The Florida State Seminoles still have their eyes set on a BCS bowl bid, but their vision needs to be on winning the ACC.
They'll try to focus in on that goal when they visit Blacksburg Thursday night to play the struggling Virginia Tech Hokies (7:30 pm ET, ESPN).
In the early betting on this game, Florida State opened as a 13.5-point favorite, but as of Wednesday, the Seminoles had been bumped to -14 at most outlets tracked by OddsShark.com.
FSU started 5-0 this season with conference victories over Wake Forest and Clemson. The Seminoles then stumbled for the only time so far this year, blowing a 16-point second-half lead and losing at North Carolina State 17-16.
Since then, Florida State has beaten Boston College, Miami and Duke by a combined score of 132-34.
So the 'Noles are tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with Clemson and they own the tie-breaker over the Tigers, having beaten them head-to-head. FSU is also ranked No. 10 in this week's BCS standings.
Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has turned into one of the most disappointing teams in college football this season. The two-time defending Coastal Division champions started 3-1 this season with a victory over Georgia Tech in their conference opener, ut since then the Hokies have lost four of their last five games.
They lost a close one at Cincinnati, then fell at North Carolina, then beat Duke, but since have lost at Clemson and at Miami.
V-Tech outgained and outrushed the Hurricanes last Thursday night, but turned the ball over three times, twice in the red zone.
So the Hokies, at 2-3 in conference play, are a game and a half behind first-place Miami in the Coastal Division, and at 4-5 overall are still two victories away from becoming bowl-eligible. Virginia Tech hasn't missed playing in a bowl since 1992.
Statistically speaking Florida State has outgained opponents by a 525-227 YPG margin, and outrushed foes 235-73, although those numbers are a bit skewed thanks to those early-season drubbings of Murray State and Savannah State.
In ACC play, the Seminoles have outscored their opponents by an average score of 42-15.
The Hokies have outgained opponents this season by a 401-368 YPG margin, but been outrushed 166-164.
These teams last met two seasons ago in the ACC championship game, won by Virginia Tech 44-33.
Free Pick: Florida State has been dominant, while this Virginia Tech outfit is not like the 11-win squads of the previous two seasons. So while it's not easy to go against the Hokies as home dogs, we'll give the points and take the Seminoles. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
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