|Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 5:58 AM- -|
Yesterday at the ACC media days Clemson was picked to finish second to Florida State in the Atlantic division and the Tigers were also picked to finish second in the league. I was not surprised the Seminoles were the favorite to win the league but I was a little taken back by the margin of the vote. Florida State had 109 votes to win the division while Clemson had 3. Really? 109-3?
So how big is the gap this year between the Seminoles and the Tigers?
I have no doubts that FSU is better than Clemson heading into this season. I sat in Death Valley last year and watched the Seminoles rip Clemson 51-14. When I left the stadium that night I had no doubt who the better team was. I also thought Florida State was the best team in the country after that game and I was right.
Florida State returns its star quarterback while Clemson loses it three-year starter. The Noles bring back their top receiver while Clemson loses its record setter. The Seminoles bring back perhaps the nation's best offensive line while Clemson has question marks there.
Oh, did I mention the Tigers play the Seminoles in Tallahassee this year and Clemson has only won there twice in the last 30 years?
So this game looks like a one-sided affair. Las Vegas has Florida State as a 20-point favorite at this point.
Where are the Seminoles better than Clemson and where are the Tigers better than FSU?
There is a wide margin at quarterback. Jameis Winston is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He is a superstar who is undefeated as a starter. Clemson's
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The Seminoles lost two backs to the NFL but they are better at running back with Karlos Williams returning after his move to offense. This monster back is better than anyone Clemson has on campus and the Noles have recruited well here.
FSU is better than Clemson at wide receiver where Rashad Greene is a superstar and Clemson is inexperienced. At tight end Nick O'Leary is one of the nation's top tight ends who punished the Tigers last year. Clemson has a future star in
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The Seminoles have a big advantage on the offensive line where four returning starters come back after a terrific 2013 season. The NFL draft next year will feature a couple of these top notch linemen. Clemson has to replace two starters on the offensive line and has some question marks here.
Finally, the Noles have the better secondary on paper. Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams and Jalen Ramsey return from last year's unit while Clemson has question marks once again.
There are two areas where Clemson does have an advantage but I think each is only a slight advantage. The Tigers have the better defensive line in my opinion.
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I also feel Clemson has the advantage at linebacker. The Tigers have
Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
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On paper this appears to be a big uphill battle. This is more of a reflection on what FSU brings back and the fact that the game is in Tallahassee. As you can I tell I believe FSU is the superior team, however I am not sure that the margin in the vote yesterday is indicative of the gap in the talent between the two programs.
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