Addressing the media in the wee hours of Tuesday morning after his team's thrilling 34-31 victory over Auburn in the BCS National Championship, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said—only half-jokingly—that his Seminoles had about 48 hours to celebrate before it was back to work preparing for next year.
There is every reason to assume FSU will be in the thick of things for another national title in 2014, despite the fact that several key contributors are out of eligibility and a few others have already made it known they will make themselves available early for the NFL draft. With the roster and coaching staff Fisher presently has in place, not to mention another top-flight recruiting haul ready to sign on the dotted line come February, the 'Noles are once again a dominant program on the college football landscape.
Most importantly, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston—he was the MVP in Pasadena, too—will only be a sophomore and figures to continue lighting up the scoreboard in record-setting fashion.
The offensive side of the ball will stay remarkably intact next season, as fullback Chad Abram, receiver Kenny Shaw and center Bryan Stork were the only seniors of consequence in 2013. Defensively, while it will be difficult to replace a graduating class that includes linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith and defensive backs Terrence Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner, this unit managed to lead the country in scoring defense despite losing Bjoern Werner, Xavier Rhodes, Cornellius Carradine, Brandon Jenkins, Nick Moody, Vince Williams and Everett Dawkins to the draft the year before.
Nevertheless, if Florida State is indeed going to repeat—the sport says goodbye to the controversial BCS and hello to the four-team College Football Playoff—these are the questions that must get answered during the offseason.