Welcome to the Deadspin 25, a college football poll that strives to be more democratic and less useless than every other preseason poll. Leading up to the college football season kickoff, we will give you previews of the 25 teams that you, the readers, voted to be most worthy of writing about. Now, No. 9 Florida State.
The Seminoles returned to the elite tier of college football thanks to the arrival of quarterback-alleged-rapist-manchild Jameis Winston, who took his team to a national championship and a playoff appearance. Now, thank the Lord of Light, he is gone, banished to toil away in Tampa and leave the good folks of college football to their own devices. Unfortunately, Florida State is still here.
With Winston at the helm, the Seminoles had a solid 2014 campaign, going undefeated and winning the ACC again to earn a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff, in which they were mercilessly and wonderfully thrashed by Oregon. This year, with a weak-sauce ACC conference there for the taking and a somehow-weaker non-conference slate, Florida State seems poised to follow a similar script: A fine regular season followed by getting smacked up in the postseason.
Among the notable losses is tight end Nick O’Leary, the player FSU will miss most after Winston. He was the ultimate safety net for Winston and was one of the best no-gloves offensive players of the past five years. The Seminoles will also trot out an entirely fresh five on the offensive line, as 2014’s entire No. 1 unit is now gone. Offensive lines constantly change at every level of football, but having an entirely new unit will undoubtedly lead to some rough games early in the year.
The most important player the Seminole offense lost is, of course, Jameis Winston. But fortunately for head coach Jimbo Fisher, they swapped him out with Everett Golson, who transferred from Notre Dame after completing his degree and graduating this past spring. Golson is no Winston, but in terms of replacement options, he’s about as good as any coach not named Urban Meyer can ask for.
Running back Dalvin Cook represents the Seminoles’ biggest question mark heading into the season. The sophomore rushed for 1,008 yards last year, putting together five 100-yard games and eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign. There are few backs in college football that have as much going for them on the field as Cook. He has arguably the best combination of vision, strength, and speed of any back not named Leonard Fournette, Ezekial Elliot, or Nick Chubb.
And then came word that Cook is an alleged shitstain who settles his bar arguments with women by punching them. Cook is now suspended indefinitely, and it’s still unclear if he’ll be playing at all this year, so much so that the Seminoles took a team photo with and without him. His trial on battery charges began today.
Even with Cook out, the Seminoles still boast a ton of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where they return seven starters. Leading them is Jalen Ramsey, who is the best player on the team and among the most explosive defensive backs in college football.
He’s the perfect size for the next level at 6-foot-1, 201 pounds, and will helm a Seminole unit that didn’t exactly have a great performance the last time it was on the field. After two years of Winston being the big name in Tallahassee, Ramsey could bring the spotlight over to the defense.
One thing that helps the Seminoles every year is that they have the luxury of playing in the weak ACC. Of all the Power Five conferences, the ACC easily holds the title as the worst, thanks to a staggering number of garbage teams. Florida State also has an easy non-conference schedule, so even if they win every game—they won’t—and take the ACC again—they probably will—there is a good chance that a team like TCU, which got boned by the selection committee last year, will surpass the Seminoles and claim a spot in the playoff.
The most likely scenario, though, is that the Seminoles will drop at least one game to Miami, Louisville, Georgia Tech, or Clemson, and eliminate themselves from the Playoff well before November.
Jimbo Fisher is a colossal, whimpering penis. He’s is a soulless, sun-spotted prick and runs the worst program in terms of basic humanity in college football. He has consistently recruited bad people who play football at an elite level, and then gets all huffy anytime someone wants to talk about all the terrible shit his players have been accused of doing. He sucks.
The Seminoles have a ton of young talent, but with Cook possibly out and a new offensive line, it’s safe to say that Florida State will probably win the ACC but miss out on the playoff.
Sept. 5: Texas State
Sept. 12: USF
Sept. 18: at Boston College
Oct. 3: at Wake Forest
Oct. 10: Miami
Oct. 17: Louisville
Oct. 24: at Georgia Tech
Oct. 31: Syracuse
Nov. 7: at Clemson
Nov. 14: N.C. State
Nov. 21: Chattanooga
Nov. 28: at Florida