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Experts say FSU will be among the best teams in the nation

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At FSU, they would like to think that preseason prognostications mean a great deal.

At Florida, not so much.

It is the summer, and of course that means that everyone with a typewriter is prepared to tell you how your team will do. If that’s true, then it appears that FSU will be favored in every game it plays. The Florida Gators, in their first season under coach Jim McElwain, will be an underdog five times against a tougher schedule.

You can believe it or not. But it makes for interesting talk on this side of a season, doesn’t it?

Start with FSU, which has won a national title and been in the playoffs in the last two seasons under Jimbo Fisher. Most preseason rankings have the Seminoles in the top 10 again, although no one is quite sure who the starting quarterback will be.

Regardless, it appears that the Seminoles’ toughest game won’t be until midseason when it takes a trip to Atlanta to play against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are ranked eighth by the

Florida State’s toughest opponents aside from Georgia Tech? How about a trip to Clemson to play the 18th-ranked Tigers? Or a home game against Louisville to play the 21st-ranked Cardinals. Those are the only three games against teams in the top 25.

Aside from that, the Seminoles face Texas State (ranked 92nd), South Florida (114th), Boston College (57th), Wake Forest (123rd), Miami (62nd) Syracuse (106th), N.C. State (43rd) and Florida (41st).

The Gators, meanwhile, have a four-game span in which they play Ole Miss (10th), Georgia (11th) and Missouri (12th). They also would be an underdog to LSU (26th) and FSU (4th).

In other games, the Gators play New Mexico State (156th), East Carolina (63rd), Kentucky (79th),Tennessee (46th), Vanderbilt (117th), South Carolina (55th) and Florida Atlantic (133rd).

According to Realtime, Willie Taggart’s USF Bulls will be an underdog nine times in the coming season, including its game against FSU, where there are supposed to be 110 teams between the Bulls and FSU.

Besides FSU (4th), the Bulls will be underdogs to Maryland (53rd), Memphis (28th), Syracuse (106th), Navy (50th), East Carolina (63rd), Temple  (90th), Cincy (32nd) and UCF (34th).

USF will be favored over only Florida A&M (230th), UConn (145th), and SMU (154th).

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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