The Florida State Seminoles held high expectations heading into the 2011-12 campaign, earning the No. 6 overall ranking in the AP Top 25 preseason poll while being named the favorites to win the ACC Championship.
Let's just say they didn't live up to the hype.
An incredibly slow start that included shocking losses to Clemson and Wake Forest—and a later upset at home to Virginia—cost FSU a chance to play in the title game, as it fell to the latter end of the Top 25 and missed out on a BCS postseason appearance.
However, all is not lost. Florida State's spring game will feature 18 returning starters—nine from each side of the ball—including the nation's second-best defensive line when it comes to containing the running game.
The Seminoles are poised for a conference championship run and can even be national title contenders, but only if they've taken care of two glaring problems: quarterback E.J. Manuel and the team's overall penalty issues.
Manuel has not failed at the quarterback position, but he did not fill the shoes of Christian Ponder by any means. He was extremely inconsistent throughout the season last year, having trouble finding his receivers and making too many poor decisions. A revitalized offensive line should help him become the All-Conference player his coaches had hoped for him to be.
Since 2000, Florida State has been the most penalized team in all of college football.
We'll see today if there are any signs of improvement with this aspect of the game, because everyone in Tallahassee knows that it won't be anywhere near the top 10 if this continues.
Check back for more updates before the Seminoles' spring game kicks off at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU.
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