CFB: Top 25 Countdown: No. 19 Florida State
By Randall Perry
No. 19 Florida State
Coach: Bobby Bowden
Record: 309-91-4, 32 years; 382-123-4, 42 years overall
Last season: 9-4, 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast
Bowl game: Beat Wisconsin 42-13 in the Champs Sports Bowl
Overview: The past few years have been rough for Bobby Bowden because the Seminoles have slipped from their glory years. It grew worse this off-season when the NCAA docked Bowden 14 victories because it found FSU guilty of academic violations. Bowden, in a historic race with Joe Paterno for the all-time major college victory mark, has appealed the sentence. At 382 career victories, Bowden is only one behind Paterno if he wins the appeal.
Key returnees: QB Christian Ponder Jr.; OG Rodney Hudson, Jr.; DT Kendrick Stewart, Sr.
Why Florida State is dangerous: Christian Ponder started his first full year at quarterback and broke the 2,000-yard barrier, passing for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Why Florida State is vulnerable: On the other hand, Ponder threw 13 interceptions and the Seminoles donít appear to have any game-breaking skilled players to help him. Defensively, FSU lost two players from the line, at linebacker and the secondary.
Prediction: Although the ACC continues to struggle somewhat in football, Florida State hasnít been able to dominate the league lately. Many fans who remember the Seminoles from their glory years are waiting for that to happen. The potential is always there, but with road games against BYU, Boston College, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida, another 8-4 season is not only possible, but likely. Home games against Miami, South Florida and Georgia Tech wonít be easy.