, that would mean the Seminoles defense was stacked with future NFL draft picks. But after finishing last season No. 120 in pass defense and No. 90 in scoring defense, this year it means the 'Noles just have a bunch of guys back.
So the coaching is questionable and the overall talent level is questionable. How is Florida State's schedule this year?
The ACC is kind of a train wreck this season. Florida State is not good enough to beat Clemson. But fortunately for them, that game is on the road. That means they won't burn a potentially winnable home game.
FSU opens the year in nearby Jacksonville against a decent Boise State team. But Florida State is a solid favorite in that one. They also get two more tough ACC games, versus Syracuse and Miami, in Tallahassee.
Besides Clemson, their next two toughest games are on the road. They play Virginia in Charlottesville on Sept. 14, and they close out the regular season at Florida.
Even if FSU loses all three of its big road games, they can still clear this bar. Hell, they can lose all three of those road games and then also lose one of their difficult 'home' games (Boise State, Syracuse, Miami) and STILL hit on the 'over'.
The 'over' is the only play with this squad, overrated as they may be.
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