#11 Florida St. Seminoles Preview

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Fall camps are under way and the regular season will be here soon so that means getting an early jump on the 2006 NCAA football season.
Knowing the teams now will save you time and Matt Fargo is here to help you get a grasp of what to expect this upcoming year.
We go from worst to first in this 2006 College Football Preview.
#11 - Florida St.
Seminoles 8-5 SU; 6-6 ATS Fargo's Take Florida St.
is always a preseason contender for the National Championship but the recent failures have put the program in question.
Over the last five years, the Seminoles have dropped 19 games.
To put that into perspective, Florida St.
lost only 18 games in the previous 14 years going all the way back to 1987.
Something is awry in Tallahassee and all of the finger pointing is at the offense that has yet to even come close to the 530 ypg that the Seminoles recorded the year before offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden came on board.
Florida St.
finished 59th in total offense and 44th in scoring offense last season and there needs to be a big rebound.
Reason being, the defense was decimated by graduation and is going to be a very young unit this year.
The Seminoles play in the weaker ACC Atlantic Division and because of that, they are the favorite based on pure talent alone.
That talent will need to overachieve if Florida St.
is going to get back to one of the top teams in the country.
Returning Starters on Offense - 6 The offense leaned on quarterback Drew Weatherford last season and he did his best to carry the Seminoles.
He threw for an ACC freshman record 3,230 yards while tossing 18 touchdowns.
The problem was that he also threw 18 interceptions and had no hint of a running game behind him.
He was sacked 32 times and that was not his fault as the offensive line was throttled by injuries.
Only two full time starters from the line are back but the starting five consists of all five players having started at least one game.
Weatherford gets three of his top four wideouts back, along with tailback Lorenzo Booker who was third on the team last season with 38 catches.
Booker was a disappointment last year with only 552 yards rushing as the Seminoles finished an embarrassing 109th in the country in rushing offense.
The line was the main cause for that and that will improve this season.
Returning Starters on Defense - 5 The defense held the team together for the majority of the season last year but did fall apart near the end of the year when the Seminoles dropped four of their last five games.
The defense allowed 27.
4 ppg over that stretch after allowing just 17.
9 ppg in its first seven games.
Looking back at this defense brings up some huge questions based on the fact that four defensive starters were drafted in the first round of the NFL draft and that doesn't even include A.
J.
Nicholson.
Talk about underachieving.
This season, the defense is ranked 5th in the ACC and 16th in the nation in the preseason ranks based on those players that need to be replaced.
Linebacker Buster Davis and defensive tackle Andre Fluellen will be the leaders and are the big playmakers heading into the season but as usual with the Seminoles, others will emerge.
Schedule The schedule is extremely easy as far as ACC schedules go and the non-conference slate is an absolute joke.
Florida St.
does play at Miami in its opener which is by far the toughest ACC contest and it finishes the season playing at home against Florida, the most difficult non-conference contest.
The other three non-conference games are all at home and against far inferior teams Troy, Rice and Western Michigan.
On the ACC grid, Florida St.
misses Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina, three of the top four teams besides Miami in the ACC Coastal.
The other difficult conference game is against Clemson, but that is at home.
Overall, the Seminoles have eight home games with the final four games of the year taking place at Doak Campbell Stadium.
You can bet on...
If the Seminoles can upset Miami on opening weekend, they have a legitimate shot at a realistic National Championship run.
Clemson and Florida are the only two teams standing in their way but both of those are at home where Florida St.
is 20-4 over the last four years and not losing more than one game in any of those seasons.
A potential rematch with Miami in the ACC Championship could have National Championship implications.
The Seminoles have had only one winning season against the number since 2001.
Florida St.
is just 10-17 ATS as a home favorite over that span including just a 1-3 ATS mark last season.
The Seminoles have been home dogs only once since 2002, an ATS loss last season against Miami so don't expect to see them getting points at home this year.
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