Granted, the opponents have been dubious. But the performances are not.
Florida State (6-3, 4-2) is currently treating ACC opponents like the Seminoles once did during their dynasty era of the 1990s. Their 38-7 victory at Boston College in a Thursday night ESPN national broadcast was FSU's fourth consecutive conference win by 25 or more points. This one clinched bowl eligibility for the Seminoles for a 30th consecutive year.
Nebraska holds the longest bowl streak in college football with 35 years.
"30 years in a row," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "There's something [special] about that now. Everybody says, 'Well, it's no big deal.' Well, don't do it and see what happens."
After winning by the largest margin in a road game since 2008, the Seminoles used the weekend to rest and recharge for a defining stretch that begins with Saturday's rivalry showdown against Miami in Tallahassee. While this game is hardly what it used to be, the Hurricanes' visible improvement under first-year coach Al Golden heightens the intrigue.
"We keep talking about taking them one step at a time, and this was the fourth step," Fisher said after the BC win. "We've got to take the fifth step next week. And that's going to be a big one, that's for sure."
By easily taking care of Boston College, the Seminoles were able to rest some of their starters and leave in good shape for the Miami game. This team can still attain a 10-win season -- a benchmark of success at FSU -- by winning the final three regular-season games and the bowl. Qualifying for a bowl game was the first step.
"That's something that we would be ashamed to end," quarterback E.J. Manuel said. "We've got 30 years of this tradition of going to bowls, so we would hate to be that team who doesn't reach that goal. It seems like it's not a lot, but it is. You should win six games every year at Florida State... at least."
NOTES AND QUOTES
With consecutive routs of Boston College, North Carolina State, Maryland and Duke, the Seminoles have outscored their opponents in the first half by a combined margin of 96-6. Maryland and Duke recorded only one field goal apiece before halftime, and the Seminoles shut out both the Wolfpack and Eagles. ...
The Seminoles' young offensive line continues to get young. With Austin Barron starting at center for injured Bryan Stork, it meant FSU started two true freshmen in a game. And both graduated from the same high school. Barron and right tackle Bobby Hart played last year at Fort Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas High, where five of the school's graduates are playing for FSU. ...
Seven of Florida State's wide receivers have more than 10 catches on the season. The group is Rodney Smith, Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw, Christian Green, Bert Reed, Greg Dent and Jarred Haggins. It's the first time since 1999 that FSU has attained that feat. In 1999, the Seminoles' last national title season, they also had seven receivers with double-digit catches.
KEEP AN EYE ON: TE Nick O'Leary -- Just five days after his famous grandfather, Jack Nicklaus, expressed dismay on the FSU-NC State game TV broadcast that O'Leary wasn't getting enough passes, the golf legend wore an ear-to-ear grin when he watched O'Leary's performance. The true freshman caught three passes for a career-high 87 yards, including one that went for 58 yards. Trust Jack, of course. Plus, he wasn't the only Florida State supporter wondering why more plays weren't being incorporated for the tight end, especially with the running game woes.
LOOKING GOOD: The Seminoles' defensive front played one of the more dominant games in recent team history. Knowing Boston College was going to challenge this group by running right at them, FSU held the Eagles to just 94 yards on 39 carries. The Seminoles forced BC to pass, and the defensive front four was responsible for creating four turnovers. It nearly led to FSU pitching another shutout against an ACC team. Since the Wake Forest disaster, the entire FSU defense has played well for the past four games.
STILL NEEDS WORK: Yes, it's become common, but the patchwork offensive line showed all of its warts again. The Seminoles failed on short-yardage conversions, rushed for just 127 yards on 41 attempts for a miniscule average and had Manuel running for safety on several pass plays. He was sacked twice against a team that registered only six sacks combined in the previous games.
QUOTE TO NOTE "These last few weeks, I think that's really been the biggest difference for us as a team. The defense has been making stops, forcing turnovers, hurrying up the quarterback. I give those guys a lot of credit." -- FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel on the play of his team's defense.
Bowl streak intact for Fisher's 'Noles
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