Florida State has dropped two conference games in a row; while that may not surprise some given the recent history of this football program, this season seems to be different.
For starters, FSU looked to appear to be back just a few short weeks ago, but now they appear to be back in their old ways.
They have given up a total of 806 yards in losses to N.C. State and North Carolina.
The defense that appeared to be finding a swagger seems to have lost it just when they found it.
So yet another opportunity presents itself to the Seminoles: storied rival Clemson.
This will be the first time in years that there will not be a Bowden roaming the sidelines, but the game will provide plenty of story lines.
Both teams were expected to dominate the Atlantic division and both teams have the most talent, but neither have been able to put all of the pieces together.
Clemson returned Kyle Parker at quarterback and hosts a reliable two headed monster at running back in Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper. They have shown signs that they may be over the hump by playing Auburn to the brink of defeat before losing in overtime, and then beating N.C. State and Maryland to show they are still a team to look out for in the ACC.
Their losses have been close against Miami, North Carolina and Boston College, and yet they still seem like they are one of the middle teams in the conference.
Florida State looked poised to take over the conference and meet head-to-head with Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship; now their conference title hopes are dimming by the week, and the losses have prevented them from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
A season that held so much promise for an outstanding finish, now seems to look like just another year in Tallahassee; another year away from National dominance and conference lashings.
Florida State still controls their destiny, but they need pieces to fall in place. They need to win out in conference play and will need N.C. State to drop an least one more game.
Everything starts with Clemson.
If Christian Ponder and company can come out motivated, the only thing that can stop this team is themselves.
FSU is in a must win situation if they want to prove that this season wasn't another let down, and that it was the driving factor in what is to come in the near future.