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FSU comes in at No. 4 in first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2023 season

Florida State football is off to its best start since 2014 — and has a ranking to match

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

Florida State football is off to its best start since 2014, having beaten Wake Forest last weekend to advance to 8-0 (6-0 ACC) and find itself one win away from a spot in the ACC Championship.

It’s been a season of streaks for the Seminoles, both established and snapped. FSU is currently on a 14-game run of wins, in which Mike Norvell’s squad has scored at least 30 points in each. Florida State beat LSU to open the year, its second straight win over the Tigers, and kept its unbeaten record against Duke alive while it snapped losing streaks to both Clemson and Wake Forest.

FSU’s win over then-No. 5 LSU saw the Seminoles score 45 points, tied for the most points against a top-five opponent in a season opener in the poll era, dating back to the first AP poll in 1936.

In the initial College Football Rankings, Florida State’s resume was enough for the committee to slot it No. 4, ahead of Washington and behind Michigan.

Ohio State was ranked No. 1, due in part to their big wins against Penn State and at Notre Dame,” College Football Playoff committee chair Boo Corrigan said on a teleconference following the reveal of the rankings. “Georgia No. 2 is an excellent team and they keep winning decisively. Michigan was ranked 3. The committee was impressed at how they’ve dominated their opponents. Florida State was ranked 4 with their win against LSU helping make their case.”

“From a Georgia standpoint [there are wins over] Florida and Kentucky, with Ohio State you can point to Penn State, the win at Notre Dame, the win at Wisconsin, while [with Michigan] UNLV, Rutgers, Nebraska, Minnesota are good wins, I think looking at it in total, even with the dominance offensively and defensively, defensively giving up about six points a game, it really turned the committee’s head from that standpoint, but that was the reason they came in at third.”

“I think as you look at the full body of work, Florida State being No. 4, the win over LSU, the win against Duke, kind of a front-loaded schedule, if you will. They’ve looked really good. Offensively putting up 41 points a game. Their defense is ranked in the top 20. But again, as we looked at it overall and went through the process, we came out with Ohio State 1, Georgia 2, Michigan 3, Florida State 4.”

“With regards to Washington, huge win over Oregon, who we have at No. 6, but in looking at that, the game most recently, two most recent games at home against Arizona State and on the road at Stanford from a committee standpoint gave us some pause and put them in at No. 5.”

Florida State faces off next against Pitt at 3:30 p.m. on the road — if the Seminoles win, they’ll clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.

According to DraftKings, FSU is a 22-point favorite over Pitt, who are coming off a 58-7 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

College Football Playoff Rankings: Week 10

(Includes record, next opponent)

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0, at Rutgers Scarlet Knights)
  2. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0, vs. No. 12 Missouri Tigers)
  3. Michigan Wolverines (8-0, vs. Purdue Boilermakers)
  4. Florida State Seminoles (8-0, at Pitt Panthers)
  5. Washington Huskies (8-0, at USC Trojans)
  6. Oregon Ducks (7-1, vs. Cal Golden Bears)
  7. Texas Longhorns (7-1, vs. Kansas State Wildcats)
  8. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, vs. No. 14 LSU Tigers)
  9. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1, at Oklahoma State Cowboys)
  10. Ole Miss Rebels (7-1, vs. Texas A&M Aggies)
  11. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1, at Maryland Terrapins)
  12. Missouri Tigers (7-1, at No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs)
  13. Louisville Cardinals (7-1, vs. Virginia Tech Hokies)
  14. LSU Tigers (6-2, at No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide)
  15. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2, at Clemson Tigers)
  16. Oregon State Beavers (6-2, at Colorado Buffaloes)
  17. Tennessee Volunteers (6-2, vs. UConn Huskies)
  18. Utah Utes (6-2, vs. No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils)
  19. UCLA Bruins (6-2, at Arizona Wildcats)
  20. USC Trojans (7-2, vs. No. 5 Washington Huskies)
  21. Kansas Jayhawks (6-2, at Iowa State Cyclones)
  22. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2, vs. No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners)
  23. Kansas State Wildcats (6-2, at Texas Longhorns)
  24. Tulane Green Wave (7-1, at East Carolina Pirates)
  25. Air Force Falcons (8-0, vs. Army Black Knights)

