I recently exchanged emails with Chant Rant — a sweet little FSU blog — about Oklahoma State and Florida State playing this fall. Yes, it’s early but we aren’t going to sit here all summer and sing the Travis Ford blues, so let’s get to it.
1. One a scale of 1-to-Peter Warrick how worried are FSU fans about Jameis missing time next year?
Not worried one bit. He barely missed any time playing baseball, so I don’t see why they would bench him for football. On paper, he’s already served his time. But mopping the floors at the YMCA doesn’t fix anything.
His off-field errors are magnified because of his on-field accolades. He’s walking a fine line, however, and needs to mature. Once he aligns his off-field persona with his on-field poise, he’s going to go far.
2. The disease of more, you’ve heard of it, I presume. How immune will this FSU team be to that?
This is a legitimate concern, but I think it will be okay. Many teams can handle it for a while, but the question is whether you can do it on a sustained basis (i.e., more than 5 years). FSU had a magical run from 1987 to 2001, but I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.
FSU is, however, in that 1990s groove where the 2nd and 3rd string players get considerable playing time. This means you’re getting a rotation of players that are hungry and ready to contribute. What worries me sometimes is that I see the players posing with their championship rings on Twitter, but I think that, come August, the rings will be put in storage. I imagine Jimbo is letting them enjoy the fruits of their labor while they can.
3. Last year FSU’s offense was really, really good but the defense was even better. Which unit will take the top spot this year?
The defense, again, but by a hair. The defense features the best secondary in college football, the so-called “No Fly Zone” led by Jalen Ramsey, Ronald Darby, Tyler Hunter, and Nate Andrews. It’s a very talented bunch that ruined the stat sheet of almost every quarterback they faced. FSU’s offense will look a little different this year (having lost Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw, James Wilder, Jr., and Devonta Freeman) but we have a senior-laden offensive line.
FSU will be able to impose its will offensively. Late in the year, Winston began looking for the big plays as opposed to just taking what was given to him by the defense. That worries me some and is one of the reasons why I predict the defense will be the better unit. FSU was great offensively, but didn’t quite click late in the year like they did against Pittsburgh and Clemson. The defense, however, never lost form.