Florida State vs. Clemson Preview: Why the Tigers Will Win

In Part I of Our Extended FSU-Clemson Preview, We Explain Why Clemson Will Win

In Part I of Our Extended FSU-Clemson Preview, We Explain Why Clemson Will Win

(Ed Note:) Saturday’s matchup between Florida State and Clemson is obviously a big deal. And since this is an ACC blog, it only makes sense that we discuss the game as much as possible. We’ve done so all week, but now it’s almost game day, and that means in-depth previews. I gave my short thoughts yesterday, but we want to dive in further. To help, I enlisted the assistance of none other than fellow ACC afficionado Hokie Mark — whom you know from his contributions here as well as his own site, ACCFootballRx. In this battle of ACC powers, he’ll be arguing in favor of Clemson, while I’ll present the reasons why Florida State should emerge victorious. Enjoy!

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This is the week: the Game of the Century (at least for the ACC). Florida State vs. Clemson. The winner likely takes the Atlantic Division, probably the ACC, maybe even a shot at the BCS title. To say this game is huge is an understatement!

Yes, I know that Florida State is the Las Vegas favorite, and yes, I’m aware that some of the computer models like CFBTN and others are also picking the ‘Noles. I’m still going to pick the Tigers, and I’ll tell you why…

First, Clemson is at home. In the recent history of this series, the home teams are 6-0. In fact, FSU has not won in Clemson since 2001 — 12 years ago. Quite honestly, the Seminoles are a different team on the road. At home the ‘Noles win by an average score of 41-11, but on the road, the margin drops to 32-22. Meanwhile, the Tigers have only lost one home game in two-and-a-half seasons (South Carolina). Advantage: Clemson.

Another factor is big game experience at quarterback. Tiger QB Tajh Boyd has been in some real battles over the years: Auburn (2011, 2012), Virginia Tech (2011, twice), LSU (2012), Georgia (2013) — not to mention this is Boyd’s third FSU game as starting QB. By contrast, Jameis Winston‘s toughest road game of his career was probably the game at Boston College; the most hostile environment Winston has played in so far? Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Advantage: Clemson.

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 College Football Top 25 Rankings: Week 8

Missouri's Upset Over Georgia is One of Several Big Wins That Shook Up This Week's Polls

Missouri’s Upset Over Georgia is One of Several Big Wins That Shook Up This Week’s Polls

Finally, a real college football weekend! Upsets all over the place this past Saturday, and as a result, we’ve seen a fairly radical shake-up in the rankings. Plenty of season still left to go of course, but the wheels are finally moving toward figuring out who are the best teams in the country.

Completely disagree with the way in which these teams are ordered? Believe that you’re better at ranking teams that have yet to play a game? Share your thoughts/gripes/manifestos in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (Week 8)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) (Last: 1)

2. Oregon Ducks (6-0) (Last: 2)

3. Clemson Tigers (6-0) (Last: 4)

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) (Last: 5)

5. Florida State Seminoles (5-0) (Last: 6)

6. Louisville Cardinals (6-0) (Last: 8)

7. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1) (Last: 9)

8. LSU Tigers (6-1) (Last: 10)

9. Miami Hurricanes (5-0) (Last: 11)

10. UCLA Bruins (5-0) (Last: 12)

 

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Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2013: Week 7

For the Second Straight Week, Oregon Takes Home Both Versions of the Hypothetical Playoff Title

For the Second Straight Week, Oregon Takes Home the Hypothetical Playoff Championship

The dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (immediately following the 2014 season), so this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-another-year feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or a large majority of the individuals who will ultimately decide who’s in and who’s out.

So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (projected by BCSGuru), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. We’ll also fill in the major bowl games also slated to be part of the playoff structure. Additionally, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below, too. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Rose Bowl (semifinal): #2 Clemson vs. #3 Oregon

Sugar Bowl (semifinal): #1 Alabama vs. #4 Stanford

National Championship: #3 Oregon over #4 Stanford

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Ohio State

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M

Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs. UCLA

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Louisville vs. Georgia

Very little changes compared to last week, outside of Clemson jumping Oregon for the second spot in the overall rankings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the Tigers much of a favor, since the game’s at the Rose Bowl either way, giving home field advantage to the Ducks. Like last week, we see Oregon beating Stanford, too. It’s also worth noting how close Florida State was to joining fellow ACC school Clemson in the top four, and overall, just how many spots are between Alabama and the next SEC team (six until we get to Georgia).

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

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ACC Football 2013 Power Rankings: Week 7

Now Ranked in the Top 25 As Well, Virginia Tech Joins the ACC's Power Three

Now Ranked in the Top 25 As Well, Virginia Tech Makes It Four Elite Teams From the ACC

There’s a huge gulf between the top of the ACC and the rest of the conference — something that has both good and bad consequences. On the one hand, the conference is deeply involved in the national title race right now. On the other, we’re seeing a lot of blowouts, too, which hurts the league’s top-to-bottom image. As always, the poll includes all 14 current ACC members, plus future member Louisville. Feel like I’m totally right or completely off-base? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

ACC Football Power Rankings 2013 (Week 7)

1. Clemson Tigers (5-0) (3-0) (Last: 1): Another week, another big Clemson win. And yet, there are still some doubts about whether or not the Tigers are national title contenders. The defense can go cold for stretches and the offense is largely one-dimensional, sure. But given the country’s best resume win thus far (vs. Georgia) and a major Heisman contender at quarterback in Tajh Boyd, this team will be impossible to ignore as long as they keep on winning.

