Florida State 11/2 to win 2014 Title
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - While they enter the season with a few question marks, Florida State remains favored to win this year's NCAA title.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Seminoles are currently 11/2 to win this year's college football FBS championship and defend its 2013-14 title. Alabama has comparable odds at 6/1, while Oregon is 8/1 and Auburn, the team FSU beat in the last BCS national championship game, is currently 9/1 to win this season's title.
Florida State will return seven starters from last year's squad, including the best player in college football at quarterback. Jameis Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, is back under center and will have four starters returning to the offensive line that protected him a year ago. While the Seminoles lost running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder and receiver Kelvin Benjamin, 2013 All-Americans Winston and Cameron Erving return, as well as 2013 All-Conference players Rashad Greene, Nick O'Leary and Tre' Jackson.
On defense, FSU lost linebackers Christian Jones, Dan Hicks and Telvin Smith, as well as defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and defensive backs Terrence Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner. That's a lot of talent to lose to the NFL but seven other starters return to a defensive unit that was outstanding in 2013, including defensive end Mario Edwards.
While losing Benjamin and Kenny Shaw hurt the offense, Winston gives FSU a legitimate shot at making the four-team playoffs this season and defending its title. Having four starters return on the offensive line is huge and even with the losses of Brooks and Joyner, the secondary is one of the deepest and most talented in the nation. Coupled with a weak schedule, the Seminoles don't figure to take a step back in 2014.