Florida State receiver and Albany native Rashad Greene runs the ball past Miami defensive back Ray Lewis III during last week’s game. Greene and the No. 2 Seminoles will look to stay undefeated today against Wake Forest. (Reuters)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — By the end of the weekend, Florida State may very well be the No. 1 team in the country and in the driver’s seat for a spot in the BCS national championship game.
But they’ll settle for No. 2 for now — and do plenty of scoreboard watching in the mean time.
Following their impressive 41-14 win against then-No. 7 Miami last Saturday, the No. 2 Seminoles leapfrogged No. 3 Oregon in the latest BCS standings released Sunday. And with the Ducks and No. 1 Alabama both facing arguably their toughest games of the regular season this week — Oregon lost at No. 6 Stanford on Thursday, while the Tide hosts No. 10 LSU today — Florida State (8-0 overall, 6-0 in the ACC) could find itself No. 1 and on the fast track to the BCS title game with just four games left to play if Alabama follows Oregon’s lead and loses its first game of the season.
Of course, FSU still has to take of business today at a sliding Wake Forest team (4-5, 2-4). And after facing three top-25 teams in the last five weeks — albeit outscoring them 155-28 — it appears FSU will get a brief reprieve.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend against Wake,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said with a smile Monday.
Fisher should be in a good mood heading to week 11.
In his fourth year, Fisher’s got the highest winning percentage in ACC history, an unbeaten team filled with future NFL stars, and a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Jameis Winston, who has led the Seminoles during a magical season that’s been filled with something FSU had been missing in recent years: signature wins.
“Don’t forget he’s a freshman, too,” Fisher said of his 19-year-old QB, who Seminole fans nicknamed “Famous Jameis” long before he helped FSU rout two top-10 teams and get the program off to its best start since its 1999 national title season.
This season could end in another, but FSU will likely need help. If Alabama (8-0) and Oregon (8-0) both win this week, the Ducks will likely once again overtake FSU, which won’t be helped much in the computer portion of the BCS rankings even if it does beat a five-loss Wake Forest team. That’s because a win against the Demon Deacons won’t hold a lot of clout, considering they have the nation’s 114th-ranked total offense and are coming a 13-0 shutout loss to Syracuse.
Fisher refuses to let himself or his team get caught up in any projections, most of which have FSU playing in the national championship game following Oregon’s loss. He said Monday that the focus is squarely on playing the Demon Deacons, who beat FSU as recently as 2011, and nothing else.
“We have to put (the win against Miami) behind us,” Fisher said. “The next, most critical game we have is the next one against Wake Forest.”