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Thursday, August 2, 2012
FSU No. 7 in USA Today coaches' poll

By Heather Dinich

Even the coaches are buying into the Florida State hype.

The coaches who vote in the USA Today coaches’ poll have validated what many others have already determined -- Florida State is a preseason top-10 team that should finally be able to separate itself from the rest of the ACC this year.

Only three league teams were featured in the poll, which was released today: No. 7 Florida State, followed by No. 14 Clemson and No. 20 Virginia Tech. Don’t be surprised if NC State and/or Georgia Tech eventually play their way in before the mid-point of the season. Both received votes, along with Virginia. North Carolina is ineligible for votes this year because of NCAA sanctions.

The burden is on Florida State this year, though, to represent the ACC on a bigger stage. The Seminoles are a national title contender. The focus, though, will once again be on heavyweights LSU, Alabama and USC. It’s going to be difficult for Florida State to change that. The SEC is still king, as it has five of the top 10 teams and leads all conferences with seven ranked teams.

One area, though, in which the Noles are equal to the SEC programs and arguably better, is on the defensive line. The staff has recruited well enough that Florida State’s defensive line is as good as any in the country and could be the best this year. Whether or not the Noles stay a top-10 team, though, depends heavily on how good the young offensive line can be.

It will also likely depend upon Clemson and Virginia Tech.