The 2017 season did not go as Florida State envisioned. The Seminoles had national championship aspirations when the season began. But a blowout loss to Alabama and a season-ending injury to quarterback Deondre Francois in the opener changed everything. FSU began the season 2-5 and needed to win their final three games just to reach a bowl game. Even with a win in the Independence Bowl, the Seminoles were just 7-6 and 3-5 in ACC play.
After that disaster of a season, Jimbo Fisher took off for richer pastures at Texas A&M and the Seminoles brought in Willie Taggart to take over. It’s now up to Taggert to help FSU put last year behind them and get back to competing for conference and national championships on a regular basis.
Oddsmakers list Florida State at +5000 to win a national championship. Those are good odds for a team that went 7-6 last year. There’s also good value in those odds considering the talent on FSU’s roster. However, the Seminoles are also projected to win 7.5 games this season. Again, based on the talent in the program, it’s a good bet that they can top that mark. However, Taggart has a lot of things to fix at Florida State.
It’ll start with deciding between Francois and James Blackman at quarterback. Both have plenty of upside, but neither comes with a guarantee. Fortunately, the Seminoles may be able to ride running back Cam Akers for much of the season, especially since Taggart loves running the ball. However, while the ‘Noles return all five starters on the offensive line, that unit had a world of problems last season. Without improvement up front, the FSU offense could struggle to get going as they adjust to Taggart’s system.
Defensively, the Seminoles should be strong up front. But they will have to replace all three linebackers and two underclassmen in the secondary who went to the NFL early. Depth could also be an issue for the FSU defense, so they may not have the ability to overcome injuries, which is always a possibility.
|Sep 3||Virginia Tech Hokies||8:00 PM|
|Sep 8||Samford Bulldogs||7:20 PM|
|Sep 15||@ Syracuse Orange||12:00 PM|
|Sep 22||Northern Illinois Huskies||12:00 PM|
|Sep 29||@ Louisville Cardinals||12:00 PM|
|Oct 6||@ Miami-Florida Hurricanes||12:00 PM|
|Oct 20||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||12:00 PM|
|Oct 27||Clemson Tigers||12:00 PM|
|Nov 3||@ North Carolina State Wolfpack||12:00 PM|
|Nov 10||@ Notre Dame Fighting Irish||7:30 PM|
|Nov 17||Boston College Eagles||12:00 PM|
|Nov 24||Florida Gators||12:00 PM|
Florida State’s 2018 schedule is no cake walk. They open up with a primetime game against Virginia Tech, albeit at home. A road game against Syracuse a couple weeks later could also be a stumbling block, as Clemson found out last year. The ‘Noles also have road games against Louisville, Miami, N.C. State and Notre Dame. Even home games against Clemson, Boston College, and Florida will be difficult.
There are few games on FSU’s schedule that are anything close to a guaranteed winner. That being said, the Seminoles have enough talent to win at least half of their coin-flip games, which should be enough to get them at least eight wins and no worse than third place in the ACC Atlantic. It’s not what FSU fans want to hear, but it’ll be a good stepping stone in Taggart’s first year.