Lighthall: All Systems Go for Florida State

By: Jim Lighthall

It never lived up to the hype. Well, Florida State did. But the game didn’t. Saturday night’s 51-14 romp over third-ranked Clemson in Death Valley officially threw the Seminoles’ hat into the ring of serious national title contenders.

Not to discount what fifth-ranked FSU did in running their record to 6-0, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that Clemson football might be the most over-hyped football program in the land. Year-after-year we hear how good the Tigers will be. And year-after-year they disappoint. Why are we surprised anymore? Remember that huge win over Georgia on August 31st? Uh, that Georgia team is now 4-3 and just lost to Vanderbilt. Since 2000 Clemson has averaged 4.6 losses a season. That’s barely Top 25 material. I don’t want to hear anything more about Clemson for a long time.

The Seminoles had better talent, better coaching and a better gameplan on Saturday. Jameis Winston is the real deal: confident, gifted and right in the thick of the Heisman race. The offensive line is one of the nation’s best. The receivers are raw but talented. The defensive line is improving every week. And the secondary turns you over. It’s amazing that Jimbo Fisher is still having to win over Seminole fans, considering this team is light years ahead of the mess Bobby Bowden left behind.

I know Miami still looms and the Gators will get their shot. Sure, FSU might still need help with Alabama and Oregon who sit above them in the rankings, but make no mistake about it … Florida State is good enough to win it all. And that brand new headstone in the FSU Sod Cemetery confirms it.

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