Florida State football news 11.10.13: BCS ranking, Jameis Winston Heisman odds, Gators and Miami

Florida State looks to have come out of the game without any major injuries (or at the least, I have not heard of anything serious).

Jimbo Fisher has reached the 40-10 mark as a head coach, with other contemporaries at first FBS jobs like Mark Richt, Chip Kelly, Bob Stoops, Pete Carrol, Larry Coker, etc. That is some excellent company.

BCS rankings to come

Florida State is No. 2 in the BCS standings. The margin is very, very big. As in, the gap between FSU and No. 3 Ohio State is twice as big as the gap between the Seminoles and Alabama.

Remember, ESPN is entertainment

Be aware that talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere will now have to resort to making up story lines about college football down the stretch because the title game is absolutely set if Alabama and FSU continue to win out. You'll hear some say that FSU could get passed up in the BCS if it were to struggle and Ohio State or Baylor play lights out.

And you'll hear about how Johnny Manziel or A.J. McCarron could pass Jameis Winston for the Heisman.

Do not listen to a word of that nonsense. If FSU wins all remaining games by a single point, it will play for the title. Period.

If Jameis Winston stays healthy, and plays even average football from here on out, he will win the Heisman.

ESPN and the national media just can't make it seem that way. Ratings, you know.

Let's review some movement on the Heisman and the Polls this weekend.

Johnny Manziel tore up Mississippi State on CBS. Jameis Winston had the worst game of his career. How did that impact his Heisman chances? Uh, Winston became a bigger favorite.

Also, Florida State has a strangehold on the No. 2 spot over Ohio State and Baylor.

Again, don't buy into the nonsense.

Opposing defenses playing to get game over with, and FSU's offensive losing focus with huge lead

Also, with teams starting to use the Miami and Wake Forest "drop everyone super deep into coverage and hope to get lucky in the red zone" plan, expect FSU's yards/play to drop. It seems defenses have pretty much given up on trying to get stops by challenging FSU, and instead are just hoping FSU makes a mistake or to get lucky and force a field goal in the red zone.

For instance, FSU's opening drive went 75 yards on 13 plays and took 5:38. I guarantee Wake Forest would have given Florida State seven such drives, 49 points, and called it a day because the game would have been over so quickly. Unfortunately for Wake, its offense turned the ball over 7 times.

As the chart at right seems to show, FSU's offense did lose a bit of focus. 65% of the first team offense's plays were run with a lead of 35 or more points. Winston clearly should have checked to a run several times, and did not play within the confines of the offense, trying to throw deep when deep passes were not there. His day was nicely encapsulated on a 4-th down play in which he tried to throw a ball to Giorgio Newberry, a tight end without a catch on the year, instead of running two yards for the first down. The ball was intercepted. It felt a little like a hoops team up 50 points and throwing alley-oops too often.

FSU, Winston might have best Noles team ever, says Mickey Andrews - CBSSports.com

"It looks like to me this is a team that is blessed at Florida State with a lot of what those past teams had -- intangibles that go with our physical abilities," Andrews said. "If they continue to work hard with it, they'll have an opportunity to do something that hasn't happened around here since 1999. They don't just make plays, they force plays. And they limit mistakes. They don't beat themselves."


Florida lost yesterday. To Vanderbilt. On Homecoming. By 17 points. In front of a restless crowd. In a game it needed to win to make a bowl game, absent upsetting South Carolina on the road or Florida State at home.

The last time UF lost to Vanderbilt in the Swamp, FSU did not have a football program.

I pulled up the stats, a few things stand out to me: 1) UF's defense is still quite good, holding Vanderbilt to just 3.3 yards/play and 2) Florida's offense threw the ball 46 times, and gave Vanderbilt the ball repeatedly deep in Florida territory for easy scores.

Florida, with about 20-25,000 empty seats, was roundly booed in its homecoming game. It could have one of the smallest crowds in my lifetime in two weeks for Georgia Southern.

Muschamp is now 22-13 as a head coach. He would have to win his next 30 consecutive games to match Jimbo Fisher's winning percentage. Certainly, Florida faces tougher competition than Florida State, but the two programs could not have taken more divergent paths since UF's win in Tallahassee last November.

Will Muschamp be fired? Should he be? I don't know. How many losses have the injuries over his three years been worth compared to normal injury luck? Two? Four? If it was four, he'd be at 26-9 right now, which is a strong 75-percent in the SEC. Of course, there is the issue of the offense failing to progress, and of a coaching message being turned out after a time because wins have not come.

If he does stay, the expectations will be pretty enormous, and he will begin the year No. 1 on most hot-seat columns. I do think UF could win the SEC East next year for the first time since 2009, but that has more to do with other teams in division (Georgia and South Carolina) losing a lot of personnel. Florida must go to Alabama, to Florida State, and host LSU, Missouri, South Carolina, while playing Georgia on the neutral field. A 8-4 (5-3) record might get that team to the Dome in 2014, but would it be satisfactory?

UF's Jeremy Foley is the man who famously said about coaching hires and fires "what must be done eventually, must be done immediately."

We'll see what Florida does with Muschamp, and if its defense will quit in any of its final three games.


It now seems unlikely that Miami will get its rematch in the All Canes Conference title game, after Virginia Tech both out-lucked and outplayed Miami in an empty Sun Life Stadium.

I say out-lucked because Miami did fumble twice and then had its punter's knee hit the ground trying to grab a punt snap, which resulted in a turnover on downs. There were five combined fumbles in the game, and Virginia Tech recovered four of them.

But let's be clear: Miami was also outplayed. Virginia Tech had drives of 44, 51, 55, 75, 75, 77 and 80 yards. Logan Thomas did not turn the football over, though the Hokies were sloppy and very lucky at times.

Miami's running backs rushed 18 times for 53 yards.

Stephen Morris had a huge screen pass gain, but was terrible at converting third downs, and Miami's receivers dropped balls.

Was this a hangover from the Florida State game? Was it the rain? Was it the crowd of less than 50,000 people who showed up to see Miami play for its first ever trip to the ACC Championship Game?

I do know that Miami fans on twitter are super angry and motivated to get the defensive coordinator fired. Many of these are the same fans who didn't realize that Miami's win over Florida was mostly the result of turnover luck.

Miami is getting better talent this year (Travonte Valentine and Chad Thomas are the real deal on the defensive line), and probably won't give up seven yards/play to Virginia Tech any time soon.

But Miami does have an unfortunately large component of the fanbase that will only jump on when the team is in the most elite of elite tier of college football. And I think that hurts them in trying to reach that mark.

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