The No. 1 ranked Florida State Seminoles begins their national title defense in Big 12 country. No one is more excited for the season to begin than reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who seemed to be in the news for negative reasons all offseason. Oklahoma State returns to the stadium where it played its last game: a Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri.
Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM EST
TV Channel: ABC
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
Betting Line: Florida State -17.5 via 5Dimes
Prediction: The Seminoles were dominant last season, winning 13 games by 14 points or more. The one time the Seminoles did not do this was in the national championship game, when FSU needed a last minute touchdown to defeat Auburn.
Winston is still the focal point of the offense, which returns several key pieces, like wide receiver Rashad Greene and tight end Nick O’Leary. The Seminoles lost several main contributors on defense, including defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and five of the team’s six top tacklers, but Jimbo Fisher has done a great job reloading Florida State with talent all over the field.
It looks like Oklahoma State’s J.W. Walsh will get the start at quarterback. Walsh started the first six games last season until losing the job to Clint Chelf. Walsh will certainly have something to prove playing near his hometown. Like the ‘Noles, the Cowboys need to replace several starters from last season but, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has also done a great job recruiting and developing players.
Florida State is the best team in the country, but they are giving a lot of points against a team that won 10 games last season. This is a neutral site game but there might be a small home field advantage for the Cowboys, who are only four hours from AT&T Stadium. Florida State might struggle early on defense with new players and a new coordinator. In the end, we think the Seminoles will end up winning with the Pokes covering the spread.