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Thursday, July 18, 2013
ACC Football Kickoff countdown: No. 2

By Heather Dinich

On Saturday, our planes take off for Greensboro, N.C., the site of this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, where members of the media meet with players and coaches for two days of interviews. In order to help us get to the unofficial start of the season, we’re counting down 10 of the most interesting storylines in the ACC this fall. Today we head to Tallahassee …

No. 2: Can Florida State reload?

There will be lots of new faces at FSU this year, including six new assistants and a new starting quarterback. The Seminoles had 11 players drafted and have to replace 13 starters, including the entire defensive line. Jimbo Fisher and his staff have recruited so well, though, that there is enough talent on the roster to consider the Noles a contender again in the Atlantic Division. The question is whether or not Florida State can have another 10-win season and get back to the Discover Orange Bowl despite so much turnover this past offseason.

Quarterback Jameis Winston is an extremely talented quarterback who should wow us this fall with the same kinds of athletic plays that dazzled fans in the Noles’ spring game. He will also go through a learning curve, though, as does any first-year player. Can Fisher continue to juggle the responsibilities of being the CEO of the program, calling the plays, and coaching Winston to the level the Noles will need him to? Defensively, Florida State should continue to be one of the best in the ACC. Offensively, Winston is still unproven. Can FSU put it all together in time to win at Death Valley?

The countdown: