(4) Florida State Seminoles (-4, 61 o/u) vs. (11) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Florida State Seminoles (12-0, 8-0 ACC) are the defending National Champions and are undefeated on the season. Sounds like a recipe for a top ranking, doesn’t it? If you said “yes”, you would be wrong. The Noles find themselves fourth in the nation, behind three other teams that have all lost a game this year.
The reason? Florida State plays in an (ostensibly) weaker ACC and has needed miraculous comebacks on a (seemingly) weekly basis to stay perfect.
This Saturday, they will face Georgia Tech (10-2, 6-2 ACC) in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (8:00 p.m. Eastern).
While Noles fans will be adamant that their team should earn a playoff berth regardless of the outcome on Saturday, that isn’t the reality of the situation. Currently occupying the final playoff spot, FSU is sure to drop out of the top-four with a loss.
Saturday’s game may be the toughest of the season for Florida State. Georgia Tech has won five straight games, including an impressive 30-24 OT win over No. 9 Georgia last weekend on the road. Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher knows the challenge that lies ahead.
“Georgia Tech has had a tremendous year, they’re really hot right now,” said Fisher. “Playing great football on offense, defense, special teams. … Great win against Georgia coming into the game.
The Yellow Jackets are 10-2 on the season and have the fourth-best rushing offense in the country, averaging 333.8 rushing yards per game. That could spell problems for the Noles, who are average against the run, surrendering 145.8 yards per game, 43rd in the nation.
Georgia Tech lost the 2012 ACC Championship Game to the Seminoles and will be out for payback this weekend. “We went into that game not as confident, I would say, until after the first half when he realized we could play with those guys,” Georgia Tech offensive lineman Shaquille Mason said. “As opposed to this game, where we’re going in very confident.”
Florida State has six wins by single digits this season, including each of the last three games. The Noles are 4-point favorites in the odds, and the over/under is at 61.
(Photo credit: Brooke Novak from Atlanta, Georgia (midtown|westside) (Proud to be a ramlin’ wreck from Georgia Tech!) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)