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Preseason magazines offer early forecast for FSU, 2021 season

The preseason college football magazines have hit the shelves at stores, just in time for summer reading. Let the discussion and debate begin.

Where does FSU stand among the ACC teams as well as those around the nation? The Seminoles are viewed by Athlon Sports at No. 43 and the No. 8 team in the conference. But Athlon also has what can be viewed as two tiers: No. 2 Clemson, No. 10 North Carolina and No. 14 Miami as well as seven ACC schools bunched between Nos. 38 and 46.

The bad news is there is a considerable gap between the top-15 teams, but the good news is the Seminoles are viewed as part of a competitive group of ACC schools that include Atlantic Division opponents like No. 38 NC State, No. 42 Boston College and No. 45 Louisville. FSU is projected to go bowling at 6-6 and 4-4 in the ACC, taking fourth in the Atlantic Division by Athlon.

Lindy’s also has Clemson at No. 2, followed by No. 9 North Carolina and No. 14 Miami. The publication has FSU at No. 51 and also the No. 8 ACC team (trailing No. 40 NC State and No. 48 Wake Forest within the division).

Going purely off preseason rankings in these two magazines, FSU is facing a tough slate — five of the nation’s top 15 teams — including Notre Dame and Florida. It’s a schedule that is sure to challenge the Seminoles in year 2 under coach Mike Norvell.

Lindy’s ranked transfers it expects to have an impact, with quarterback McKenzie Milton at the top of the list. Also included on the list is defensive end Jermaine Johnson. One surprise is Lindy’s does not have an FSU player in the All-ACC first, second or third team. Athlon has Milton and Johnson on the third team.

Phil Steele’s magazines have also begun shipping.

Full disclosure: I contribute to Lindy’s magazine, providing thoughts on the offense, defense, special teams and outlook but don’t participate in all-ACC teams or overall team rankings