Florida State Football: Blueprint for FSU to Reach BCS Title Game
We just experienced a weekend of football where not one team looked like a solid national championship contender. Alabama and Oregon, though victorious, looked flawed at times against their respective opponents. Texas A&M gashed the Tide's defense for the most passing yards 'Bama has given up since 2001, and Tennessee had an early lead against a way more talented Ducks team.
In this final year of the BCS, mayhem is to be expected. Save for a few minor upsets, much has been the standard as we enter into Week 3, which only means one thing: Craziness is approaching.
Since insanity is expected, then is it crazy to make an out-of-left-field statement?
One like, say, Florida State has a legitimate shot to make the national championship in Pasadena.
Yes, yes, we've heard it all before. "Florida State is finally back this year guys!!!" has been the mantra of many a Florida State fan for the last couple of years, with the Seminoles making steady progress to the claim being true. With Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher's dream quarterback, at the helm and a roster full of NFL studs at the ready, why not pick this year as the one?
First and foremost, to make it to the BCS National Championship for the first time since 2000, FSU has to take care of business when it travels to Death Valley for what may turn out to be the most important matchup between the Seminoles and Tigers in the rivalry's history.
What's most likely to happen to FSU?
It'll be a tough challenge for a young team led by a redshirt freshman quarterback to go on the road against (barring upset to Clemson, Oregon or Alabama) the third-ranked team in the nation. Clemson has improved since the 'Noles last played the Tigers in Tallahassee and will most likely still be favored when they meet on October 19.
So, let's play pretend for a second.
Let's say Famous Jameis and Co. shock the world come October and find themselves in a position that FSU found itself in last year: in control of their own fate in regard to the ACC Championship picture, as well as the national one. What happens then?
The 'Noles aren't completely off the hook. Two weeks later, Miami comes to town where, if everything goes right, the Hurricanes and Seminoles will meet undefeated and ranked for the first time since 2003 when No. 9 UM beat No. 8 FSU, 22-14.
Miami showed some flaws in its upset win against Florida but will still be a force to reckoned with when it visits Tallahassee. Though FSU currently has a three-game win streak against the 'Canes, each game between the two rivals has been much closer than the score indicated.
On the topic of rivalries, FSU has to go on the road to Gainesville, where it'll take on a Florida team that hasn't looked like much of a threat at all through two games. If FSU goes into this game undefeated, fans might have flashbacks to 1997, when "The Greatest Game Ever Played in the Swamp" occurred. That day, the No. 10 Florida Gators upset the top-ranked, undefeated Seminoles 32-29, keeping FSU out of the national championship.
If, somehow, someway, Florida State manages to beat all of its rivals, avoids all the potential ACC upsets and wins the ACC for the second year in a row, it'll find itself in the national championship. It'll be harder to find a better resume than the Seminoles would have.
Alabama has three games against currently-ranked teams, beating then-No. 6 Texas A&M while No. 21 Ole Miss and new No. 6 LSU wait. Oregon squares off against No. 17 Washington No. 13 UCLA and No. 5 Stanford. If both teams manage to navigate their schedules undefeated, then FSU may be locked out, but in the hectic atmosphere of college football, it's hard to see both squads making through it unscathed.
It's equally as hard to see Florida State make it, but in the last year of the BCS, would there be anything better than one of the first two teams to play in the BCS Championship, 20 years after winning their first one, to end up there again?
Poetic justice at its finest.
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