And so the dynasty continues!
To test the mettle of how a strong the Florida State Seminoles would play in the fall, I used the best predictor possible—the past. How does FSU plays in big games? Do they fold early like they did against Oklahoma in 2010? Or do they duke it out to the end like the Oklahoma game last year?
EA Sports' NCAA Football 12 utilizes a different football season, but expectations for ACC teams are always low in both the real and virtual world. Since I have to play all these games, it took me longer than expected to complete them.
We can't ever truly predict the future, but at least until fall, it's fun to play pretend.
Let's see how the Seminoles do!
Boston College's downward spiral continued into this season as they visited Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles completed early drives, outscoring BC 14-0 in the first quarter. But two BC touchdowns led to a second quarter rally and trimmed FSU's commanding lead to three (17-14).
Important note: Both E.J. Manuel and Clint Trickett didn't toss the pigskin into the end zone. Devonta Freeman actually scored a ton—he had four touchdowns and 133 yards today.
Nevertheless, BC quarterback Chase Rettig threw four touchdowns but had a key interception late in the game kept the Eagles from a stunning upset.
Final: Florida State 31, BC 28
Ah, the feud of the state!
Miami's decline has finally given FSU a break in this tight series, allowing the 'Noles to beat the Hurricanes twice in a row.
But, from the 2012 edition, we could see that FSU's undefeated season was in danger. The Seminoles lost 38-28.
Statistically, this was shocking. Florida State out-gained Al Golden's crew 496-382 in total offense. Additionally, the Seminoles had more passing yards, but four FSU turnovers—three fumbles, and one interception—cost the Tribe another close game down in southern Florida.
E.J. Manuel redeemed last week's mediocre performance by throwing three touchdowns against Duke.
Devonta Freeman scored two touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
The final margin was FSU 38-17, but if I was betting I'd recommend picking the Seminoles to win by at least 40 points.
The Seminoles have won 13 of the past 15 games against Virginia Tech. A few of these games had stakes.
For example, the first ACC Championship Game was played by the Seminoles and Frank Beamer's Virginia Tech Hokies. And who could forget the 2000 Sugar Bowl, where they played each other for the national championship. Coming into this game, VT had owned the rivalry recently 2-1.
We can now make that 3-1. Virginia Tech shocked the nation by not only beating, but swiftly annihilating their nemesis 38-19. It didn't help that E.J. continued his inconsistent ways by throwing an interception and completing only 41 percent of his passes.
Unlike recent games, though, the Seminoles took responsibility from their running back stable and focused more on their wide receivers. Willie Haulstead and Rodney Smith each brought in touchdowns, but a huge scoring run by Virginia Tech put this game out of reach by the third quarter.
NCAA 12 didn't expect that Maryland would go from 9-4 to 2-10, so that explains the closeness of this game.
After initially trailing 7-3, FSU scored 17 consecutive points in the second half until Maryland came up with two last moment touchdowns, including one as time expired.
I bet Randy Edsall misses Danny O'Brien.
Final: Florida State 24, Maryland 20
Will Muschamp must be doing something right. After a breezy 21-3 start for the visiting Gators, they defended their lead just enough to win 28-24
Manuel stood up for the team, throwing three touchdowns but was outshone by Gators quarterback John Brantley.
The loss leaves FSU 9-3 (6-2 ACC) on the year, but losing to Clemson probably cost the Seminoles the Atlantic title.
Hopefully, things (should) and will transpire much differently with the Seminoles returning to a BCS bowl—or maybe even a national championship!