College Football Rankings: How Florida State Can Maintain a High Ranking

Nick McAndrewsCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Kendall Smith #29 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts with Greg Reid #5 after an interception against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In Florida State's Week 1 matchup, the Seminoles dismantled Louisiana-Monroe by a score of 34-0. Florida State's defense came up huge, holding the Warhawks to a mere 191 yards of total offense and forcing one turnover. The Warhawks were held to an average of 2.5 yards per carry and 4.2 yards per catch.

These impressive statistics, though against a weak opponent, are exactly why the Seminoles defense is considered one of the best in the country, and in my opinion, the reason they are ranked in the top five.

The Florida State offense, however, was much less impressive. Though they scored 34 points, their matchup was against a much weaker team and their key players looked lackadaisical and uninspired.

E.J. Manuel, who is considered a possible Heisman Trophy candidate, finished the game 22-for-34 with 294 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. This would have been a great outing for a high-profile QB in a top-10 matchup, but because Louisiana-Monroe is such a low-ranking squad, I think more could be expected from him.

The wide receivers, who have some solid experience, dropped some easy passes and were slow off the line. They will have to put in some more effort if they want to compete with the other ranked teams on their schedule.

Another bright spot for the Seminoles was kicker Dustin Hopkins, who went 4-for-4 on kicking attempts, scoring 10 points for his team. Hopkins has been consistent as the Seminoles kicker since the 2009 season. His continued consistency will be a key aspect of the Seminoles attempt to maintain their ranking and hopefully make a meaningful Bowl game.

In two weeks, the Seminoles will face off against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma. If they even want to compete with this team, which I believe they can, their offense will have to play with significantly more effort. I don't think the defense will be an issue because of how solid they have been in recent seasons.

With one of the deepest secondaries in the nation, the Seminoles are very difficult to move the ball on. Their linebackers and defensive linemen are very capable of making big plays as well, which will help keep them in big games.

Realistically, if Florida State can upset Oklahoma, they should be able to win the rest of their games, given how weak some ACC teams are. There is no doubt in my mind that Florida State can win out their division, but they will have to come up big in the next few weeks to prove they belong in the top five.


What do you think?

Thanks for reading.


Follow MCNick92 on Twitter