The last time the Florida State Seminoles played a really big game they were in the College Football Playoff and getting crushed by Oregon, 59-20 in the Rose Bowl on January 1. Since then, they’ve stayed in the news for off-the-field incidents and getting a transfer quarterback, Everett Golson from Notre Dame. Amidst all that it can be easy to forget that FSU hasn’t actually lost a regular season game since 2012. They face their first real test of 2015 when Miami comes to Tallahassee on Saturday night to renew a great rivalry (8 PM ET, ABC).
Florida State’s undefeated regular season last year was marked by so many near-misses that it became a storyline as to whether the defending national champs would actually be excluded from the Playoff in spite of their perfect record. Given that, it won’t surprise you to learn that the Seminoles were an atrocious bet—in spite of going 13-0 in the regular season, they only covered the Vegas number three times. And this season has started with signs that it might be more of the same.
The Seminoles are 4-0, and have covered twice, so maybe they won’t be quite the same moneyburner they were in 2014, but the early signs aren’t good. One of the ATS covers was a season-opening 59-16 win over Texas State as a (-27.5) favorite. The games against more legitimate competition haven’t gone quite so smoothly…
*A 34-14 home win over South Florida was a non-cover as a (-27.5) favorite
*A 14-0 win at Boston College was enough to cover a relatively short (-9.5) line
*A surprisingly close 24-16 game at Wake Forest decisively missed the (-19) number.
Now Florida State is giving (-9) to a Miami team that comes in 3-1, and the Seminoles might have to go with a third-string running back. Dalvin Cook, easily the team’s best offensive playmaker left the Wake game early with a hamstring injury and backup Mario Pender is already out.
That’s going to shift the burden to Golson. So far he’s avoided the turnovers that cost him his job at Notre Dame and led to the transfer—no interceptions thus far and while the schedule obviously hasn’t been very good, the Boston College defense is very good. But the mistake-free Golson has come at a price—the big plays he often made in South Bend have also disappeared. Read the rest of this entry →