23 September 2012

Is Florida State a national title contender?

The questions must be asked, is Florida State back? It may be a little early to answer in a positive manner with conviction but boy did they look really impressive against Clemson last night. Led by a brilliant performance by quarterback E.J. Manuel (380 passing yards, two touchdown tosses, 102 rushing yards), the Seminoles, who were down 28-14 early in the the third quarter, defeated the Tigers by a 49-37 final after they dominated the second half.

Now after the impressive victory at home last night against a darn good Clemson club, are the Seminoles national championship contenders?

Like I mentioned, while this was a good Clemson team that did come to play, it was the first time Florida State had been tested this season as they gave up three points combined to FCS scrubs Murray State and Savannah State as well as Wake Forest. And this team only has four more games the rest of the year that could be potholes (at NC State, at Virginia Tech and versus Florida as well as the ACC Championship Game).

But this offense was even better than I thought it was and while Manuel deserves a lot of the credit as he was just brilliant throwing and running, making smart decisions throughout and possibly putting himself in some Heisman contention, running back Chris Thompson is a great playmaker in the running and passing games plus Manuel has some solid wideouts as well. The defense gave up a lot of yards and points but this Clemson offense is very dynamic so that was not unexpected, although it may have been a little bit of a letdown for coordinator Mark Stoops.

As for national championship contention, they will need help to get there as their schedule has not been tough at all, so the chances for more statement victories may not be there. But there certainly is hope for Jimbo Fisher as either Alabama or LSU will lose (considering they play each other) and Oregon could falter somewhere down the line. Plus, watching the game last night, FSU looked like one of the elite teams in the country so they should remain in the mix all season long.

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