Late Hits: Florida State’s path is clear

September 24, 2012 

Florida State: With Clemson in the rearview mirror, the only team that can keep Florida State out of the BCS title game is Florida State.

It was not the smoothest transition for Jimbo Fisher, but in the coach’s third season, it’s hard to argue with where the program is. Just a huge win for the ACC, FSU and Fisher.

ACC: Give me that FSU-Clemson game – with the big plays and actual production on offense – every day and twice on Saturday, over anything the SEC has to offer, even the Alabama-LSU matchup.

Plus, since announcing its “a little pregnant” partnership with the ACC, Notre Dame has knocked off a pair of ranked Big Ten teams.

Michigan: Plenty of room on the “Hoke-a-mania” bandwagon after Saturday’s 13-6 loss to Notre Dame. Even the portion of the fan base that could rationalize the 41-14 loss in the opener to Alabama can’t reconcile the ineptness of Wolverines’ offense on Saturday.

Oklahoma: Bob Stoops usually waits for a BCS bowl game to disappoint; instead the Sooners sunk their title hopes in September.

A year after beating Kansas State by 41, the Sooners dropped a 24-19 home game to the Wildcats, who held the Sooners to just 88 rushing yards.

Two-minute drill

• Did Maryland and Virginia switch programs in the offseason? Both ACC teams are 2-2 as they get ready for conference play but Maryland, which gave No. 9 West Virginia all it wanted in a 31-21 loss on Saturday, looks like a team coming off an eight-win bowl season while UVa looks a team coming off a F5 category tornado of a 2-10 season.

Maryland might just have something in quarterback Perry Hills and receiver Stefon Diggs, both true freshman, while Virginia just looks lost on offense after getting pasted by TCU, 27-7.

• Poor Nick Mayers. No one’s talking about the monster game (12 catches, 271 yards, three TDs) by the Old Dominion receiver in Saturday’s 64-61 win over New Hampshire. That’s what happens when your quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, sets a new Division I record with 730 passing yards. Heinicke, who had seven touchdown passes last week against Campbell, completed 55 passes for 730 yards. Almost as incredible as the yardage record, Heinicke didn’t throw an interception in 79 attempts.

• If Washington State (2-2) doesn’t make a bowl game in coach Mike Leach’s first season, the Cougars will look back at Saturday’s home loss to Colorado as the primary reason. The previously unbeaten Buffalos, coming in off of a 69-14 loss to Fresno State, scored three touchdowns in the final 7 minutes for their fourth win in 17 games under coach Jon Embree.

• Boise State’s luck at quarterback (from Ryan Dinwiddie to Jared Zabransky), about 10 years’ worth, finally appears to be up. Junior Joe Southwick has the unenviable task of replacing Kellen Moore, the winningest quarterback in Division I history, and he has not been up to the challenge. Southwick completed 15 passes for only 60 yards in Thursday’s brutally horrific 7-6 win over Brigham Young. The Broncos’ offense, which averaged 44.2 points per game last year, hasn’t scored a touchdown in two of its three games this season.

• It doesn’t get much better than Saturday for the Mid-American Conference. Central Michigan beat Iowa, Northern Illinois beat Kansas, Western Michigan beat Connecticut and Ball State, which beat Indiana a week ago, handled South Florida. That’s good news for conference favorite Ohio (4-0), which is hoping to sneak into a BCS bowl.

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