After a disappointing and disgruntled 7-6 season, Florida State fans saw a national championship coach (Jimbo Fisher) walk out the door and become a $75 million man at Texas A&M.
They have watched while Clemson and Dabo Swinney, their ACC Atlantic rivals, have built a national juggernaut that has been in the College Football Playoffs for three straight seasons.
So why are Florida State fans smiling?
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Simple: Because they like what they see in Willie Taggart, who bolted back to this native Florida after only one season as the head coach at Oregon.
Taggart, who fielded Top 10 offenses at USF in 2015 and 2016, was charged with taking Florida State in a different direction, both mentally and physically, in 2018 So Fisher's basic pro-style offense will be replaced by an up-tempo attack that spreads the defense to create holes. The good news is that running back Cam Akers, who set the school rushing record for a freshman (1,024 yards) is back and is going to be very comfortable in this offense. There are still questions at quarterback where Deondre Francois returns after getting knocked out for almost all of the 2017 with an injury in the opener with Alabama. Sophomore James Blackman, who took his place, also returns and will not give up the job without a fight.
Here's the bad news: Only three starters return on defense.
Florida State gets Clemson at home but has to go on the road to play Louisville, Miami, N.C. State and Notre Dame. The Seminoles could lose all four. This looks like an 8-4 team to me.