MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes barely escaped an upset bid from Wake Forest on Saturday and got little respect from pollsters on Sunday. Now, the Canes have to put it all behind them and focus on what awaits them this weekend in Tallahassee…the number three Florida State Seminoles.
The game will be the first matchup between the two schools when both are ranked in the top 10 since 2003. Saturday’s game will be the 12th time overall that both schools are ranked in the Top 10. But while both schools are in the Top 10, UM is a huge underdog to FSU.
Multiple sites have installed FSU as at least a three touchdown favorite over the Hurricanes on Saturday, especially with UM being ranked in the Top 10. Much of the disparity comes from how both teams have performed in their last two games.
Miami struggled to put away both North Carolina (2-5) and Wake Forest (4-4). The Canes won both games, but waited until the final minute to pull out the victories.
On the other hand, Florida State has been flat-out dominant through almost every game this year. Two weeks ago against then third-ranked Clemson, FSU took the Tigers apart and blasted Death Valley with a 51-14 slaughter.
Over the weekend, FSU welcomed North Carolina State to Doak Campbell Stadium and proceeded to jump out to a 35-0 lead in the first quarter before head coach Jimbo Fisher took his foot off the gas and coasted to a 49-17 victory that could have been much worse.
And even though UM fans feel disrespected, FSU dropped in the Bowl Championship Series rankings from second to third on Saturday. But Saturday’s matchup between the Noles and Canes will certainly boost one team’s rankings come Sunday.
A victory by FSU, especially a dominant victory, would likely put the Seminoles at number two in the BCS rankings for the foreseeable future. A victory by Miami, any victory, would likely push the Hurricanes up to the top five if not higher.
What is becoming obvious is the separation of the great teams that can contend for a national championship, and everyone else.
Top-ranked Alabama is beating SEC opponents by an average of 32 points; Baylor is beating Big 12 foes by 37.5 points; FSU is thumping ACC opponents by 34.8 points; Oregon is beating Pac-12 teams by 31 points; and Ohio State is beating Big Ten foes by roughly 19 points per game.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Miami has trailed by double-digits in each of the team’s three ACC games. But, if UM falls behind by double-digits to FSU early in the game, a comeback against the Noles’ top defense is unlikely.
In the demolition of NC State on Saturday, the Noles gave up just 128 passing yards and 188 rushing yards while also turning the ball over three times and holding NC State’s quarterback to a 4.9 ESPN quarterback rating.
Nationally, FSU’s defense gives up just 13 points, 135 rushing yards, and 153.7 passing yards per game. Overall, FSU’s ranked eighth in total defense and is giving up just 4.21 yards per play in 2013.
UM also has one of the top defenses in the country on the field to fight FSU’s powerful offense. Miami is ranked 17th in total defense allowing 342.3 yards per game and is 11th in the nation in scoring defense giving up 17.7 points per game, according to cfbstats.com.
It’s shaping up to be one of the top games of the season for both teams and the winner will take a big step towards both the ACC Championship, but also a national championship.