On the Warpath: Florida State Seminoles Mid-Year Review and Remaining Schedule

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On the Warpath: Florida State Seminoles Mid-Year Review and Remaining Schedule
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

TAMPA—This is the year.

It wasn't supposed to be the year, and by most indications, after a lopsided early-season loss to the Sooners in Norman, the Seminoles were looking like a squad that was at least a year away from being a legitimate contender within the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But, after four straight wins, all in impressive fashion, the Seminoles seem to have been rejuvenated somewhat unexpectedly, suddenly begging the question "are they back?"

With a profoundly convincing victory against then-13th ranked Miami, the Seminoles have been growing exponentially ahead of even the most positive prognostications heading into the second-half of the 2010 season. While coach Jimbo Fisher and his new staff are not necessarily surprised by the poise in the growth in the team—namely on offense—it's the defense that seems to be shocking everyone, including themselves.

Less than a year removed from one of Florida State's worst defensive showings in over 30 years, the Seminoles defense has statistically become one of the best against the run and has vastly improved against the pass. This has created more opportunities for the potent offense led by quarterback Christian Ponder, as well as the trio of running backs—Ty Jones, Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas—who are proving to be among the best backfields in the country.

With just six games left to play, and FSU already in the driver's seat to become bowl eligible this weekend, there are still plenty of areas for improvement and growth. But for the first time since 2005, with the Seminoles firmly atop the rankings of all Florida FBS schools, there is plenty of reason for optimism heading into the second half of the season.

Let's break down what the Seminoles need to do to keep their momentum on track toward an ACC Championship berth.

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