Somehow, someway, Florida State has played itself right into the middle of the national championship conversation, taking a team that was supposed to go through a rebuilding year all the way to a beatdown of the then-No. 3/4 team in the nation, the Clemson Tigers.
Florida State players and coaches seem to think that they have themselves a championship team in Tallahassee, and by checking all the factors, they may in fact be right.
"Oh, I don't put us second to none," said wide receiver Rashad Greene, following the team's 51-14 win over Clemson. "We definitely are the best team in the country."
And he may just be right, as FSU is now the No. 2 team in the country, according to the initial BCS rankings, released by way of ESPN's BCS Countdown.
|Where Florida State Stands|
|Record||AP Poll||Coaches Poll||Strength of Schedule||BCS Ranking|
|6-0 (4-0 ACC)||3||3||42||2|
Biggest Obstacles to a BCS Berth
Right now, Florida State stands in the position of controlling its own fate when it comes to a BCS berth. If the Seminoles win out, they will find themselves either in the Orange Bowl for the second straight year or, if it all works out, in the final BCS National Championship Game.
First, however, the Seminoles have to navigate the rest of their regular-season schedule, as well as the ACC Championship Game should they win out. Current No. 7 Miami and Florida both pose the threat of a rivalry upset, and FSU may have to face off against Miami again or even a Virginia Tech team with a staunch defense in the ACC Championship.
The rest of the Seminoles' schedule, which includes NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho, should be manageable.
With its fortunate placing in the initial standings, it seems as if all FSU has to do is continue with its dominating wins. If the Seminoles can beat Miami in two weeks, that'll be another Top 10 win to add to their resume, further pushing them from the pack.
To maintain FSU's strength of schedule, the Seminoles need Maryland, Pitt and Clemson to continue to do well, as well as Miami to stay in the Top 10 until their November 2 showdown. Florida looked to be another Top 25 opponent for Florida State, but the Gators seem to be in a free fall.
|11/9||at Wake Forest|
The Big Picture
FSU has lucked out this year in a part that hurt it during last year's potential championship run: the strength of schedule. The 'Noles currently have the 10th-toughest schedule in the nation, with a Top 25 win against Maryland, a Top Five win against Clemson and a Top 10 matchup with Miami looming.
Florida figures not to be ranked when Florida State heads to Gainesville, so the next ranked matchup for FSU could come in the ACC Championship against Miami again or Virginia Tech. That conference championship could be another chance for FSU to sway voters/maintain its position as the No. 2 team.
Final Bowl Prediction
All quotes and paraphrases were obtained either firsthand or via phone unless otherwise noted.