Instead, FSU is focusing on what it can control. After concluding six weeks of voluntary workouts Wednesday, the Seminoles are primed for preseason camp.
The entire team reports Tuesday morning -- under the new NCAA rules, there are no more freshmen-only practices. The varsity's conditioning test will be staged Tuesday afternoon for the handful of players who did not meet the criteria (80 percent attendance) during summer workouts. FSU's first practice is Wednesday.
Junior offensive tackle Alex Barron gives the Seminoles a thumb's up for effort, saying the team is better overall shape than last season.
"Most people are coming in good shape," Barron said.
"A lot of people have been getting after it every day, all day. That's going to help. Last year we had some people who had some heat exhaustion problems. Some had to deal with weight (issues). I believe everyone is in better shape this year."
Among FSU's chief concerns this preseason is the shape of its offensive line. Barron and fellow tackle Ray Willis are considered the unit's cornerstones. The pair has combined for 17 career starts -- Willis 12, Barron five. Both, however, had offseason arthroscopic surgery -- Willis shoulder and Barron knee.
"We are a little young and a lot of people are trying to hold that against us," Barron said.
"But we think we can be pretty good. They (coaches) give us confidence and we know what we need to get done (in practice)."
Still, FSU's s depth is extremely suspect. Backup center Matt Heinz underwent back surgery today on a pair of herniated discs. Heinz's recovery could be anywhere from six to eight weeks to potentially career-ending.
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Henry-Kennon is also listed on the depth chart at center but he has skipped a majority of the Seminoles' conditioning sessions due to work. Incoming freshman John Frady is considered a viable candidate for playing time at center but must learn the system.
Two familiar, but inexperienced, players are expected to play vital roles as well -- Matt Meinrod at split guard and Eric Broe, who has dropped nearly 50 pounds from last season, at tight guard. Ron Lunford is also expected to be in the mix at tackle.
"Yes, the injuries are a little concern," Barron said.
"We have some injuries that people need to take care of. Some of the injuries we can't do too much about. There may be one or two freshmen who won't be able to redshirt. All of them have the talent. They just might have to learn the system a little faster.
"But we all like to work hard. We are not as big up front as past offensive linemen in terms of width. We are a little taller in some cases. But we have a good idea of what we need to do and what we are capable of doing."
The 6-foot-6, 312-pound Barron, meanwhile, says he feels good. He started five games in 2002 while appearing in all 14 as a backup to two-time All-ACC performer Brett Williams at split tackle. He made his first collegiate start against Virginia, while also starting against Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame and Florida.
While the country continues to question the Seminoles, Barron says the team needs to simply take care of business.
"In the off-season, the best thing to try to do is get in the best shape you can and I think we did that this year," Barron said. "Everyone is excited to get going. That's fine if people are going to question us. We just need to take care of ourselves."