FSU doesn’t need 60 minutes to earn style points

AP Photo/Phil Sears
AP Photo/Phil Sears

Whenever we’re about two months into a college football season and it’s beginning to look like more than two undefeated teams will emerge at the end of the season, the discussion always turns to the dreaded “style points.”

Everyone wants the two undefeated teams that look the best to play in the national championship game, and because there won’t be a playoff until next season, the “eye test” takes over. Whoever we think looks the best when they’re beating up on hapless opponents makes for the better team, we think.

How lucky we are to have a Florida State team that doesn’t make you sit around for all four quarters to see those style points.

(Read more: A legend returns to Florida State)

In the last two weeks, we’ve seen FSU take an SEC-team-in-the-title-game-like aggression in the first five minutes of the game. They’ve attacked Clemson and North Carolina State like rabid dogs, forcing early turnovers and scoring points quickly, leaving the opponent disoriented and in a hole.

It very closely resembles the way SEC teams have won several of their recent national titles, and it will pay off for the Seminoles if they can keep it up.

Against Clemson, FSU forced fumbles on two of the Tigers’ first three offensive drives. From there, they poured it on, putting the game away in the third quarter.

Against NC State, it ended much sooner. After 15 minutes of play, the ‘Noles led 35-0, and there was little reason to play the remaining 45 minutes aside from letting the Florida State backups get plenty of action.

The Wolfpack was shut out on its first nine drives of the game, and turned the ball over three times on its first six possessions. You want the ball first? Fine, take it. But the Seminoles’ defense is forcing turnovers early and often, so it might be better to kick off and see if the ‘Noles can go 80 yards instead of 35 or 40.

Through seven games, the Seminoles are undefeated for the first time since the 1999 season when they won their second national title. They’re ranked No. 3 in the country in offense and No. 4 in defense. Unfortunately, FSU’s remaining schedule is extremely weak, and unless the Miami Hurricanes can remain a top-10 team, forcing the Seminoles to beat them next week and again in the ACC Championship game, it’s looking more and more likely that an Alabama vs. Oregon title game will occur if each team wins out.

But if you’re looking for style points, FSU is scoring them in bunches, and they’re not making you sit around for three hours to see them.

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