Florida State begins the season as it did for many years during the 2000s; ranked high in the preseason polls with gaudy expectations. The Seminoles are the clear-cut favorites to win the ACC, and many believe they are a national title contender.
But behind that cloud of hype is a vulnerable team that faces two difficult opponents early in the season. At quarterback they will be transitioning from the resilient and talented Christian Ponder to E.J. Manuel, a good player but certainly not in Ponder's class at this point.
Adjusting to a new quarterback is usually a season-long process. Though Manuel has star potential, things probably won't go as smoothly for him as he would like this season.
For the third game of the season, Manuel and the Noles will have to face the Oklahoma Sooners, who defeated FSU, 47-17, last season. And things won't get much easier the following week when they have to face Clemson at Death Valley.
A road game against Florida and a possible conference title game will also make things difficult for FSU.
This is not to say that FSU is a bad team, or will have a bad season. They play in a weak ACC conference, have a good coaching staff under Jimbo Fisher and have enough talent to win.
But, to expect FSU to contend for the national title this season is unrealistic. And finishing second in the ACC and winning the Chick-Fil-A Bowl should not warrant a No. 5 ranking.
FSU will be good this year, but not top-five good.