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Monday, February 7, 2011
Schlabach said what?!

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

I'll believe it when I see it.

My colleague (and also coincidentally one of my favorites to politely, respectfully, disagree with, second only to Chris Low ... ) has Florida State ranked No. 3 in his way-too-early preseason top 25.

(Psst, Schlabach, if you're reading this, I've got one word for you: Hokies.)

It seems like every year one team in the ACC is overhyped, one team that is given too much credit before it has earned it. If this ranking were for the 2012 preseason, I would be more inclined to agree with it. Florida State is going to be good this year. It has the potential to be great -- especially during a season in which there is so much transition going on throughout the rest of the ACC.

Schlabach is right -- if Florida State beats Oklahoma, consider the Seminoles an instant national title contender. I said the same thing about Miami heading into the Ohio State game last year. That didn't exactly go so well. Clemson is another good cautionary tale. The Tigers won the Atlantic Division in Dabo Swinney's first year. Year 2? That didn't exactly go so well.

The Seminoles should be ranked somewhere within the top 10 of most preseason polls, or at least hovering around it. Jimbo Fisher set the bar extraordinarily high in Year 1 with a state sweep of rivals Florida and Miami, an Atlantic Division title, and a bowl win over SEC East Champ South Carolina. It's logical to think they'll only be better in Year 2.

Better, though, means beating NC State. It means an ACC title. It means an Orange Bowl win.

It means a lot more work before earning the No. 3 spot in the country.