2. Florida State Seminoles (5-0) (3-0) (Last: 2): As mentioned up top, the gap between the ACC’s top teams and the rest is very large, with Florida State’s 63-0 massacre over Maryland being exhibit A. No, the Terps were not exactly a strong top 25 team at the time, but still, they were still perceived as one of the conference’s better teams going into Saturday. FSU’s absolutely dominant performance, led by both Jameis Winston and the defense, changed all that. And changed the perception of the ‘Noles too, from an interesting team to one that could easily contend for a championship.

3. Miami (FL) Hurricanes (5-0) (1-0) (Last: 4): The Hurricanes’ offense just continues to impress, no matter how banged up Stephen Morris may seem. Down 10 early, the group fought back against Georgia Tech, and pulled off the big divisional win. But at the same time, it might’ve been the defense that was most responsible for the turnaround. Holding Tech scoreless in the third allowed the ‘Canes offense to come back and take the lead, especially the dagger touchdown to go up 45-23 with just a little over a minute remaining.

4. Louisville Cardinals (5-0) (Last: 3): Louisville didn’t do anything wrong necessarily against Temple. But as an offense, it’s tough to say their 30-point output against the Owls was overly impressive. The Cardinals are still undefeated and as predicted, this schedule’s already starting to creep up on them. All three ACC teams ranked ahead have better wins to their respective names, and will only continue to add more as the year goes on.

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 College Football Top 25 Rankings: Week 7

Nearly Halfway Through the Season, Alabama Seems to Be Rounding Into Shape

Nearly Halfway Through the Season, Alabama Seems to Be Rounding Into Shape

This weekend was supposed to shake things up. Instead, things are pretty similar to what they were about seven days ago. A few top teams got very close to upsets, but again, everything’s largely as it was around the top 10 or so.

Completely disagree with the way in which these teams are ordered? Believe that you’re better at ranking teams that have yet to play a game? Share your thoughts/gripes/manifestos in the comments.

Atlantic Coast Convos 2013 Top 25 (Week 7)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) (Last: 1)

2. Oregon Ducks (5-0) (Last: 2)

3. Stanford Cardinal (5-0) (Last: 3)

4. Clemson Tigers (5-0) (Last: 4)

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) (Last: 5)

6. Florida State Seminoles (5-0) (Last: 8)

7. Georgia Bulldogs (4-1) (Last: 6)

8. Louisville Cardinals (5-0) (Last: 7)

9. Texas A&M Aggies (4-1) (Last: 9)

10. LSU Tigers (5-1) (Last: 10)

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Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2013: Week 6

Would a College Football Playoff Allow the Pac-12 to End the SEC's Dominance Over the Sport?

Would a College Football Playoff Allow the Pac-12 to End the SEC’s Dominance Over the Sport?

The dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (immediately following the 2014 season), so this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-another-year feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (projected by BCSGuru), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. We’ll also fill in the major bowl games also slated to be part of the playoff structure. Additionally, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below, too. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Rose Bowl (semifinal): #2 Oregon vs. #3 Clemson

Sugar Bowl (semifinal): #1 Alabama vs. #4 Stanford

National Championship: #2 Oregon over #4 Stanford

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Ohio State

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M

Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs. UCLA

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Louisville vs. Georgia

LSU’s loss to Georgia last week really tossed a wrench in the gears of what we had going on. But the reworked version for this week certainly looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? We switched Clemson and Stanford around to avoid an all-Pac-12 Rose Bowl (assuming that’s what they’d do in real life), and the Ducks were awarded the title by way of being terrifying this year. Also good to see: UCLA nabbing a Fiesta Bowl spot against LSU in what would be an extremely entertaining matchup.

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

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ACC Football 2013 Week 5 Lessons: ACC Will Be Factor in National Championship Race This Season

Clemson's National Title Case Helped By Win Over Wake, Plus UGA's Win Over LSU Too

Clemson’s National Title Case Helped By Win Over Wake, Plus UGA’s Win Over LSU, Too

Each Monday morning (or sometimes Tuesday), we compile our top five takeaways from the weekend’s action. Here’s what we got out of Week 5 of the ACC football season:

1. ACC set to be a factor in BCS National Championship race: For the first time in the conference’s 60-year history, it has four 4-0 teams to start a football season, with three of them ranked among the top 15 in the nation. Most of all, Clemson seemed to grab two victories this Saturday as well — one against Wake Forest, and another in the Georgia-LSU game. By way of the Bulldogs beating LSU, Clemson’s victory over UGA to start the season means even more than it did in week one, and improves their (and the ACC’s) chances of being a real factor in the national title race as this year wears on.

2. Virginia Tech‘s a Coastal Division contender: Following Thursday’s win over Georgia Tech, the Hokies suddenly appear to be one of two teams (the other being Miami) in the driver’s seat in the Coastal Division. Obviously the offense is still struggling, but given the way the defense has been playing thus far, it might just be enough to deliver this team yet another division title. Winning ugly (as they have been) or winning pretty, it’s still a victory on the board, which is all that matters.

3. North Carolina is in deep trouble: The 0-1 start was not shocking, but now at 1-3, the Heels are a team in absolute crisis mode. Their offense is stagnant, the defense has little ability to stop anyone and this squad’s gone from Coastal contender to fringe bowl team in a matter of a month. Larry Fedora’s panicking, and rightfully so. Considering the SEC jobs he was potentially in line for just eight months ago, tough to sit and watch your current team get shipwrecked. There’s zero room for error at this point if they hope to rescue this season.

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