Doan Thought: Florida State, America's Team
Posted Nov 19, 2012

Bart Doan's Monday Thought: Florida State, America's Team

By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn

As a college football nation, we're exhausted with the SEC. Any suggestion that the conference might be overrated (which this year, it most certainly is) is met with mockery and back talk. College football is a sport that is decided by subjective means, based more on the ethereal and unquantifiable "eye test" rather than anything actually on the field. Never mind the fact that in college sports, there's a yearly 25 percent roster overhaul. That doesn't matter in college football, where "the SEC has won the last six titles, so apparently that means something this year."

And since we are a nation that adores and genuflects to the underdog, for one week, we are all Florida State fans. They are America's Team for the moment. Sell it however you want, but the Seminoles hold the key to the release of the fabricated SEC stronghold.

Never mind that Oregon lost to a ranked, two loss team, unbeaten with their current quarterback in overtime that has multiple wins over ranked teams in overtime at home. Alabama rises above them, losing to a team, again at home, that has not a single top 25 win to speak of beforehand. Before you jump on me, Louisiana Tech lost this weekend.

So it's up to Florida State, of all teams, to save us all. We're dangerously close to being sold a farce of a title game again with two SEC teams.

We were told five years ago that Florida deserved to be in the title game over Michigan because of strength of schedule, and because a rematch serves no one. I bought it. Florida deserved it, and proved itself accordingly.

Yet last year, strength of schedule was a misnomer, fodder for those who don't know what they're talking about. Why? Because Oklahoma State had beaten six top 25 teams and Alabama had beaten three. And Alabama was SEC, so it didn't matter who they beat. They were that good, allegedly. Different rules, different years, apparently.

The feigned outrage of Georgia being ranked #3 in various polls is legit, but it holds no water to the final product. Alabama and Georgia must play, and one will lose (allegedly). That will render one obsolete to the title chase. The fact that we're being sold that Florida, a team, like South Carolina, with no road or neutral site wins of merit to speak of, deserves a shot at a title is preposterous. Which is why we need FSU to restore order.

The most underrated, disregarded reality in college football is the road and neutral site win. It's a game of immense emotion, where being at home surrounded by 90K of your fans and people you sit next to in class every day is often overlooked. Yet the SEC constantly skirts this issue. Did you know that none of the SEC teams in the top 10 have a single road or neutral site win over a top 15 team? How do we know they're that good? We don't. And that's the point. College football, if it's going to be subjective, should be based on what we do know. Not what we knew last year.

Enter the Noles. If, as I expect, they eviscerate Florida, the narrative will certainly be forced to change. I get it, Florida State hasn't played anyone. They always choke. They have as much talent as anyone in the nation but consistently lose to lesser talented teams.

But maybe it changes this week, and maybe it changes college football. After all, it's all perception, right? FSU winning elevates Clemson, which sneakily outplayed them for ¾ of their tilt last month. And it also momentarily, until the spin doctors can find a new angle, debunks the 2012 version of SEC dominance.

A guy named Jimbo and a QB named EJ. They can save college football from the same, unnecessary ruins of last year come again. With the best defensive line in the game in Tallahassee, you'd best start spinning now.