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First off, where are all my FSU fans? Oh, how I miss sitting in Doak Campbell Stadium, getting sunburnt, eating a stadium hotdog, and listening to the war chant. It has to be one of the best experiences as a Nole, and not to mention, it is sneaking up on up as the first game rolls around on September 5th against Notre Dame.
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FSU football has an extremely difficult schedule this upcoming season. Not going to lie, the past couple of seasons have been difficult for FSU football fans. With three national titles under our belt, eighteen conference titles under our belt, six division titles, and as the list of impressive accolades continues, coming shortly these past couple of seasons have been strenuous.
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I recently just went through the ESPN game-by-game FPI projections and thought it would be interesting to discuss what they predict for us this upcoming season. This projection from ESPN only has the Noles in favor is five games. FIVE GAMES. All I got to say, they better not be right. If the Noles want to be eligible for a bowl at the end of their season, an upset is needed. But it is college football, upsets happen every Saturday!
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Down below I will list ESPN’s projections and then comment on them:
The school name with the little star in front of it means those games are away.
-Notre Dame: 28.1%
-Jacksonville State: 97.5%
-*Wake Forest: 48.5%
-*North Carolina: 21.7%
-NC State: 57.6%
-Boston College: 43.1%
I am not completely sure if I agree with all of these predictions, I find them quite interesting. Also, in these percentages, I am sure they consider previous matchups, home/away games, and past seasons as factors.
Photo From: CBS Sports
It makes sense how we are underdogs for our first game against Notre Dame, they are No.8 FPI, where we are No. 44. A funny story, I am going into my third year at Florida State and have attended the first matchup of the past two seasons. In both games, we would go into the second half with a strong lead, great energy, and in favor, and in both games, we choked and lost in the second half. So yeah, not that funny of a story, but hopefully they can break that curse during this season opener.
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The first questionable projection I saw on this list was how ESPN believes Wake Forest is a tougher game than NC State. Wake Forest (No.56) seems to be our first road game, which can be a reason they predict it as a more difficult win than (No.41) NC State which is a home game. Also, it is known for FSU to demolish NC State in Tallahassee, so that may also play a factor.
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I also want to comment on the Boston College matchup where they predicted our odds to be 43.1% even though we are No.44 and they are No.50. We seemed to have been in control for this matchup in the past couple of seasons which surprises me considering ESPN has BC projected to win. We play our rival Miami the week before, which may be a big reason as to why we are the underdogs for that game.
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They have us beating Louisville even though they are ranked higher in FPI? I am not really sure how I feel about this ESPN projection, what do you guys think? Agree? Disagree?
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A lot on this team has changed from last season to this season. We have got some insane talent through the transfer portal and I am excited to see them in action. DJ Williams running back from Auburn, Keir Thomas defensive lineman from South Carolina, Jammie Robinson Defensive Back from South Carolina, and Brandon Moore defensive back from UCF have all signed with FSU for this upcoming season.
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Now, let's take a look at our fire recruiting class. In the quarterback position, we have to start with UCF transfer Mckenzie Milton (the player I am most excited to see in action). Milton acquired 8,683 yards along with 72 touchdowns while at UCF. I mentioned DJ Willams earlier but he is our one running back that we gained. As for wide receivers we have some great new talent coming in, we got Kansas transfer Andrew Parchment coming in, who had a stellar career at Kansas, but I have a feeling he will fit better with Florida State's program. We have four-star WR Malik McClain from IMG Academy, and three-star WR Joshua Burrell coming from Blythewood High in South Carolina. For tight ends, we have acquired three-star Jackson west from Huntsville high, and three-star Koby Gross from Diablo Valley College (No. 3 JUCO TE). Our o-line is welcoming four-star offensive tackle Rod Orr from Cadsden City High and three-star center Bryson Estes from Eagles Landing Christian Academy. Our defense should be impeccable this year as we have several strong additions. Georgia transfer Jermaine Johnson leads the pack of these defense machines. Keir Thomas is a South Carolina transfer who has the most experience out of our whole recruiting class. We also acquired defensive ends Shambre Jackson (four-star), George Wilson (three-star), Byron Turner Jr. (Three-star), and Joshua Farmer (three-star). We also got three new outside linebackers, Patrick Payton, Jordan Eubanks, and ShyheimBrown. I am going to finish with our defensive backs as we see UCF transfer Brandon Moore, Arkansas transfer Jarques McClellion, South Carolina transfer Jammie Robinson, four-star cornerback Hunter Washington, four-star cornerback Omarion Cooper, and three-star cornerback Kevin Knowles.
Photo From: Bleacher Report
So, we can see that FSU football has a lot of great talent coming in for this upcoming season, but are ESPN's projections causing FSU fans to lack faith in their team? Can the Noles prove those projections wrong? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. We really won't be able to gauge what our season will be looking like until September fifth when we kick off our season with an insane matchup against Notre Dame. Until then, I can't wait to be back in the Doak, and of course, GO NOLES!