After clobbering Florida Saturday, the Seminoles finished the season playing some of the best football in the country. Remember back on October 1st when FSU lost 37-35 to UNC at home? The Noles stood 3-2, and were coming a 2015 season that had losses Clemson (ok), but also to Georgia Tech and Houston in an ugly Chick Fil A Bowl. Was the program starting to slip ever so slightly?
The 2nd half of the season was a says no. The Seminoles won 6 of their final 7 seven games, and beat their final 3 opponents all by at least 18 points. The performance against SEC East Champion Florida was a final regular season statement in the 31-13 win. Here was an astonishing statistic that is particularly impressive.
State champions once more!
— ESPN (@espn) November 27, 2016
The 2016 FSU Seniors never lost to arch-rivals Miami or Florida. Now the Canes and Gators aren’t national championship teams like they once were, but these are both teams that at varying times in the last 4 years have been ranked in the top 10, bowl caliber type teams. They weren’t awful that is for sure. For FSU to put up that kind record against them is a testament to the Seminole players and coaching staff.
Based on that win Saturday, and the Noles finish to the season I would put them in the Orange Bowl over Louisville. Yes I understand that Louisville badly beat FSU back in September, but the Cardinals have collapsed recently while FSU is currently surging. Head to head should matter, but does that mean Ole Miss was better than Alabama last season? Is there anyone that would rank Penn State ahead of Ohio State especially if the Nittany Lions lose the Big 10 Championship game?
Fair or not, it is usually not how you start, but how you finish. The Noles finished the season the ACC team that should go to the Orange Bowl if Clemson goes on to win the ACC Title next week.