If there was any doubt left that these Seminoles have a claim to being the best football team in the nation, it was erased in the first half against Wake Forest on Saturday as the 'Noles utterly and entirely embarrassed the Demon Deacons while not even playing their best offensive football.
Wrap your mind around this for a second:
Wake Forest's quarterbacks had seven completed passes the whole game. Florida State's defense forced seven turnovers: one fumble and six interceptions.
Yes, you're reading that right. FSU had one less interception than Wake had completed passes, and that's a huge reason as to why the Seminoles demolished and dismantled the Demon Deacons to the tune of 59-3. To go along with the turnovers were the touchdowns the Seminoles got off of them; from prime field position, the 'Noles scored off a pick-six and a scoop-and-score fumble recovery from Nate Andrews and Jalen Ramsey, respectively.
On a day when Jameis Winston posted his lowest total quarterback rating of the season (78.3) and the offense seemed to struggle to find an actual rhythm, the defense made all of the plays and reminded everyone that they're more than just a team that's lucked their way into the No. 2 ranking in the nation. They forced turnovers and made plays left and right, only allowing the Demon Deacons to get eight first downs on the day.
And as they head into the final stretch of their schedule that features no teams with a winning record, the talent that the Seminoles have will become more and more apparent. They'll face off against three teams that are sure to allow the Seminoles to feast on any offensive attempts, most notably their bitter rivals in Gainesville, who just lost in embarrassing fashion to Vanderbilt.
When Winston can have an off day (granted, an off day for Winston is still good for 159 yards, two touchdowns and an interception) and the Seminoles can still dominate a conference opponent like that, it has to get the attention of the nation. Alabama, the team that people look to as the standard for domination, has beaten one conference opponent by a similar margin—their Oct. 19 win against Arkansas.
Meanwhile, this is the second time that Florida State has beaten an ACC opponent by more than 50 points, the other being their 63-0 takedown of then-No. 25 Maryland. Make the "well, they were ACC teams" arguments if you want, the fact remains that they were both FBS opponents, and Florida State absolutely imposed their will on them.
As Alabama takes on archrival LSU tonight in Tuscaloosa and defends its current champion-of-the-world status, you can't help but wonder if in the back of its mind, it's scared of a potential run-in with this Seminole team.
It wouldn't be a surprise if they were.