Florida State's Credibility

Sports Handicapping News: Florida State's Credibility

The Florida State Seminoles still have a lot to prove about their BCS rankings chops heading into Thursday Night's nationally televised game at Virginia Tech. They had been given the benefit of the doubt after a 4-0 start that included a double digit win over respected Clemson. A stunning loss to NC State knocked FSU so far off the map (currently #10 in the BCS) that they still haven't yet recovered.

Here's what we know about FSU:

FSU IN 2012

  • At home, thcy can annihilate teams who lack talent. FSU had athletes. If you don't have athletes, then you're going to get run out of Tallahassee. Murray State and Savannah State were September examples that few took seriously because those were glorified high school teams. Wake Forest was impressive at the time, Boston College and very overrated Duke followed the same storyline. All of those were at home, and FSU won those five games by a combined score of infinity to three (actually, it was 275-17, which is an average score of 55-3).

  • At home, they can beat teams who DO have talent. Their double digit win over Clemson was impressive considering what Clemson has done in their other games this season.

  • On the road, they're suddenly mistake-prone and just not very special, even when playing teams who shouldn't matchup with them talent-wise.

Florida State (-17) beat South Florida 30-17 (non-cover)
Florida State (-17) lost to NC State 17-16 (outright loss and non-cover)
Florida State (-21) beat Miami 33-20 (non-cover)

South Florida is at the bottom of the Big East this year. Miami lost very badly to Notre Dame and Kansas State...which makes it clear that FSU really isn't in the same class yet as the true BCS contenders this season no matter what all the Preseason pundits were suggesting. NC State is 1-3 in the ACC when not playing Florida State, and it's a very down year in the conference.

Imagine if Alabama turned into Ole Miss when they played on the road!

Now, imagine if Ole Miss was laying 14 points on the road at Virginia Tech! That's what we're dealing with Thursday Night. Which Florida State is going to show up? This isn't a vintage Virginia Tech team by any means or the line wouldn't be so high. There's just no evidence yet that FSU can play 60 solid minutes on both sides of the ball on the road vs. anybody. They can play 45 solid minutes and do enough to win straight up. Will they finally step up now when it's time to win their ACC division and play 60 good road minutes?

Florida State 5-1
Clemson 5-1
Wake Forest 3-4
NC State 2-3
Maryland 2-3
Boston College 1-5

Florida State visits Virginia Tech tonight and Maryland next week. Wins will allow them to take the division because they own the tiebreaker over Clemson. Thursday's game is obviously the biggest threat because injury-riddled Maryland is basically starting the band's trombone player at quarterback. It's time for Florida State to WIN THE ATLANTIC so they can play for a BCS bowl bid in the ACC Championship game against an underdog opponent from the other division.

Miami 4-2
North Carolina 3-2
Duke 3-3
Georgia Tech 3-3
Virginia Tech 2-3
Virginia 1-4

Florida State was already a double digit road favorite this year over Miami, and would be a decisive favorite over whoever ultimately wins the dismal Coastal Division. This means there's plenty of time to regain the program's credibility and earn a very high final BCS ranking. In fact, FSU's regular season-ending rivalry game with Florida creates an amazing opportunity.

Tonight: at Virginia Tech
Next Week: at Maryland
November 24: vs. Florida (#6 in the BCS)
December 1: ACC Championship Game (if they win the Atlantic, in Charlotte)
BCS Bowl: Spotlight Showcase (if they win the ACC Championship)

The pathway is there to climb back into even the top five of the final BCS numbers if they can get the engine running on all cylinders and stay on course. But, another wreck tonight like the one at NC State just puts Clemson on highway to redemption and sends Florida State to the Afterthought Bowl.


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