TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida State is heavily favored to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title in seven years and perhaps challenge for a national championship.

The Seminoles were expected to be back among the nation's elite a year ago. An early three-game losing streak  took care of their preseason hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference and a BCS bowl berth and they finished 9-4.

Third-year coach Jimbo Fisher says the Seminoles have a wealth of talent. In a one-on-one interview with Local 6, Fisher says expectations are a good thing.

"I think you have to have expectations to be able to win a championship," he says, adding, "Expectations talk about your talent level and what you have in the program. I think you have to have have a certain level of that to get there." 

Florida State will feature one of the best defenses in the country. Led by defensive ends Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins and safety Lamarcus Joyner, the Seminoles gave up an average of only 15 points a game last year.

Fisher says last year is a good barometer of defensive talent but one again that only gets you so far. "They expect to be very good, we expect them to be very good, but they have to go play every week." 

On offense, fifth-year senior quarterback EJ Manuel returns to lead Florida State's attack.