This week, Dr. Saturday has been profiling the nation's top five underachieving teams from a year ago and whether they're deserving of the pressure and the praise in 2012.
Notre Dame, Nebraska and Texas A&M have already occupied three spots and now it's time to profile the nation's No. 2 underachieving team from a year ago. Actually, this team probably would have landed on this list each of the past three seasons.
No. 2 Florida State
2011: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)
For the third consecutive season, Florida State was picked to win the ACC Atlantic Division, but for the first time in that stretch, many thought the Seminoles could contend for a national title. So they opened the season preseason No. 6 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. And there was no reason for anyone to think Florida State wouldn't live up to these expectations. There was a lot of buzz surrounding new quarterback E. J. Manuel and the Seminoles had one of the nation's best receiving corps. Coach Jimbo Fisher was especially excited about a defense that was loaded in the secondary and returned three of the team's top four players up front. This was supposed to be the year Florida State returned to national prominence.
It was no secret that for Florida State to be taken seriously as a contender for a national title, the Seminoles would have to prove that the 47-17 beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma in 2010 was aberration. So, after cruising through games against Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern, Florida State finally got a chance to show the nation that they were a team to be reckoned with.
No. 21 Clemson 35-30; Wake Forest 35-30; Virginia 14-13
Once again Florida State will come into the season with high expectations and once again they're deserved. The Seminoles return 17 starters, including a veteran quarterback in Manuel and a defense that would make Nick Saban blush.
Should You Believe?
If defense wins championships — and it did for Alabama a year ago — then Florida State is a team worthy of praise and attention.
2012 Prediction: 12-0 (8-0 ACC)