TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – With just one game left to play, the number one ranked Florida State Seminoles look to be in the best position to punch their ticket to Pasadena for a chance to play for the BCS National Championship game in January.
The Seminoles easily dispatched of the Florida Gators last Saturday, 37-7, and now move to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game against the upstart Duke Blue Devils. If Las Vegas is to believed, FSU will have no problems dealing with the Dukies; FSU is an early 29 point favorite in the game.
Looking at what the Noles have done to ACC opponents this year, it’s easy to see why odds-makers are in love with FSU. The Seminoles average 53.7 points per game this season and in the past eight games have averaged 54.9 points while allowing opponents to just nine points per game.
FSU leads the ACC in scoring offense, is third in rushing offense, is second in passing offense, and tops in total offense, averaging 526.1 yards per game, or roughly 7.8 yards per play, according to cfbstats.com.
The Noles are led by Heisman Trophy-favorite Jameis Winston. The redshirt freshman quarterback is on pace to set the record for quarterback rating for a season and has thrown 35 touchdowns (an FSU record) and just eight interceptions.
Winston completed 68.8 percent of his passes and averages 11 yards per passing attempt this season, while also adding three rushing touchdowns. In ACC play, Winston has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for an average of 322 yards per game along with 24 touchdowns.
While the ACCCG will be played on a neutral field in Charlotte, Winston has been just as efficient at neutral site games/on the road. He’s completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,616 yards, and has a 4-1 touchdown to interception ratio away from Doak Campbell Stadium.
Assuming the Seminoles can beat the Blue Devils in the ACCCG, Florida State would then move on to the final BCS National Championship Game to be played at the Rose Bowl.
Florida State’s opponent would be one of three possible teams: the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Auburn Tigers, or the Missouri Tigers.
Ohio State still has to go through Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game while Auburn and Missouri will play each other in the SEC Championship Game. All the games will be held on Saturday.
Based on the current BCS rankings, FSU, with a win on Saturday will be guaranteed a spot in the BCS title game. But, if Auburn or Missouri dominate their opponent and Ohio State struggles to beat Michigan State; an argument will be made for the one-loss SEC team to jump the Buckeyes and play the Noles.
For Florida State, there is no more need for politicking or hoping for a favorable ranking from the pollsters. The formula is simple: win, and you’re in.
On the other hand, if Florida State was tripped up by the Blue Devils in the ACCCG, the Noles would still likely earn an at-large bid for the BCS. That would mean FSU could go to the Sugar Bowl, the Orange Bowl, or the Fiesta Bowl.
A loss to the Blue Devils would also kill any hope of a BCS national championship berth and open the door for Ohio State, Auburn, Missouri, and even Alabama to head to Pasadena.