No. 6: FSU
It is always dangerous to underestimate a Florida State team. The Seminoles have a swagger which they carry with them 24-7.
They also back up that swagger with results more often than not. In most pre-season polls, FSU is a Final Four team and a co-favorite with Clemson to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title. Since this season's game is at FSU, edge Seminoles right?
Well, maybe. They have an all world tailback in Devin Cook. They have a redshirt freshman QB in Deondre Franciois, who became the starter when Sean Maguire went down with an injury, although Francois would probably have won the job in either case. [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
They have a defense which can handle anyone--including Clemson.
Yet, there are potholes. An opening game against Mississippi will not be easy. Clemson should be the biggest challenge and there is an improving Florida team at the end of the season.
With all of this, the Seminoles look like a 2-loss team at most and could make it through the season unbeaten, which would put them near the top of the pile.
I think they will stumble at least once and it will come against Clemson, which will put them just outside of the inner circle. But like I said, picking against FSU is always a slippery slope.
The countdown thus far: No. 16 Pepper Hamilton (Baylor), No. 15 Georgia, No. 14 Michigan State , No. 13 Miami, No. 12 Houston, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 10 Stanford, No. 9, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 7 Notre Dame [/membership]