I see lots of trash-talking already on different threads, so lets just break this one down position by position:
QB Edge: Push
Phil Steele has FSU's Ponder ranked as the 46th best qb in America. Hmmm....three backup qbs just transferred from Miami and all told the media they knew they would get "no playing time" for the next 3 years because of Jacory Harris' skills. I will call this a push, call it what you want, but I rewatched entire game from last year and Ponder self-destructed in the 2nd half, throwing 2 pick 6's. Calling this a draw is tough but I'll do it.
RB Edge: Miami
The cupboard is bare for FSU here, Phil Steele has Miami ranked as the 20th best RB group in the country. Remember the team who has rushed for more yards has won 19 of the last 21 matchups, so this category is VERY relevant. FSU loses Antone Smith, Miami loses nobody.
OLINE Edge: FSU
FSU is ranked 7th in the country, Miami ranks 26th. This is FSU's best strength, definitely have the horses in the trenches, but the qb sneak wont work this year against the Canes. Thats how the Noles won last year, I challenge anyone to dispute that. Still Ponder should have time to throw.
WR Edge: Miami
Miami WR's rank 19th in the country, FSU did not make the list. Again another example of the top guns graduating (lost top rusher and 2 receivers from last year, Smith, Carr, and Parker). Miami has young talent here, and the edge.
DLINE Edge: Miami
Miami ranks #3 in the country, FSU ranks #15. Indeed it was Miami's DLINE who kept them in the game last year, as the Miami offense was anemic at best with Marve at the helm. If Miami DLINE shuts down the FSU running game, Miami wins.
LBS Edge: Push
Miami ranks 15, FSU ranks 20. Miami's Sean Spence is the difference maker here, he is the best player on the roster for Miami. Calling this is a push is tough because Miami also returns Colin McCarthy from injury (redshirt last year) and FSU loses top two tacklers on the team from this core.
DBS Edge: Push
FSU ranks 25, Miami ranks 28. This game will come down to the qb play, not the DB play.
ST Edge: Miami BIG
Miami ranks 4 in the country, FSU did not make the top 33. Anyone who has EVER IN THEIR LIFE watched one of these games has to take this very seriously. Miami has Groza List kicker Matt Bosher, could come down to that.
Intangibles Edge: FSU
They outplayed Miami last year, and are at home. Miami is young and has proven nothing, Shannon game day coaching is highly questionable, whereas Bobby has solid guys in place. I think FSU will be playing this game not to lose, ie conservative, so Miami will have to be the aggressors here. Of course when FSU got conservative in the 2nd half last year, they fell apart.
Overall, more than 30 inches of rain fell during the game last year. I was there, it was a downpour like I have never seen at any game in 25 years. FSU went up big, then Miami stormed back and fell short in the very end.
FSU has a nasty OLINE, but no superstar has emerged yet at RB. So the game really falls into the hands of Christian Ponder. I suppose Nole fans will tell you Ponder is due for a breakout year after throwing 14 tds and 13 picks last year, but I dont see much talent in this guy.
The Miami DLINE, and Sean Spence, will be creating havoc in the backfield because FSU wont be able to run the ball. I see coverage sacks, and I see further problems on FSU special teams.
The Canes are developing a core of guys from Miami Northwestern High School, including Sean Spence and Jacory Harris (and 8 other relevant players). Its hard to put a number or value on kids who grew up together and who are still playing together in an attempt to bring Miami back to prominence.
When it comes to playing a side, I have to take the 5.5 points on the boys from Northwestern High, who are trying to prove everyone wrong in typical Canes fashion.
Besides winning one more for Bobby, what is FSU building? Maybe a Nole fan can enlighten me here....