The undefeated #4 Florida State Seminoles may have slid down to #4 in this past Tuesday's update of the College Football Playoff rankings, but they still likely hold their playoff destiny in their hands when they meet the #11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Saturday's ACC Championship game.
Georgia Tech, winners of five straight on their own accord, will look to end Florida State's 28-game winning streak by avenging a 21-15 loss in the 2012 ACC title game - the first win of FSU's current two-year plus run.
Florida State: 12-0 (8-0 ACC)
Georgia Tech: 10-2 (6-2 ACC)
Georgia Tech Outlook:
Beware the triple option.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson's ACC Coastal Division championship squad employs a deceit-heavy run offense predicated on misdirection, pacing, and good old-fashioned athletic talent.
That combination has the Yellow Jackets poised to be one of the top tests of the Seminoles' winning streak, especially with the Jackets brimming with confidence coming off back-to-back wins over then-No. 18 Clemson (28-6) and then-No. 8 Georgia (30-24 in OT).
One other piece of good news for Georgia Tech - FSU has faced just one triple-option offense in 2014 in the FCS' Citadel Bulldogs on September 6th. In spite of the 37-12 scoreline in favor of Florida State, the Bulldogs were still able to rush for 250 yards on 56 carries against the Seminoles' D.
Plug in the higher-caliber athletes of Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets have as good a chance as any to survive a shootout with the Seminoles.
Florida State Outlook:
Seminoles starting running back Karlos Williams is out of this ACC title tilt with a concussion. Starting QB Jameis Winston has thrown 11 interceptions against just 8 touchdowns in FSU's last five games, including four in last Saturday's 24-19 victory over the rival Florida Gators. Florida State has won its last three games (at Miami, Boston College, Florida) by a combined 12 points.
Nothing has come easy for the Seminoles when it comes to protecting the longest winning streak in college football, and there's no chance for a breather against this talented Georgia Tech team, especially with all of the implications a win would bring.
However, banking against this particular team at this particular juncture could be foolhardy. The resilience of one of the most polarizing college football teams in decades is astounding, with a lion's share of the credit going to head coach Jimbo Fisher for giving his team the tools to thrive with their backs firmly against the wall.
They're still the champs until proven otherwise. With another gut check of a win on Saturday, nothing will (or should) be any different.
What they're saying:
FSU's Charles Kelly gives Seminoles edge against Georgia Tech (Orlando Sentinel)
Has Jameis Winston regressed as a quarterback? (Bleacher Report)
Florida State's 'ride of success' could end against Tech (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Georgia Tech close to joining college football elite (Yellow Jacked Up)
Prediction: FSU wins 34-31
Losing Karlos Williams hurts, but the Seminoles are just the 105th-best rushing attack in the nation even with him in the lineup. Georgia Tech will baffle the FSU D at points (like it does to many a defense), but that could very well be balanced out by one of those silence-the-critics finishes by Jameis Winston on the big stage.
The battle of FSU's aerial attack against Tech's epic ground swell is likely to provide a competitive title game that could verge on the classic. Regardless, smart money remains on the defending national champs until someone beats them in a full 60-minutes game.Back to the Florida State Seminoles Newsfeed