Feel free to thank Stanford, ACC fans.
Stanford’s 26-20 win over Oregon on Thursday night changed the postseason picture for the ACC and dramatically increased Florida State’s chances of playing in the national championship game. With Oregon’s loss, Florida State maintained its stranglehold on No. 2 in the BCS standings this week, setting a clear path to Pasadena, Calif., for the Seminoles. With Syracuse (5-4), Idaho (1-9) and Florida (4-5) still on the schedule, there’s no reason Florida State should lose again.
Despite Miami’s loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday, the ACC still has three teams in the BCS standings, and two teams in the top 10 in Florida State and No. 8 Clemson. The Tigers, who have fallen under the radar since their Oct. 19 loss to Florida State, still have a terrific chance of playing in the Orange Bowl and giving the ACC two BCS bowl teams. A win at South Carolina, though, is a must for the Tigers, who have lost four straight to their in-state SEC rival.
Miami dropped to No. 23 in the standings and deservedly so after a poor performance at home against the Hokies. The Canes’ loss was also a loss for the ACC because now it’s unlikely Florida State will face a ranked opponent in the ACC championship game. The Coastal Division race is still open, but Virginia Tech has edged Miami as the lead candidate.
A Florida State-Miami rematch was the ideal scenario for the ACC’s title game, but the conference championship appears merely a formality for the Seminoles this year.
Thanks to a little help from Stanford, Florida State should be playing for even bigger things this season.