Florida State couldn’t have had a better tune-up for its showdown with Miami than its 49-17 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday, a game in which the Seminoles’ starting defense rested the entire second half.
Still, that drubbing wasn’t enough for Florida State (7-0, 5-0 ACC) to maintain its spot in the BCS standings as the Seminoles slipped to No. 3 Sunday behind Oregon, which jumped to No. 2 by virtue of its 42-14 victory over then-No. 12 UCLA.
Oregon’s edge over FSU this week is .0306, much greater than the Seminoles’ .0028 advantage over the Ducks in last week’s initial poll.
Alabama maintained its No. 1 standing.
Miami (7-0, 3-0 ACC) remained at No. 7, and Central Florida (6-1, 3-0 AAC) is No. 23 for the second consecutive week.
The Seminoles’ slim margin over Oregon in the initial standings was reflective of the computer rankings, which had FSU No. 1 and the Ducks No. 4. FSU dropped to No. 3 this week in the computers with Oregon at No. 2.
Alabama now tops all the polls and the computer rankings.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit believes Alabama and Florida State are the top two teams in country … for now. Herbstreit said if the top three teams win out, Oregon would get his nod behind Alabama because of its remaining schedule.
“If you were to say, ‘OK, the (national championship) game is tonight, who has to be in the game?’ as much as I love Oregon and I think they are going accomplish some things down the road, I would say Alabama and Florida State,” Herbstreit said on ESPN’s “BCS Countdown” show.
“I think (the Seminoles) are more dominant … but this could change down the road.”
Alabama, Oregon and FSU held onto the top three spots in the Associated Press, USA Today coaches and Harris polls. Only the USA Today and Harris polls figure into the BCS standings.
The top two teams in the BSC standings will play for the national championship Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.
On Saturday night, Miami and Florida State will meet for the first time since 2004 with both teams in the AP top 10. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. in Tallahassee.
And although both teams are unbeaten and ESPN’s “GameDay” crew will be setting up outside Doak Campbell Stadium, oddsmakers have made FSU a 21-point favorite.
“That’s why you come to Florida State, to play in the Miami and the Florida games … to play in the national championship and big games,” said FSU freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns against N.C. State despite being removed after the first series of the second half.
“It’s going to be a fun game for all the guys because we’ve got a lot of players from Miami.”
Hurricanes players downplayed the FSU game following their 24-21 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
“We just treat it as a game,” receiver Stacy Coley said. “Nobody’s actually talking about Florida State. We just take it as another opportunity, just another game.”
FSU has dominated the series of late, winning the last three games by a combined score of 101-56.
Miami needed late TDs to escape with wins in its last two games, including a 1-yard score by Duke Johnson with 53 seconds remaining against Wake Forest at home Saturday. The Hurricanes, who haven’t faced a team ranked in the BCS standings, occupy the lowest spot in the standings among the unbeaten teams from automatic qualifying conferences.
Central Florida drubbed winless Connecticut 62-17 on Saturday, setting up its pivotal home game with Houston on Nov. 9. UCF and Houston are tied atop the American Athletic Conference standings. The Knights are off Saturday, giving them two weeks to prepare. The Cougars host South Florida on Thursday.