The Guru’s preseason predictions for the Gators and the Seminoles:
The Gators deserved all the credit they received for going 11-1 last season, a final-minute loss to Georgia being their only defeat during the regular season.
But, really, did they ever look like an 11-1 team to you; a team worthy of a top-5 ranking? An outstanding defense, incredible special teams and a bit of luck produced one of the unlikeliest seasons in Gator history. Honestly, 11 victories with that offense? Will Muschamp should have been coach of the decade.
So what awaits in 2013? The defense should be special again if Dante Fowler Jr. is as talented as advertised, if Ronald Powell is back to 100 percent healthy and if Antonio Morrison behaves himself.
But will Brad Phillips nail every field goal from the 50 in? Will the freshmen wide receivers contribute a bunch? Will Loucheiz Purifoy be effective playing on both sides of the ball? Is Jeff Driskel worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence with the SEC’s other marquee quarterbacks?
A lot right has to happen for another incredible season. That’s too much to ask. The Gators go 8-4.
The Seminoles were so close last year, going 10-2. They should be better this season.
Their fate rests in the hands of quarterback Jameis Winston, a redshirt freshman. He is being billed by some as the next Charley Ward. There’s already Heisman talk about him.
I’m buying the hype. I think Winston will be a better quarterback than E.J. Manuel, who went in the first round of the NFL draft.
FSU is loaded – again – with athletes who are big, strong, fast and quick. The Noles are deep. If you’re looking for a key player on defense go to Mario Edwards Jr., who has lost his baby fat and is ready to be a dominating defensive end. He could be in the same league with South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. (No, I haven’t been drinking.)
The schedule helps. If the Noles are pushed by any teams other than Clemson, Miami and Florida, then shame on Coach Jimbo Fisher.
The Seminoles go 11-1 (and maybe play for the BCS title).
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