Florida State Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2012
With the Hurricanes and Gators just breaking even, and the Bulls of South Florida falling off the map, it was the Seminoles who held it together for the state of Florida in the college football world.
The good news is that the Noles won nine games. The even better news is that the fans weren't satisfied.
Jimbo Fisher has been given as much leeway as he could have expected, taking over the dynasty that the legendary Bobby Bowden basically built from scratch.
This year Florida State should get the benefit of the doubt from the national media and begin the season highly ranked. Could this finally be the year that the Seminoles get back in the title hunt?
Murray State (Sept. 1)
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2011 Record: 7-4
The Seminoles kick off the 2012 season with a visit from an Ohio Valley opponent.
The Murray State Racers are coming off of a winning season, and will be looking to knock off a highly rated FSU team and make history. Unfortunately for the Racers, the only thing likely to make history will be the score.
Prediction: Win (1-0)
Savannah State (Sept. 8)
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2011 Record: 1-10
Filling in for the Mountaineers of West Virginia will be the Savannah State University Tigers.
In a scheduling nightmare quick fix, Florida State is forced to take on a second FCS opponent, which means it will take seven wins to become bowl eligible, which shouldn't be a problem.
Noles roll the Tigers in grand fashion.
Prediction: Win (2-0)
Wake Forest (Sept. 15)
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2011 Record: 6-7
Wake Forest always seems to give FSU a tough time regardless of records or levels of talent.
Look for another strong effort from the Demon Deacons, but in a reversal of last year's five point victory over the Noles, Wake will come up short.
If Jimbo's squad blows this Week 3 matchup, it could be a long season in Tallahassee.
Prediction: Win (3-0)
Clemson (Sept. 22)
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2011 Record: 10-4
Last season, during FSU's early three game skid, the Clemson Tigers took out the Noles 30-35 at Memorial Stadium and fans began to worry.
The Seminoles would eventually bounce back from injury and hurt pride, but were already too far behind a surging Clemson squad to make it to Charlotte in December.
This season look for payback from a healthy Florida State team.
Prediction: Win (4-0)
At South Florida (Sept. 29)
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2011 Record: 5-7
In 2009 the USF Bulls came into Doak Campbell and embarrassed big brother with a 17-7 victory. This season the Seminoles travel to Tampa looking for payback.
In a win that would salvage a little in-state pride and restore Florida's pecking order, the Noles will win and win big on the road.
Prediction: Win (5-0)
At North Carolina State (Oct. 6)
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2011 Record: 8-5
FSU shut out the Wolfpack last season, and put up 34 points as part of a late season win streak that would help salvage the season.
Though N.C. State is an improving team, there is still a lot of work to be done, and there's still just not enough in the tank to run with Florida State until the clock runs out in the fourth.
This will be an important ACC victory for the Noles to help keep Charlotte within reach.
Prediction: Win (6-0)
Boston College (Oct. 13)
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2011 Record: 4-8
Boston College wasn't very good in 2011. FSU beat the Eagles by more than 30 last season, and the results this year shouldn't be much different.
Even if BC improves this spring and summer, the Seminoles are nearly finished with their latest rebuild and Jimbo Fisher will have his team ready to put on another pounding.
Prediction: Win (7-0)
At Miami (Oct. 20)
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2011 Record: 6-6
Last year the Canes turned down a bowl bid as a self-imposed sanction of sorts as the NCAA still looms large in the background.
Al Golden should have a speedy and talented Hurricanes team ready to play if he can find some discipline and fundamentals in his squad.
Regardless of Miami's inevitable improvements on the field and last years close score, it won't be enough to take down a healthy Seminoles team.
Prediction: Win (8-0)
Duke (Oct. 27)
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2011 Record: 3-9
Duke was not very good in 2011. Duke will not be much better in 2012.
If David Cutcliffe was able to get the Blue Devils to the next level. he would have had them closer by now. It's just not going to happen, and even if it does it won't be this season.
Noles plow the Devils.
Prediction: Win (9-0)
At Virginia Tech (Nov. 8)
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2011 Record: 11-3
If the Seminoles are going to lose a game in 2012 it will be this one.
Blacksburg is a tough place to play as it is, but FSU will likely have a lot riding on this matchup, and this is a perfect late-season trap with all the marbles on the line.
A loss would be costly, but with a few games remaining, and a possible conference championship berth still waiting, it might not cost the Noles a shot at the crystal football.
Prediction: Loss (9-1)
At Maryland (Nov. 17)
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2011 Record: 2-10
Duke won three games in 2011 and Maryland won only two. Randy Edsall replaced the ACC Coach of the Year last season and turned the Terrapins into an absolute dumpster fire.
Since there's nowhere to go but up, look for the Terps to improve, but improvement isn't a tough assignment when you only won two games the year before.
If the Seminoles lose this one, they'll be back to square one. They won't lose.
Prediction: Win (10-1)
Florida (Nov. 24)
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2011 Record: 7-6
When the Gators and the Seminoles meet in late November, it'll be a national event regardless of records.
As one of the great rivalries in the nation, this game almost always gets heated early.
The problem for the Gators is that the Seminoles are a few years ahead in the rebuilding process and Florida has some catching up to do.
There's little doubt that both programs will be back near the top in the years to come, but this season the edge goes to Florida State.
Prediction: Win (11-1)