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CFN Analysis: Florida State wins the ACC
Posted Dec 2, 2012

The Seminoles get by Georgia Tech for teh ACC championship

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

It was ugly. It featured a scoreless second half. It did not win any style points. It did not impress a single commentator or pundit.

It did win a conference championship. It did punch a ticket to a BCS bowl game. It did achieve a feat unattained since the 2005 college football season.

Florida State's victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday night in Charlotte was bereft of beauty, emptied of elegance, and marked by missteps. The Seminoles displayed their limitations more than their strengths, their inconsistencies more than their virtues. The mere fact that Georgia Tech's tissue-thin defense shut out Florida State in the second half offered enough evidence to show that the Seminoles are not where they need to be in terms of raw quality and overall aptitude. However, an ACC championship – a foreign entity in Tallahassee, Fla., for seven long years – has finally returned to the Florida panhandle.

FSU is not where it needs to be, and yet it is exactly where it needs to be. The Seminoles can't be happy with their performance, and yet they should be supremely happy with the end result of this game and their regular season. Coach Jimbo Fisher fails to inspire confidence on one hand, and yet he has clearly succeeded in building this program back to a point where it can win its league and compete on the big stage in early January.

Florida State's 2012 football season – like life – is endlessly complicated. There are plenty of things to criticize and plenty of things to praise. You can argue for or against Fisher as the head of the Seminole program. You can debate whether FSU's season was successful or not. You can express optimism or pessimism about 2013, and you could make very credible statements in either direction.

Just acknowledge this: Florida State is once again the champion of its league and a BCS bowl participant. That's what Fisher was hired to do when he took over for Bobby Bowden.

By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn

Looks like the BCS has a new addition to its Christmas card list, and that’s Florida State. The Noles saved the oft criticized format from having a six loss Georgia Tech team in a BCS game and the team that beat them by 32 last week, Georgia, not.

And oh, did it get dicey. Florida State was a comedy of errors in the second half, and at first glance when you hear this game was only a five point difference, you assume that dreaded Triple Option of the Jackets was the reason.

Hardly. Instead, it was a GT defense that came into the game 84th in the country in points allowed per game, over 30 of them. The option really didn’t work much at all, with the Jackets trying to spread the field against what is always a lightning fast Seminole defense.

But it was the Noles who had the befuddling offense. Too often it seemed, their game plan was also to stretch the field, at times with the read option. Georgia Tech sees a better version of that every day in practice.

Early on, it looked to be more of the same. The Noles got up quickly, and just seemed to coast from there on out. It smelled a lot like North Carolina State, redux.

And it seemed like comedic failure when the Yellow Jackets got the ball back with over two minutes to go on an EJ Manuel interception.

Tevin Washington just kept hitting those passes when he had to. Another fourth down conversion, of which the Jackets were 4-4. A third and over 10. Kelly Clarkson was about to make one of her trademark plastic, defiant tunes about the Yellow Jackets, you felt like.

With a backup center in, the snap exchange twice on the final drive threw off timing, and eventually the team that doesn’t win by passing showed it was game for the task, but not able to get over the hump.

Karlos Williams snared a wobbly Washington pass and ended would would have been a laughable catastrophe for the BCS, even if Georgia Tech would have won and deserved it. Take nothing away from them or their effort, but admit that it would have been odd to see a six loss football team in the BCS title game instead of one it lost two by 32 only a week prior. That’s the BCS. Lunacy.

Almost as much as an ACC team beating a B1G team for the ACC championship to move on and likely play another ACC team in a BCS bowl game.