Top 25 Teams and Games — No. 25 Florida State

Bobby Bowden
Bobby Bowden

Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden will try to lead his Seminoles to a rebound season.

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, June 6, 2008 at 6:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 6, 2008 at 6:52 p.m.

Team No. 25 Florida State

The buzz: Opening the season against Western Carolina and Chattanooga should make it easy for the Seminoles to overcome the loss of 10 or more starters suspended for the first two games as a result of an academic scandal. FSU has experience at quarterback, receiver and running back, a fast and aggressive defense, and pretty soft schedule. It all adds up to a rebound season.

Difference-maker: Preston Parker emerged as the Seminoles' best playmaker last season and will be a threat at wide receiver and tailback. He's suspended for the first two games, but will be a major factor the rest of the way.

The upside: Senior Drew Weatherford has become a highly efficient quarterback and he's comfortable now in his second season in Jimbo Fisher's offense. Antone Smith is a talent at tailback and the defense has a chance to be very good.

The downside: Other than Parker, the 'Noles don't have much in the way of playmakers at wide receiver. The offensive line is green and somewhat undersized and the Seminoles lack depth at linebacker.

Schedule factor: If the Seminoles can win at Miami in the fifth game (Oct. 4), FSU has a chance to be 8-0 going into a showdown game with Clemson in Tallahassee on Nov. 8. FSU also gets Virginia Tech, Boston College and Florida at home.

Game No. 25 Alabama at Georgia

Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

When: Sept. 27

Why it is sexy: Last season, these two traditional SEC powers played for the first time since 2003 (a 26-23 victory for Georgia in Tuscaloosa). There is a lot of history between these two programs, and this game could be huge in the SEC race.

Preseason buzz: The Tide is expected to be much-improved in Nick Saban's second season and this will be a tough early test for the Bulldogs as they try to navigate their way through one of the nation's toughest schedules.

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