With Florida State looking forward to its first national title run since 2000, there are many things that must go right for the Seminoles.
And one that can't afford to go wrong.
If quarterback EJ Manuel is injured like he was last year, you can expect the Seminoles to be in hot water. No matter how awesome the defense was last year, Florida State lost when he wasn't at the starting position.
So how will coach Jimbo Fisher cope with such a possible loss?
Have a backup quarterback, any backup quarterback!
Clint Trickett did a swell job with Manuel out as quarterback, throwing for seven touchdowns against four picks (via ESPN). He had a satisfactory completion percentage, averaging roughly 60 percent per game (via ESPN). He did well in primetime games against Clemson and Oklahoma, but after two weeks off his two-interception performance against Wake Forest was horrid.
Trickett, who hasn't played a down since, would love to improve his role as EJ Manuel's possible replacement. With as much a cotton candy-like schedule that a national title contender is likely to get, Trickett's stats would explode and he would easily have the support of the team due to his experiences in the big game already.
Jameis Winston is the best dual-threat quarterback in the incoming freshmen class.
A dual-threat quarterback is essential in this day and age, and it could make a great difference in the ACC. Remember Tyrod Taylor, the Virginia Tech quarterback that developed into a dual-threat quarterback? Taylor's incredible performance in the ACC Championship against Florida State (four touchdowns, one rushing) proved to be the difference maker as Virginia Tech triumphed, 44-33 (via ESPN).
Winston reminds me of Taylor, though he is a bit shorter and lighter than the Hokie star. Taylor, who captained the Hokies to two ACC Championships, was a success (via hokiesports.com).
Winston—if thrown into the line of fire—ought to be one, too.
An excellent wide receiver can redeem a quarterback.
Kelvin Benjamin is that wide receiver.
Yes, Rashad Greene is the main wide receiver. Heck, he was the Champs Sports Bowl MVP (via ESPN)! But Kelvin Benjamin, like Devonta Freeman, has that spark I look for in a player.
Enter Kelvin Benjamin. With most offenses figuring out the best way to score touchdowns is to have taller targets, Benjamin fits in the offense perfectly. He's 6'6'', for crying out loud! This allows him to fit the new trend of taller wide receivers.
In this system, the quarterback doesn't need tremendous arm strength; just precision and accuracy must be used. As a result, Benjamin is a player that will score in the end zone and keep the 'Noles winning no matter who the quarterback is.