Every week we take a look at what results from across the country could most benefit FSU's chances of returning to the College Football Playoff in 2015. With the 'Noles having their bye week this Saturday, Florida State football fans will have an opportunity to scout competition, and we provide the guide for who you should be rooting for. The matchups below are organized by conference. Out of conference games are included under the conference of the home team.
Georgia Tech at Duke: Georgia Tech. FSU doesn't play Duke, and Georgia Tech is ranked. Florida State and its SOS would benefit from Georgia Tech rising back up in the polls after that ugly loss last week.
LSU at Syracuse: Cuse. If beating Auburn is suddenly the mark of a national title contender, Jacksonville State and Louisville are top 10 teams. I'm sure LSU fans are overlooking Syracuse, and that's exactly how #goacc sneaks up on you. Grass doesn't grow inside the Carrier Dome, so I hope Les Miles has a corndog before kickoff. Props to a SEC team not scheduling an out-of-conference game against the University of Phoenix though. How awesome would this be for FSU's SOS and the ACC if it actually happened?
Indiana at Wake Forest: Wake Forest. Believe it or not, Indiana is sitting pretty in the Big 10 at 3-0. Wake is coming off a late win against Army last week. This would be a nice, albeit small, victory for FSU's SOS and the ACC.
Northern Illinois at Boston College: Boston College. Northern Illinois had a big audience watch them take the #1 team in the country down to the wire last week. Although we know BC isn't a pushover, to many outside observers, last Friday's 14-0 shutout victory over BC was less than impressive. BC beating Northern Illinois coming off last week's performance would make FSU's victory more impressive and help the 'Noles' SOS while simultaneously hurting Ohio State's SOS. Hopefully BC can find a replacement at QB to generate some offense for the Eagles.
Virginia Tech at East Carolina: Virginia Tech. I'm all for anything that helps the perception of the ACC and hurts UF's SOS.
Central Michigan at Michigan State: Central Michigan. Michigan State is ranked ahead of FSU, so a bad Sparty loss here would be beneficial for the 'Noles.
Western Michigan at Ohio State: Western Michigan. Ohio State is ranked ahead of FSU and everyone else (for the time being), so a Buckeyes upset here would be beneficial for FSU. The Broncos of Western Michigan looked good against Michigan State in week 1, with Sparty only pulling away to win by 13 in the closing minutes. Meanwhile, Ohio State showed last week that they may be vulnerable. I believe this QB controversy is going to overshadow the Buckeyes season and ultimately catch up to them. With Ohio State not looking so impressive the past few games, will the Buckeyes continue to be on the receiving end of the defending-national-champions-must-blow-everyone-out-or-they're-not-worthy-of-the-top-seed treatment established under FSU last season if they don't blow WMU out on Saturday?
Hawaii at Wisconsin: Hawaii. Anything that can damage the perception of the Big 10 is preferable, although Hawaii did lose to Ohio State two weeks ago. You think Hawaii's players are enjoying these 5-6 hour time changes to travel from Hawaii to the Midwest to take on Big 10 teams every other week? Neither do I.
Rice at Baylor: Rice. Baylor is ranked ahead of FSU. This is probably asking for too much from Rice, but Baylor goes to Lubbock next week.
Oklahoma State at Texas: Texas. Oklahoma State is a ranked team. The eventual ACC champion probably needs to hope that the Big 12 has fewer ranked teams at the end of the year than the ACC does, and Texas isn't competitive for the Big 12 title this year anyway.
TCU at Texas Tech: Texas Tech. TCU is ranked ahead of Florida State and probably won't play another ranked team until November, so a Horned Frog loss here would be welcoming. Plus, if Kliff Kingsbury can get that excited over kicking Bret Bielema's ass, I would love to hear his post-game remarks if he somehow manages to pull off this upset.
Stanford at Oregon State: Oregon State. Oregon State isn't ranked and Stanford just re-entered the Top 25 this week. It appears at this point that the Pac 12 and ACC may be battling for a playoff spot at the end of the season, so anything that hurts the perception of the Pac 12 and eliminates a ranked team from the conference theoretically is good for FSU for now.
UCLA at Arizona: Arizona. UCLA is ranked one spot ahead of FSU in the AP Poll, so a Bruin loss here would bump an idle FSU team up a spot next week at the minimum. Both teams still have the meat of their tough games later in the season, but at this point it seems that UCLA is definitely playoff competition for FSU. Arizona might not be quite there yet.
Utah at Oregon: Utah. Oregon is ranked just a few spots behind FSU in the AP Poll, a full five spots higher than Utah, and the Utes have a tougher schedule remaining than the Ducks do.
USC at Arizona State: Arizona State. Same rationale as the Stanford-Oregon State tilt. Anything that hurts the perception of the Pac 12 and eliminates a ranked team from the conference theoretically is good for the ACC and FSU at this point. USC is always a threat to make a run at the Pac 12 title, while Arizona State has come out flat so far this season.
