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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

October 20, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Florida State’s resounding win: What does it mean for the Pac-12?

I’ve just gotten done watching Connor Halliday pitch 89 footballs around Autzen Stadium, and it’s past the witching hour, and I’m trying to make sense of what Florida State’s shocking domination of third-ranked Clemson means.

It can’t be good news for the Pac-12, but it’s difficult to say exactly how bad.

The obvious is that it validates the ACC as a possibility to play in the national title game. If Florida State stays unbeaten, it will at least have an argument against an undefeated Oregon for a championship-game berth. But you’d think that Oregon would have more cachet, inasmuch as the Pac-12 is tougher than the ACC this year.

What it seems to ensure is that an unbeaten Florida State team won’t get bypassed for a one-loss SEC or Pac-12 team.

Here’s the rest of Florida State’s schedule: Home games coming up against North Carolina State and 10th-ranked Miami, a roadie at Wake Forest, home games against Syracuse and Idaho, and the finale at Florida Nov. 30.

Some of the Seminoles’ prospects will depend on how Clemson rebounds, and specifically, whether it can beat South Carolina at the end of the season. To date, FSU’s schedule hasn’t been overwhelming.

I don’t vote in the AP Top 25, but if I were, I’d certainly jump Florida State past No. 4 Ohio State, which was pressed by Iowa Saturday. There might even be voters who leapfrog Oregon in favor of FSU, noting the 38 points Oregon allowed. It wasn’t a real centerpiece type of Oregon win, notwithstanding the 719 yards the Ducks rolled up and the fact 14 of the Cougar points were essentially at garbage time. WSU hung tough for a half and scored 24 points before intermission (most of which happened about 11:30 in the East, so you wonder how many people noticed anyway).

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