Why the Seminoles Won't Repeat in 2014
And why not? Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston is back to play quarterback, the recent recruiting class was nothing less than spectacular, and Florida State has a favorable schedule ahead of it.
But as the legend Lee Corso famously says on ESPN College Gameday, “not so fast my friend!” The Seminoles are definitely on the right track to becoming a consistent college football power, but I do not believe the program is there yet.
Florida State lost a lot of talent to the NFL after last season, but Fisher was able to reload. However, I don’t believe that these players will be able to fill the shoes of a Timmy Jernigan or Lamarcus Joyner. It’s tough to put that kind of talent on the field year-after-year, but Fisher is on his way. It won’t be long until the Seminoles are able to match Alabama’s consistency, but 2014 won't be the beginning of that era.
Another reason that I don’t believe Florida State will win it all in 2014 is the introduction of the College Football Playoff. If the Seminoles do run the table in the regular season (which is extremely likely), it would be probable that the team would earn the No. 1 seed in the playoff. But regardless of the seeding, Fisher will more than likely see at least one SEC team in the tournament (Alabama and/or Auburn), and the Seminoles’ regular season schedule won't prep the team for the possibility of playing two huge games in a row.
It’s certainly ironic that one of the Seminoles’ biggest concerns of 2014 was once one of its own. Quarterback Jacob Coker backed up Jameis Winston in 2013, now he’s on track to lead the Crimson Tide this fall. The transfer quarterback had a fierce competition with Winston last spring, which means that Coker can play. But regardless if Coker starts for Alabama or not, the Tide still return players like Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon, Nick Saban will be on a mission to be the first champion of the playoff series.
I’ve stated some of my concerns about the Seminoles repeating as champs, but the bottom line is that it’s hard to repeat as national champions. Even though Winston will be back this season, it will be extremely challenging for Florida State to be the last man standing in the new College Football Playoff.
If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t be placing my chips on Florida State in 2014.