Hope and concern: Florida State

May, 31, 2011
5/31/11
5:00
PM ET
The hope and concern series continues today with Florida State:

Biggest reason for hope: Been there, done that.

The Seminoles won the Atlantic Division, beat Florida and appeared in the ACC championship game in only the first season under coach Jimbo Fisher. They return 18 starters from last season’s 10-win team. These players know what it takes to get to the title game, and they’ve got the depth and experience to return. In looking at the percentage of 2010 statistics returning, Florida State returns all of its receiving, 92.3 percent of its rushing, and 94.5 percent of its scoring, in addition to its entire return yardage. Even quarterback EJ Manuel, last season's backup, already knows what it's like to start in the ACC title game, as he replaced injured starter Christian Ponder last season.

Biggest reason for concern: The bull's-eye

Everyone else is the Atlantic Division should be tired of hearing about the division favorites by the time the season rolls around (if they’re not already) and will be gunning for Florida State. Clemson knows that in order for the season to amount to more than a bowl game, it has to at least win the tiebreaker against Florida State. Boston College will host the Noles on a Thursday night in February and have beaten Florida State on their home turf before. If Maryland and NC State are going to build upon last season’s success and remain contenders in the division, this is a must-win game. Once again, Florida State is the team to beat.

More in this series:

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