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4 posts from October 21, 2012

October 21, 2012

Florida State 12th in BCS, Massey Computer Poll Ranks FSU 40th


The BCS rankings came out a little earlier tonight and the Florida State Seminoles moved up two spots in the rankings from 14th to 12th.

The top five are Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame.

This morning the other polls came out and the two BCS polls of note, the Harris and Coaches' polls each had Florida State at 10th. The AP had the Seminoles 11th.

The computer polls on the other hand are not buying the Seminoles as contenders.

While those polls had less of an impact this go-round than they did last time, the Seminoles are still being weighed down by their computer average. FSU was ranked an average of 29th last week, this weekend the computers have moved them into the top 25 and they are ranked an average of 21.75 by the computer polls.

It may have been a lot worse if the BCS didn't drop a team's best and worst computer score. Massey has Florida State as the 40th best team in the nation.

Who does the Massey computer poll think would beat FSU? Mid-major teams like Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Tulsa and the mighty Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. All five schools are ranked ahead of Florida State in the Massey computer poll.

Now, even with Florida State's road struggles, with their embarrassing loss to NC State and with their cupcake schedule (which nobody ever mentions originally included WVU, though that's much less impressive these days), does anybody actually believe one of those teams would beat the Seminoles?

I don't know the exact formula that Massey uses to compute their rankings, but essentially it comes down to this: every team starts at zero, margin of victory doesn't matter, win-loss records count and so does strength of schedule. How they all average it out is a bit of a mystery (as in not stated anywhere), but given the other parameters you get the idea that strength of schedule is highly emphasized. In fact, on the Massey website, their rankings list just two categories, record and strength of schedule.

If you needed a perfect example of how a computer can miss the point, look no further. 

Perhaps maybe even a better illustration of just how unique the Massey poll is, FSU is 40, the team they beat last night, Miami, is 41. To the Massey poll, even despite Florida State winning on the road by two scores, even despite one team being 7-1 and one team being 4-4, there is a neglible difference in their rankings.

And neither program has anything on a handful of unranked (save Ohio) mid-majors.

I'm beginning to understand why Jimbo Fisher doesn't like computers.

Going Polling: FSU 10th in Coaches', Harris Poll, 11th in AP


The polls are all out, with the exception of the BCS, and Florida State's standing in them remains about the same, the Seminoles continue to sit on the fringe of the top 10.

The coaches poll left the Seminoles alone, Oregon State jumped FSU while South Carolina dropped behind them and they hung tight at 10. In the AP, Florida State moved up a spot from 12th to 11th. Meanwhile, the Harris poll dropped the 'Noles two spots from 8 to 10 with Oklahoma, Oregon State and USC all jumping over FSU.

We'll have a better idea of what things look like when the BCS comes out later today, but given the Seminoles' strength of schedule and some of the other teams that have been rising up the polls, odds are Florida State ends up about where they were last week, around 14.

All three polls featured the same top five, Alabama, Oregon, Florida, Kansas State and Notre Dame. Currently the only other ACC program in the polls is Clemson (14/13/13), Duke and NC State received votes but not enough to crack the top 25 in any poll.

I'll be back later tonight with the BCS rankings as well as the weekly "Thoughts From the Morning After..." column, though admittedly it will be more like "Thoughts From the Evening After..." by the time it goes up.

Keep checking back.


Wrapping Up: FSU 33 Miami 20


"That was a classic Florida State-Miami game, wasn't it?" said Jimbo Fisher as he lead off his post-game press conference.

It was, and then it wasn't.

It was an extremely physical, tightly-contested game that showcased much of the athleticism on both squads. But by the same token, neither team exactly looked like the squads of old. Florida State committed 12 penalties for 121 yards and fumbled five times, losing two. 

On the other sideline, Miami was hardly opportunistic.

Al Golden started his presser by saying, "we need to recruit better."

Miami gave Florida State their best shot tonight, but Golden is on to something there. The Miami teams of old, the '87 team that the Hurricanes honored before the game for instance, would have blown the doors off of Sun Life Stadium if Florida State had handed them this many mistakes. The Seminoles practically gift-wrapped this game for the Hurricanes in the first half and yet come intermission, the Seminoles lead the game 13-10.

That's both a sad statement about the state of the Hurricanes, and also kind of a redeeming point for Florida State.

"I told them listen, 'we went out on the field and did about everything wrong you can do, but you overcame it and have the lead'" said Fisher. "That says something, to me that's your sign- as crazy as that sounds- I think it's a competitive football team that's growing up, learning to fight through some things. Some days you just don't have it."

Florida State didn't have it today on offense. Early miscues hurt them and even when they did get going, there were never humming at full speed like they're capable of.

What Florida State did do was dominate the line on both sides of the ball. The 'Noles went for over 200 yards rushing and held Miami to less than 30 yards. Even despite losing Chris Thompson; Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. took up the slack and helped Florida State pull away in the second half.

Florida State may not have had it, but they perservered.

"I thought it was very big for our kids to overcome what they did today," said Fisher. "There's too many good guys on our team, too many leaders, too many good human beings to sit there and everybody look at the each other and not do anything.

"I told them sometimes you may like each other too much. Every now and then when you're on the field- like I used to tell them- you'll be my buddy off the field when we're on the field we're competitors, if I need to get on your tail, I'm going to get on your tail."

Credit FSU's leaders for getting things under control. There was a lot working against Florida State and though they didn't start strong, they finished that way.

"We know we're on the road, this is a rivalry game, this is their house," said LB Telvin Smith, who had a fantastic day on defense. "You've got to play the team, the coaches and the refs. You've got to play them in a hostile environment in front of a hostile crowd also. We knew were going to get some crazy calls or whatever, you've just got to stay focused and make plays."

Florida State was on the receiving end of some truly awful calls. Jimbo Fisher made little secret of his displeasure on the sideline and though he was diplomatic post-game, it wasn't tough to tell that he was going to be making an ACC mixtape for Mike Kelly and sending it in. 

But credit FSU for keeping their poise in spite of the bad officiating. Credit FSU for keeping their poise, period.

FSU didn't have it today, but they perservered and picked up a big win. Now the 'Noles are 7-1 heading home to host Duke for homecoming. 

I'll have more for you later, keep checking back for updates...

The Lighter Side of Things: Semi-Streaker Strikes


I've got plenty of analysis coming up for you tonight, but I wanted to start with something that may not have been highlighted on television, but definitely cracked everyone up at the stadium.

In the first quarter some guy, likely innebriated, climbed out of the stands, walked through the FSU sideline and ran right onto the field mid-play.

That lead to one of the most unique officiating conferences I've ever seen where an ACC official had to make the call that "the fan on the field didn't affect the play."

The fan pulled his shirt off around the 20, ran into the endzone and lead security on bit of a chase before getting absolutely decimated by one of the guards. He was arrested and is probably sobering up in a Miami jail somewhere as I'm writing this...

Lonnie Pryor, always a great quote, was more than happy to provide his take on the streaker.

"No, I wasn't out on the field I was sitting there laughing like, 'what is this guy doing?'" said Pryor. "We saw him come in, I was like, I was like... I'm not going to say what I was thinking."

Then he caved and told us.

"There's a crazy white man running out here, you don't know what that guy got, so I'm sitting on the sideline like I better get away, so I was just laughing but he got tackled really hard. I was laughing but I wasn't going out there touching him, I wasn't messing with him."

Definitely one of the funnier things I've seen as a reporter.



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