Odds to win 2023 College Football Playoff, via DraftKings

  1. Michigan Wolverines (+240)
  2. Georgia Bulldogs (+240)
  3. Florida State Seminoles (+600)
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes (+700)
  5. Oregon Ducks (+1400)
  6. Washington Huskies (+1500)
  7. Alabama Crimson Tide (+1500)
  8. Texas Longhorns (+1600)
  9. Oklahoma Sooners (+4000)
  10. LSU Tigers (+5000)

FSU vs. Pitt game notes, via Florida State Sports Info

» Florida State plays its final ACC road game this week, traveling to Pittsburgh to take on Pitt. The Seminoles are 8-0 this season and 6-0 in the ACC, both their best marks since 2014, after a 41-16 win at Wake Forest last week.

» Florida State is No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press poll. It is the ninth consecutive week FSU has been ranked in the top-5, the program’s longest streak since 2013-14 when Florida State was in the top-5 for 27 consecutive polls.

» The win over Wake Forest extended the Seminoles’ winning streak to 14 games, the longest active streak in the ACC and 3rd-longest active streak in the country. During its streak, which is also tied for the 6th-longest in program history, Florida State has outscored its opponents 585-255.

» FSU has scored at least 30 points in 14 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and the 2nd-longest streak in ACC history, trailing only FSU’s 17 consecutive games from 2012-14.

» The Seminoles boast one of the nation’s best pass defenses, leading the country in both fewest passing touchdowns allowed (3) and opponent completion percentage (49.4) and ranking 5th in opponent passer rating (101.59).

» FSU is the only team in the nation forcing more incompletions than completions allowed. The last time a P5 team held its opponents below 50 percent completions in a season was 2018, when Michigan and LSU posted marks of 49.5 and 49.7 percent, respectively.

» Florida State was the only team in the country that did not allow a passing touchdown in October, and the Seminoles led the nation in opponent completion percentage (41.7), yards per pass allowed (4.2) and opponent passer rating (72.41) in October while also producing the ACC’s best scoring defense (14.0) that ranked 10th nationally.

» FSU has held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 140 passing yards, the longest streak by the Seminoles since 1999 and the longest by an ACC team since Boston College in 2021 (via ESPN Stats & Info).

» Florida State leads the ACC and ranks 11th in the country in red zone offense, converting 93.9 percent of red zone drives into points, and its 24 red zone touchdowns are 2nd in the conference. FSU also ranks 16th nationally in red zone defense, allowing points on just 73.1 percent of opponents’ drives that reach the 20-yard line.

» The Seminoles are one of nine teams nationally to have a receiver and a rusher with a three-touchdown game this season. Keon Coleman caught a career-high three scores vs. No. 5 LSU, and Trey Benson tied his single-game career- high with three rushing scores vs. Southern Miss. Coleman is one of 25 receivers nationally with a three-touchdown game this year, and Benson is one of 58 players with three rushing scores in a game.

» Florida State’s defense has faced 49 plays inside their 10-yard line this season and allowed just 11 touchdowns. In the 45-24 win over No. 5 LSU, the Seminoles faced 10 snaps inside their own 5-yard line and allowed only two scores. On LSU’s first drive of the game, the Tigers had six plays inside the five-yard line, including four snaps from the 1-yard line, and the FSU defense forced a turnover on downs with a 13-yard sack on 4th-and-1. During FSU’s three-game homestand the defense faced only 10 total snaps inside its 10-yard line and allowed one touchdown. Syracuse did not have a snap inside the 10-yard line and took only one snap inside FSU’s 15-yard line.

» Mike Norvell is 20-5 (.800) in November as a head coach, including 11-2 (.846) on the road.