UCF at South Carolina: UCF. UCF is a dumpster fire. South Carolina is a dumpster fire. UCF just dismissed their best player. South Carolina's defense has yet to force an opposing offense to punt in the first half of any game thus far this season. Shield your eyes and pull for UCF merely because it would be an embarrassing loss for the SEC and hurt UGA's SOS.
Tennessee at Florida: Tennessee. The Vols need to end this embarrassing streak against Florida, and the Gators really aren't that good and need to be reminded of said fact. With the 'Noles being off this week, our favorite team is whoever is playing the Gators, so Rocky Top baby.
Texas A&M at Arkansas: Arkansas. Texas A&M remains on the receiving end of some media hype and, due solely to their conference affiliation, could jump FSU in the polls at some point in the coming weeks if they continue to win. Arkansas can still theoretically win the SEC, which is hilarious. Maybe they'll bother showing up now that they're into their SEC conference schedule and not bothered with losing to Toledo. Let the chaos ensue.
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss: Vandy. Ole Miss jumped 12 spots...let me repeat...A FULL DOZEN SPOTS...in the AP Poll for defeating a team which committed 5 turnovers and started a new QB by 6 points. Ole Miss is now ranked ahead of FSU, so an Ole Miss loss would be beneficial for the 'Noles. Maybe this is the week the Rebels take a game off following an emotional win. Maybe this is the week Chad Kelly will launch some crazy no-look duck pass into double coverage and it'll actually be intercepted by the secondary. Maybe this is the week Ole Miss will suddenly remember they're Ole Miss and decide to choke. More than likely, that week is not this week.
Mississippi State at Auburn: Mississippi State. Both teams have fallen victim to LSU, so neither can really hurt LSU's SOS with a loss because the other team's win would offset it. If I have to pick, I'm taking Mississippi State purely because Auburn and FSU go head-to-head in recruiting much more often than FSU and Mississippi State do, and the wheels look like they're coming off over there on the Plains. Plus Auburn announced that they're starting some snowboarder at QB this week or something, so let's go Clanga.
Missouri at Kentucky: Kentucky. Missouri is still ranked after taking down powerhouse UConn at home last week 9-6. Meanwhile, Kentucky's offense could only muster 9 points in a loss to the Gators at home. Will either team crack double digits this week or will the final score resemble another baseball game? Missouri simply should not still be ranked. Take another bloated SEC team out of the top 25, and don't let us down this week like you did last week, UK.
|Friday, September 25th|
|8:00 PM||Boise State at Virginia||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|10:00 PM||Stanford at Oregon State||FS1 / FS Go Video|
|Saturday, September 26th|
|12:00 PM||BYU at Michigan||ABC / espn3|
|12:00 PM||Central Michigan at Michigan State||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|12:00 PM||Georgia Tech at Duke||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|12:00 PM||Kansas at Rutgers||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|12:00 PM||LSU at Syracuse||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|12:00 PM||Southern Miss at Nebraska||ESPN News / WatchESPN|
|12:00 PM||UCF at South Carolina||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|12:30 PM||Indiana at Wake Forest||ESPN Extra / ACC Network / espn3|
|3:00 PM||Maryland at West Virginia||FS1 / FS Go Video|
|3:00 PM||Rice at Baylor||FSN Affiliates / FS Go Video|
|3:30 PM||North Texas at Iowa||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|3:30 PM||Ohio at Minnesota||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|3:30 PM||Oklahoma State at Texas||ESPN / WatchESPN|
|3:30 PM||San Diego State at Penn State||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|3:30 PM||Tennessee at Florida||CBS / CBS Video|
|3:30 PM||UMass at Notre Dame||NBC / NBC Video|
|3:30 PM||Virginia Tech at East Carolina||ABC/ESPN2 / ESPN Extra|
|3:30 PM||Western Michigan at Ohio State||ABC/ESPN2 / espn3|
|4:00 PM||California at Washington||PAC-12 Network / PAC-12 Video|
|4:00 PM||Louisiana Monroe at Alabama||SEC Network / WatchESPN|
|4:00 PM||Middle Tennessee at Illinois||ESPN News / WatchESPN|
|4:00 PM||Northern Arizona at Montana||RSNW|
|4:45 PM||TCU at Texas Tech||FOX / FS Go Video|
|7:00 PM||Arkansas vs. Texas A&M||ESPN / WatchESPN / espn3 Skycam|
|7:00 PM||Arkansas State at Toledo||ESPN Extra / espn3|
|7:00 PM||Vanderbilt at Ole Miss||ESPNU / WatchESPN|
|7:30 PM||Mississippi State at Auburn||ESPN2 / WatchESPN|
|7:30 PM||Missouri at Kentucky||SEC Network / WatchESPN|
|8:00 PM||Ball State at Northwestern||BTN (alternate) / BTN2Go Video|
|8:00 PM||Hawaii at Wisconsin||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|8:00 PM||Texas State at Houston||ESPN Extra / espn3|
|8:00 PM||UCLA at Arizona||ABC / espn3 (also in Spanish)|
|8:45 PM||Utah at Oregon||FOX / FS Go Video|
|10:30 PM||Fresno State at San Jose State||CBSSN|
|10:30 PM||USC at Arizona State||ESPN / WatchESPN|