How ACC hurts FSU's title chances

Seminoles need big win over Clemson -- and some help -- to build BCS case

Originally Published: September 19, 2012
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
Ej ManuelMelina Vastola/US PRESSWIREEJ Manuel and the Seminoles are in need of a dominant win over Clemson Saturday.

Florida State is the new Boise State.

Remember how the Broncos had great teams that chased an elusive spot in the BCS National Championship Game, only to be undone by a watered-down schedule caused by a weak conference? Many argued that Boise State didn't deserve a chance to play for a national title because it didn't play as challenging a schedule as teams from the top conferences.

Even when Boise State went undefeated in 2009, the Broncos couldn't get into the championship game. Boise State didn't control its own destiny -- it needed the SEC champ, Pac-10 champ, Big 12 champ and ACC champ to lose at least one game (and maybe two) in order for the Broncos' unblemished record to be seen as superior. It never happened, and Boise State never got its title shot.

Will Florida State, a team that hasn't yet proven it on the field but has shown the potential to be an elite, national championship-contending unit, suffer a similar fate this year? Have the Seminoles become the Broncos?

Florida State is ranked No. 4 in the AP poll (behind Alabama, LSU and Oregon) and faces No. 10 Clemson on Saturday in arguably the biggest game in the ACC this season. Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and the rest of the "College GameDay" gang will be there -- so you know the game is big. One would think that a Seminoles win would be sufficient to establish the team as a front-runner for the national championship game. Unfortunately for Florida State, that isn't the case.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.