TALLAHASSEE, FL - When Alabama lost, it was almost a given Florida State would find itself on top of the BCS standings come Sunday night. The 'Noles are undefeated and have what may very well be a soon-to-be Heisman winner at quarterback, so it wasn't much of a stretch.
But, since it's been so long since the Seminoles have graced the top spot, it was still quite the revelation when the last standings of the regular season were released.
It's been a dream season for Florida State, going from not being picked to win its own division to the prohibitive favorite to win the national championship. It's done it by taking down any team that has stepped in its path, with the height of its season coming from its dismantling of Clemson.
The game seems so long ago, but it's only been six weeks. Six weeks since Jameis Winston had his coming out party, six weeks since Florida State placed itself firmly in the national title race and six weeks since Rashad Greene and Telvin Smith both made a bold statement, one that in retrospect seems not very bold at all.
"We definitely are the best team in the country," Greene said. "I don't put us second to none."
42 days later, his statement has finally come into fruition.
This is the first No. 1 ranking for FSU in the BCS since 1999, the last time Florida State won a national championship. That was 14 years ago. Bill Clinton was president, Jameis Winston was five years old and Jimbo Fisher was coaching quarterbacks in Cincinnati.
That 1999 team was led by its own Heisman Trophy winner, Chris Weinke, and remains the only team to start the season as No. 1 and finish it there. It was the last time Florida State was at the top of the world, the last time anybody was chasing after the Seminoles. We've already wondered if this year's Florida State team is as talented as the 1999 one, and now the 2013 Seminoles are on their way to match the success as their predecessors.
It's been a long time, and after years of letdowns, of disappointment, of failed expectations, Florida State is finally looking down from the top.