TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State is heavily favored to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title in seven years and perhaps challenge for a national championship.
The Seminoles were expected to be back among the nation's elite a year ago. An early three-game losing streak and took care of their preseason hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference and a BCS bowl berth and they finished 9-4.
Third-year coach Jimbo Fisher says the Seminoles have a wealth of talent. Florida State will feature one of the best defenses in the country. Led by defensive ends Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins and safety Lamarcus Joyner, the Seminoles gave up an average of only 15 points a game last year. On offense, fifth-year senior quarterback EJ Manuel returns to lead Florida State's attack.