The Daily Nole

The Five FSU Programs Most Likely to Win a National Championship in 2016-17

Larry Novey/FSU athletics

We’re only about a month away from meaningful athletic events taking place at Florida State as the Seminoles look for more productive seasons on the field, court, diamond and sand.

Numerous FSU programs are coming off outstanding seasons and though the Seminoles were unable to claim any national championships last academic year, many came close and have reason to believe that could change this upcoming season. Here’s a look at the five programs for Florida State most likely to win a national championship this upcoming school year:

1. Soccer
Last Season: 18-3-4 (Lost to Duke in College Cup)
Key Returners: Megan Connolly, Elin Jensen, Natalia Kuikka, Cassie Miller, Kaycie Tillman, Kirsten Crowley
Key Subtractions: Cheyna Williams, Berglind Thorvaldsdottir, Carson Pickett
Overview: Florida State reached a fifth straight College Cup last season before falling to Duke. FSU returns four of its top six leading scorers from a season ago and one of the nation’s best goaltenders in Cassie Miller. The loss of Carson Pickett will hurt, but the Seminoles seem to be in pretty good shape defensively as well.

2. Softball
Last Season: 55-10 (Lost to Auburn in Women’s College World Series semifinals)
Key Returners: Morgan Klaevemann, Ellie Cooper, Jessica Warren, Alex Powers, Jessica Burroughs, Meghan King
Key Subtractions: None
Overview: Florida State’s stellar 2016 season ended on a controversial call at the plate in a Women’s College World Series loss to Auburn, but FSU is returning virtually everyone for 2017. The combination of reigning ACC Player of the Year Alex Powers and third baseman Jessica Warren is a lethal one in the middle of the order as is the mound duo of reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Jessica Burroughs and Meghan King. In total, FSU returns seven All-ACC performers.

3. Football
Last Season: 10-3 (Lost to Houston in Peach Bowl)
Key Returners: Dalvin Cook, Roderick Johnson, Travis Rudolph, DeMarcus Walker, Derwin James, Marquez White
Key Subtractions: Jalen Ramsey, Roberto Aguayo, Terrance Smith, Reggie Northrup, Nile Lawrence-Stample
Overview: Florida State returns 21 of 22 offensive players from last season’s 2-deep depth chart, led by junior running back Dalvin Cook, who had the greatest season ever for an FSU rusher. The Seminoles are extremely talented defensively both up front and in the secondary. Florida State also has its toughest games in 2016 in Clemson, Florida and North Carolina at home. The Seminoles get Ole Miss in Orlando as well.

4. Beach Volleyball
Last Season: 32-3 (Lost to USC in National Championship)
Key Returners: Nikki Esposito, Vanessa Freier, Katie Horton, Macy Jerger, Sierra Sanchez, Tory Paranagua
Key Subtractions: Annie Montgomery, Jace Pardon, Julie Brown, Kristina Pellitteri
Overview: In the first season that beach volleyball was an NCAA-sanctioned sport, Florida State went all the way to the national championship before losing to the USC Women of Troy. Six of FSU’s top 10 players return for 2016, but replacing the tandem of Jace Pardon and Julie Brown won’t be easy.

5. Baseball
Last Season: 41-22 (Lost to Florida in NCAA Super Regionals)
Key Returners: Taylor Walls, Jackson Lueck, Dylan Busby, Cal Raleigh, Tyler Holton, Drew Carlton
Key Subtractions: John Sansone, Ben DeLuzio, Mike Compton
Overview: With a young roster, Florida State advanced to within one game of the College World Series a season ago and bring back the bulk of both the lineup and pitching staff. The Seminoles should have a very strong middle of the order with Jackson Lueck, Cal Raleigh and Dylan Busby all returning while Taylor Walls serves as the table-setter. The trio of Drew Carlton, Tyler Holton and Cole Sands should be a formidable weekend rotation.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply