By Zach Gilliland
While I don't think Florida State is on their way to a dynasty, I don't see anyone else contending with Florida State for two reasons: what they return and their schedule. That makes them good college football picks for next season.
Florida State will lose some key players on both offense and defense,
but next year will be less of "rebuilding" and more of "re-loading". Of
course you know about Jameis Winston and what he can do. He may not win
the Heisman next season, but he will almost certainly have another solid
year. Rashad Greene, one of their top wide receivers, will return to
catch the passes from Winston. Plus their defense still sits pretty well
with guys like Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards Jr.
Their recruiting class looks great as well with headliners like running back Dalvin Cook and receivers Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane. Jimbo Fisher has energized this fan base and has Florida State back near the top in recruiting battles.
The Seminoles' schedule also plays to their favor, much like last year. They have three tough non-conference games in Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, and Florida but two of those are at home. The Oklahoma State game is at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas. Other notable games on the schedule are Clemson, Miami, and Louisville with the latter two on the road.
Oklahoma State may present some challenges to the Seminoles and Clemson will be hungry after last year's defeat, but Florida State will be heavily favored in those contests. Notre Dame and Miami are wild-card games at this point, because we don't really know how good those two will be. Florida will likely be much better than last season, but with that one at home, Florida State should take care of business.
Florida State has a few tough matchups this season, but with what they have returning they should run the table again. Unless they lose focus one week and get upset by a lesser-ranked team, the Seminoles look like the preseason favorites to win the national championship.
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Check out our 2016 SEC Football Schedule