The initial BCS standings are out and some are shocked to see the Oregon Ducks at #3. Alabama is the obvious #1 but who would have ever guessed the
Florida State Seminoles would be sitting at #2 in the BCS standings in mid October? After a dismantling of the Maryland Terrapins and the Clemson Tigers some feel as if the Seminoles have passed the eyeball test. Now they have to finish the season strong and they could be playing the Crimson Tide for the national championship. Before we get ahead of ourselves it is important to address the Oregon Ducks situation. The Ducks play back to back top 20 teams in UCLA and Stanford over the next few weeks so they might have something to say about the Seminoles being the #2 team in the nation.
Oregon vs Florida State
Next year we will get to see the #2 vs #3 teams in the country battle for a chance to play for the national championship. If the 2014 college football playoff started today it would be #1 Alabama vs #4 Ohio State and #2 Florida State vs #3 Oregon for a chance to advance to the title game. This sounds like a very exciting playoff which is one of the main reasons the NCAA has decided to implement a the system as soon as possible. This playoff system would already be in place if long term sponsorship contracts were not signed years ago.
If the Oregon Ducks were to take on the Florida State Seminoles in 2013 it would be a very tough matchup to predict. The oddsmakers made Florida State a favorite at #3 Clemson. Very rarely, if ever, is a top 5 team an underdog at home. This says a lot about how well Florida State is playing at the present time. Some would say the inexperience of their quarterback, Jameis Winston, should give Oregon the edge but Winston has played better on the road than at home.
Jameis Winston is wise beyond his years as he has said the right things at all of his press conferences. This is the exact opposite of Johnny Manziel and other young quarterbacks. Those that advise Johnny Manziel have told him to not talk to the press in fear of him saying something inappropriate. This tells me two things. First, it tells me Johnny Manziel is still very immature and has growing up to do. It also tells me that Jameis Winston is a different type of person. His parents must have done an amazing job raising him as he remains humble but eager to show his true talents.
Defense Wins Championships
We have heard it time and again. Even in a time when offenses try to rack up as many plays and yards as possible it is still the defense that ends up determining the national champion. At this point I would give the slight edge to the Florida State defense. A Clemson team that walked up and down the field on their first six opponents could only muster a single touchdown versus the first string Florida State defense. The Tigers put a late touchdown on the board for a total of 14 points in the game. The Maryland Terrapins, ranked #25 when they played the Seminoles, could not get on the scoreboard at all.
It is important to note that the ACC is not known for having high octane offensive units. That is much different than the PAC 12. The Oregon defense has given up quite a few points in the last few weeks including 38 to the Washington State Cougars. In the next two weeks the Ducks will take on UCLA and Stanford. These games will tell us a lot about the Oregon defense. If the Bruins and Cardinal can put up over 21 on the Oregon defense I will be confident in my statement that the Florida State defense is much better than the Oregon defense.
Location, Location, Location
We hear this phrase in real estate all the time. It is also important in college football. If the Oregon Ducks played the Seminoles in Eugene, Oregon they would be a definite favorite. If the game were being played in Tallahassee it may very well be the case that the Seminoles would be favored by a touchdown or more. During the college football playoff the game will be in a neutral stadium but it may not be a neutral location. If the first round playoff game is played in Los Angeles or Tempe, Arizona the Ducks will have the advantage. East coast teams do not play well when they travel west.
If the game were played on a neutral field in the middle of the country I would give the edge to Florida State. Their defense has shown me they can stop even a high octane offense. Until Oregon’s defense shuts a team out I feel as if Florida State has the better overall team.
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