2017 NoleGameday Staff Season Predictions

Ethan Vaughan (@Ethan7NG)

I like the FSU team a whole lot heading into the season. Instead of going into what I like, I’ll hit on the the things I don’t like because the list is shorter.

1. I like Deondre Francois as FSU’s QB but he needs to take the next step as a passer for FSU to be a playoff team. He has to read defenses more accurately and in a more timely manner and he has to improve his accuracy.

2. I love FSU’s starting WRs but there is simply very little depth. If a couple of the receivers go down to in season injuries, FSU could be in a very bad place. Though there are some guys at other positions who I believe could play WR including Mavin Saunders and Ryan Green.

3. I’m concerned with FSU’s OL. I like what they have at the guard positions. I’m worried about depth at guard and overall talent at tackle and center though. FSU’s OL could develop into a good unit or it could be sub-par all year. We’ll just have to see.

4. I like FSU’s linebackers but I don’t love them. Matt Thomas is a game changer when he’s right but we’ve yet to see him turn in those types of performances on a consistent basis yet. My biggest issue is perhaps with Hoskins. He’s good in the run game between the tackles but isn’t as good as I’d like him to be in space as well as covering TE’s down the middle of the field.

All in all, I like this FSU team quite a bit, especially the defense. However, they play an extremely tough schedule to open the year and it’s tough to see them getting out September without at least one loss. I’ll predict 10-2 with losses to Alabama and one of NC State, Miami, or Clemson. An ACC Championship is still possible depending on where the second loss falls and if there is some chaos around the country then a playoff birth could still be in reach.

Ryan Stalder (@RyanStalder12)

“Is there really a difference between this year’s team and last year’s team?”, one might ask.  Yes, there is.

Last year’s team had a very inexperienced quarterback and very inexperienced defense., particularly in the secondary. This year’s Florida State team is two things last year’s team wasn’t: deep and experienced.  Quarterback is experienced. Running back has a great mix of experience (Jacques Patrick) and depth (Rasul, Akers, Laborn, etc.) Tight end is both very experienced and very deep. While wide receiver does admittedly have paper-thin depth, the group returns it’s two most dynamic players from last year’s team.  Even the o-line, while not particularly talented, is very deep and experienced as it returns four starters and multiple back ups who have taken meaningful snaps. While this might sound impressive, the defense boasts even more to write home about.

This defensive tackle group is perhaps the deepest and most experienced in the country.  At end, FSU will trot out a 3-year starter and a returning sophomore that just so happened to be a freshman All-American.  This linebacker group is very experienced, with both starters being fifth year seniors, and and for the first time in a while: deep.  Corner returns one stud (McFadden) and two promising players that got meaningful snaps last year (Taylor & Meyers).  There are are also several back up corners that could start for three quarters of the teams in the ACC.  Safety returns perhaps the best player in the country and opposite him, a senior that could be one of the best tackling defensive backs in the country.

All this being said, Francois and Charles Kelly aren’t perfect and slip ups happen, I will go 11-1 for my record prediction.

Forrest Brewton (@ben_brewton)

This is Jimbo Fisher’s most talented team since 2013, and they will have to prove their worth right away against Bama. Derwin James is going to have an absurd year and be the leader of a loaded Seminoles defense. Cam Akers and FSU’s loaded stable of running backs will run wild on opponents all year. An improved offensive line should open more holes and keep Francois off the ground. The most important game in 2017 is the trip to Death Valley against the Clemson Tigers, because the winner of that game usually books a trip to the ACC Championship game. I don’t see any team as of now beating the ‘Noles, including the mighty Crimson Tide. FSU gets back in the playoffs and has a great shot at playing for the National Championship.

Prediction: 12-0

Logan Robinson (@loganstwitty)

FSU loses to Alabama and Clemson but still makes it to the ACC Championship and into the playoff. Don’t make national championship. Record Prediction: 10-2.

Haylee Blitch (@hayleeblitch)

This year’s FSU team is undoubtedly something special. As much as I would love for it to happen, I just don’t see them going undefeated. This Florida State team is talented on offense and defense, but there are quite a few concerns with different positions that I think could hurt them throughout the season. Despite those concerns, I do believe they’ll win their season opener against Alabama next weekend.

Beating Alabama would put FSU in a great position for the rest of their season. But after doing so, I think they might get a little ahead of themselves and slip up somewhere down the road. I believe the Noles will go 11-1 on the season with a loss that will come from either NC state or Clemson.

For some reason NC State thinks FSU is their rival during football season (mainly because neither Duke or Carolina want to claim them) so they always play extra tough against FSU. I think the Wolfpack will come into Tallahassee hungry for a win, and Florida State might just lose the game in a nail-biter like they did back in 2012.

If that doesn’t happen, I think there could potentially be a loss when the Noles head to Clemson’s Death Valley in mid-November. FSU can certainly play just as great as Clemson can and I think it’ll be another close game like last season, but once again with the Noles on the losing end. The Tigers are the defending National Champions and I think this will definitely be one of the most difficult games for FSU.

The ACC is always a tough conference to play for. Although I do believe FSU will end up losing one of their games to either NC State or Clemson, I know they would only be losing by a touchdown or less. On a good note, if FSU does end up with a conference loss that does not mean they are automatically out of a chance to play in the ACC Championship, depending on how the other teams play.

Prediction: 11-1

Dustin Lewis (@Dussttin)

Florida State finishes 15-0, ACC Champs, National Champions. The offense should be more explosive through the air behind the arm of Deondre Francois. The running backs are unproven but extremely talented. They’ll have to prove they can fill the shoes of Dalvin Cook. The offensive line is the biggest question mark on the offense, but a healthy Eberle and Dickerson along the interior should boost the protection around Francois. We already know the Seminoles will boast an elite defense and I expect Derwin James, Josh Sweat, Derrick Nnadi, and Mathew Thomas to have big seasons on that side of the ball. This team is as talented as any in the entire country.
Ryan Stalder

Football Writer and Baseball Writer; Student at Wake Forest University; Twitter: @RyanStalder12


  1. Donnie

    August 27, 2017 at 9:32 PM

    I agree 100% with Dustin Lewis!!

  2. Donnie

    August 27, 2017 at 9:34 PM

    Agree 100% with Dustin Lewis

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