After yesterday’s topic regarding how Pitt could win, let’s take a look at why FSU is a 10 point favorite. There are plenty of reasons, unfortunately, and Pitt is justifiably a 10 point underdog. FSU is talented, experienced, and overall appears to simply be better than Pitt at most positions.
Reason #1: Talent. I could go over recruiting stars, the fact that Florida State has 6 preseason All-ACC players, numerous players who could go to the NFL next year, or that Florida is arguably the best state to find D1 talent. It’s just beating a dead horse really. FSU is more talented than Pitt pretty much across the board. The only spots Pitt could be better at is QB (only because Jameis Winston is starting his first game), WR (Street would probably be their best WR), TE (FSU barely uses a TE in the passing game), and DB (Pitt’s best unit). FSU is unquestionably better at OL (4 returning starters), RB, and LB.
Reason #2: Experience. FSU may have lost 11 players to the NFL, but they still have a ton of experience, especially on offense. 4 OL, 2 experienced RBs, and 3 of their top 4 WRs are back. Jameis Winston is walking into a well oiled machine. They are lacking experience on defense though. Of the 11 players who went to the NFL, 7 were on defense. On FSU’s new starting 11, 5 of them have never seen anything more than special teams and mop up duty. If there’s an issue with experience on this team, it’s the DL.
Reason #3: Coaching. Jimbo Fisher is entering his 4th year as FSU’s head coach. He’s 31-10 with an ACC Championship, runner up, and a 3-0 record in bowl games. Paul Chryst is 6-7 and 0-1 in bowl games. Obviously there are a lot of factors that made Fisher’s transition a lot easier than Chryst’s, but success is success. Chryst’s best win? Rutgers (VT was drastically overrated last season). Fisher’s best win? Clemson in 2012 or South Carolina in 2010 (Chick Fil-A Bowl). When you compare track records in recruiting and on field success, Fisher is far more successful.
Reason #4: Battle tested. FSU has been in the ACC for a long time. There’s no doubt the ACC is vastly superior to last year’s Big East. FSU faced 8 bowl eligible teams last season and went 6-2 against those teams. Pitt faced 7 bowl eligible teams last season and only went 2-5. FSU has faced better opponents more often and has a drastically better record against them.
Reason #5: They’re supposed to. FSU should win this game because they’re FSU and they’re up against Pitt. The same Pitt team that lost to Youngstown State in last season’s opener. The same Pitt team that didn’t have a single player drafted last April. The same Pitt team who had a coach quit on them after 1 season a year and a half ago. They’re playing FSU, who won the ACC last year, had 11 players drafted, and will have numerous more next spring.
FSU should not lose to Pitt because they’re FSU and Pitt is Pitt.