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The College Football Notebook


November 28, 2010 6:12 AM

A Great Day For Florida State

FlaStateClinchesAtlantic.jpgIt was a great day for Florida State yesterday, as not only did the Seminoles get a 31-7 win over archrival Florida, but the word came from College Park that N.C. State had fallen at Maryland, a circumstance that elevates the Seminoles into Saturday's ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech. It's FSU's first trip to the title game since 2005 and their first win over Florida since 2003.

Florida's pass offense was stunningly inept. The Gators did a good job beating FSU at the line of scrimmage and rang up 212 yards on the ground. It gave them the framework for what could have been a good game, but they could only muster 64 yards in the air. They committed 11 penalties and they lost the turnover battle four-zip. Florida State played solid mistake-free football, with Christian Ponder going 16/24 for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Then Maryland gave them help in the ACC race by winning an air war. Russell Wilson and Danny O'Brien unleashed a passing assault, but O'Brien was higher percentage and put up more yardage (417-311) and didn't throw a single pick in spite of putting it up 47 times. Wilson had to throw 60 passes in the 38-31 loss that cost N.C. State what would have been the program's biggest win.

We're waiting for the BCS rankings in two different conferences right now. The Big 12 South will be settled tonight, as whoever is higher among Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will play Nebraska in Dallas on Saturday. It's assumed OU will win the vote, although it's not a guarantee--the Sooners were 13th coming in, while the Cowboys were 9th. Oklahoma's 47-41 win last night should vault them over their rival, but it's going to be close. Texas A&M is in the same boat as Michigan State in the Big Ten--being left out in the cold in a three-way tie debate. The Big Ten's Rose Bowl slot will come down to a vote between Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Badgers led the Buckeyes by one spot, with Michigan State too far behind to catch up. Wisconsin probably wins it, but it will be close.

One final thought before we go into updated bowl projections--how come, when Alabama blows a 24-point lead at home it's a sign of Auburn's heart and character, but when Boise blows a 17-point lead on the road, it's all about Boise's unworthiness, with no credit being given to Nevada? Boise's loss rightly eliminates them from national championship discussion, but it'd be nice if both they and Nevada could go to quality bowl games and play the likes of Alabama or Michigan State or Oklahoma State, and some of the other good teams from the power conferences, rather than rushing to deride the midmajors.

Bowl projections...

BCS National Championship: Auburn vs. Oregon
Rose: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar: Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Orange: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech
Fiesta: Nebraska vs. West Virginia



Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in college football ,game analysis in the NFL. and coverage of college basketball. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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