In a season where some of the best teams in the country lost the majority of their starters on offense or defense, the national media and coaches alike are preparing to place some of last year's best, right back in the top five again this year.
Why? Because the pollsters think that the best teams reload.
That is, until week four or five, when said teams prove that all they did was field new players and personnel, and the only thing that resembled last year's squad was the color of the uniforms.
While this is no surprise to most experts and fans alike, there are plenty of areas worth debating why each of these two teams may not be worthy of such a handsome reward as the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide have received.
Take for example: The Gators lost a large constituency of their starters on both the defensive line and in the secondary. As did Alabama, who lost nine starters. This year, the Tide will split carries between it's Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, which may or may not produce the results that Nick Saban is hoping for. A running back by committee could perhaps rest, or rust the talented back come mid-season.
Only time will tell.
The Gators from Gainesville also lost key personnel including coaches, who moved on to Louisville (Charlie Strong—DC) and LSU, (Billy Gonzales—WRs) - not to mention Urban Meyer for a spell (pulled a quick 180 and nearly called it a career just after the Sugar Bowl in January). Add to the mix the fact that UF's impenetrable and charismatic leader, Tim Tebow, has departed for the NFL, leaving redshirt junior Jon Brantley with some huge shoes to fill. And Florida seemingly has a lot of replacements that nobody is taking notice of; or if they are, they don't seem to create any obstacles at this point.
So what does any of this have to do with Florida State?
Coaching changes, player changes, personnel changes, and assignment changes are all pivotal to taking a team's successes and polishing them. Likewise, these changes can also help to develop the shortcomings and pitfalls that have developed within a program.
While the parallels may seem farfetched to the majority, it is this writer's opinion that anything is possible for the Seminoles in 2010, and if they can polish and improve like the Alabamas or the Floridas, there's no reason to discount them in a single contest this season.
So, here are the top five insane (but perhaps genius) predictions for the 'Noles this year.
Strap on your homer goggles, this is going to get bumpy.