The season starts today. The #5 Florida State Seminoles host the #1 Oklahoma Sooners in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Before Jimbo Fisher took over, FSU was the shell of a great program. 6 Championship opportunities with only 2 victories, but a legendary franchise that was scraping together 8 wins a season in the ACC. This is Florida State's comeback. This is the opportunity to put the franchise back on the map. Certainly the most exciting game that's been played in Tallahassee in some time, this will only be the second time a #1 ranked opponent has played in Doak Campbell. In 1996 the #1 Florida Gators lost to the #2 Seminoles 21-24.
So what should the Seminoles be worried about? This team is certainly an upgrade over last years 10-win team with an improved defense at the helm of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' little brother Mark Stoops. But if the competition was only between Oklahoma's offense and Florida State's defense, this conversation would be moot. The Sooners would likely win. They have an incredible running game, a solid core of receivers, and a talented quarterback.
In the mean time we have seen FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel target 12 different receivers a game and a running game that fell all over itself. Then again, they weren't even trying, Florida State has been hiding their hand. The first two games against Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern were negligible, we haven't seen anything yet. Then again, we haven't seen Oklahoma either.
Oklahoma has only played one game thus far: a victory over Tulsa at home. Team rankings have been purely speculative up to this point. The Seminoles have played nobody teams as well, but have two games under their belt and continue to play at home. The Noles should be comfortable.
Florida State's only win against OK was in 1965's Gator Bowl, and the Sooners have won five games against FSU since then, but they always had that precious home field advantage. Their first trip to Tallahassee will put them to the test. Last year's 47-17 slaughter in Norman caught the Seminole defense completely off guard. The Sooners run a hurry-up offense the Noles were not ready for and held a 34-0 lead at the half. You have to believe that was a lesson well learned...