BCS: Florida State reaches No. 1
December, 1, 2013
By David M. Hale | ESPN.com
In Tallahassee, Fla., and Durham, N.C., Week 14 was historic.
A month ago, Florida State fans wondered whether Oregon or Alabama would win out and whether the Seminoles would be shut out of a title bid. Turns out, the Ducks and Crimson Tide have combined for three losses since then -- including Alabama's dramatic upset by Auburn on Saturday -- and for the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (4,810 days), Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Now Duke is likely all that stands in the way of FSU giving the ACC its first chance at a national championship since that 2000 season. FSU was No. 1 in all three components of the BCS standings and has a .0715 margin over No. 3 Auburn, a sizable gap the Tigers would need to overcome in order to knock the Seminoles out of the title picture.
The Blue Devils will be decided underdogs in the ACC championship game, but it's hard to discount a team that keeps overcoming the odds.
Duke upended North Carolina for the second straight year on Saturday, adding a program-best 10th win to its résumé and securing a trip to the ACC championship game. While Stanford, Baylor and Vanderbilt have already made it trendy for the academic institutions to put together winning football programs, Duke’s story remains uniquely improbable. Ten weeks ago, the Blue Devils were buried near the bottom of the ACC. Now they’re playing for a trip to the Orange Bowl, with a No. 20 ranking in the latest BCS standings.
“I’ve told them all along, if you keep winning, the next one gets even bigger,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “And now this one is the biggest of all.”
The biggest game for Florida State, meanwhile, could still be more than a month away. But while the Seminoles’ date in the BCS championship appears ever more likely, that could clear the way for Clemson to sneak into a BCS bowl, too.
On a weekend that provided cause for celebration for Florida State and Duke, it was another bitter disappointment for Clemson, as the Tigers fell to in-state rival South Carolina for the fifth straight year. Despite the loss, Clemson is No. 13 in the latest BCS standings, leaving the Tigers a strong option for the Orange Bowl as an at-large option, assuming Florida State heads to the title game. That would mark the second time in three years the ACC sent multiple teams to BCS bowls, but it's a narrow margin for the Tigers, which must be ranked 14th or better to qualify for a BCS bowl bid. No. 14 Northern Illinois, No. 16 UCF and No. 17 Oklahoma all have games remaining this weekend.
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Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35