Old rivals will kick off in a key ACC matchup at 3:30 this Saturday. Florida State enters the game 0-1 in the conference and can ill-afford another conference loss. Miami also enters the contest 0-1, and a loss for the 'Canes would also put them in a deep hole.
The odds-makers have determined the Hurricanes will win this game by three points. But are they correct? Is Dolphin Stadium the difference between the two teams?
Both teams have solid wins over Big 12 teams. Both teams have heartbreaking losses at home to conference foes. Miami has a young and energetic coach, while FSU has a crafty veteran at the helm. Miami is coming off a tough loss, while FSU is coming off a big win.
The bottom line is that the loser of this game will find itself 0-2 in the conference and, for all intents and purposes, out of the conference race. If Miami loses, the 'Canes still have to face Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech. Those teams have a combined record of 10-3! If FSU loses, it will be 0-2 with Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Boston College left.
So now the question is, "Who will lose?"
In looking at Miami, we see that the 'Canes have wins over Charleston Southern and Texas A&M. Of course, Charleston Southern is an unimpressive foe, but how about the win at Kyle Field? Texas A&M has wins over New Mexico by six and Army by four. The losses the Aggies have are to Miami and to Arkansas St. So I am not sure the Canes have a "good" win just yet.
The 'Noles have three wins, two of them are against Western Carolina and Chattanooga. The one win that could be termed "good" was against Colorado. However, there is no question that Miaimi has more talent than Colorado, and the Seminoles will see a "different gear" from the Miaimi defense.
At this point, I have to give the edge to FSU in this early season showdown. The first reason is that I still believe FSU has the best coaching staff in the ACC. I am not saying the Miami staff is bad, just not as experienced yet. The second edge I give is the way in which Miami lost last week. An emotional loss, especially in college football, is extremely difficult to overcome.
FSU 21, Miami 16