Six weeks from Monday, Florida State's 2013 season will begin. It will be the first of what the Seminoles hope will be many games that end with a favorable result, and that may somehow make this year go even better than the last.

Can FSU claim its second consecutive ACC title? Can it reach the national championship game? Are 12 wins or more in the cards this year?

The answers to those questions rest, in part, in the Seminoles' schedule.

While there have been perhaps deserved concerns raised all offseason about FSU's somewhat punchless home schedule -- much of that is the product of the rotation the Seminoles are on with their conference opponents and rival Florida in this odd year -- it still is one that has to be played. The road schedule has more intriguing and challenging games, and they, too, have to be played.

Does another 12-win, conference championship, BCS bowl season exist on this schedule? It's possible. With this defense and with the potential for redshirt freshman Jameis Winston (the presumed new starting quarterback) to live up to the hype, FSU may be in for a carbon copy of 2012.

As we get ready for the season, we'll spend the next two weeks exploring the teams on FSU's schedule, and the odds the Seminoles can beat them. So, without further ado, let's look at Game No. 3: vs. Bethune-Cookman:


Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Time: TBA

2012 Record: 9-3, 8-0 (in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

2012 Postseason: Lost to Coastal Carolina in the opening round of the FCS Playoffs

Coach: Brian Jenkins (27-8 at Bethune-Cookman, entering fourth year, 27-8 overall). Jenkins hasn't lost more than three games in a single season since he took over at Bethune-Cookman in 2010. In three of the four seasons before his arrival, the Wildcats had compiled 5-6 records, and appeared to be a vastly inferior team.

These days, the Wildcats virtual preseason locks to win the MEAC and represent the conference in the FCS playoffs. Twice in the last three years they have appeared in the playoffs, only to lose in the opening round. This season, Jenkins hopes his squad can take steps forward by advancing through the postseason.

A former player at Cincinnati, the Fort Lauderdale native's 1,506 career kickoff return yards had at one point been a school record. For 16 seasons the record stood until it was surpassed in 2009. After his playing career, Jenkins worked on staffs at Western Kentucky, Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, Rutgers and overseas. In 2001, he was the running backs and special teams coach for the Frankfurt Galaxy.

All-time series: First meeting

Fun game facts: The Wildcats have 10 transfers from four-year colleges on their roster, and two junior-college transfers. Among the four-year schools their current players once attended are UCF, Mississippi, Western Kentucky, Minnesota, Rutgers, Iowa State, Central Michigan and Lousiana Tech.

Fun facts Part 2: As ought to be expected with games between in-state teams, the FSU vs. Bethune-Cookman game will pit several high school teammates against one another. Both schools have strong representation on their rosters of players from the Sunshine State. Among the high schools represented on both teams are Delray Beach's Atlantic High, Belle Glades' Glades Central, Dunnellon's Dunnellon High, Miami's Miami Central, Miami's Booker T. Washington, Sanford's Seminole High, Jacksonville's First Coast, and Port St. Lucie's Treasure Coast.

2012 national (FCS) rankings: Pass efficiency defense (2); turnover margin (3); total defense (7); rushing offense (10); pass defense (11); kickoff returns (98); passing offense (109).

Key losses: RB Rodney Scott, QB Brodrick Waters, WR Eddie Poole, WR KJ Stroud, Harold Love III, LB Dawud Lane  

Key returnees: RB Isidore Jackson, QB Quentin Williams, WR Preston Cleckley, DE LeBrandon Richardson, LB Jarkevis Fields, DB Nick Addison, DB DJ Howard

2012 stats