Noles Come in at No. 5 in First BCS Poll

The first BCS poll was released Monday and Florida State finds itself in a familiar position. Not unlike last season, an early loss to Miami has the Seminoles (5-1) on the cusp of the national title picture, the top contender among those on the outside looking in. FSU – the top-rated one-loss team – sits at No. 5 behind (in order) USC, Miami, Oklahoma and Auburn.


"We've had scenarios a lot worse than this where we've ended up playing for the national championship," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "We're halfway through – we've played six; got the five more. Most (teams) are halfway through right now, so a lot of things can happen. If they don't happen, you'll just take what's there."

An optimistic Bowden pointed to the fact that Miami still must travel to Virginia and N.C. State. In addition to that, Auburn must get past No. 10 Georgia, and USC and Oklahoma have the remainder of their conference schedules to complete.

FSU has backed into the national title game before, most recently in 2000 when the BCS selected the Seminoles over Miami to face Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl despite the fact UM topped FSU in the regular season.

Miami's No. 2 BCS spot was a mild surprise given that the Hurricanes are rated third (coaches') and fourth (AP) in the polls, respectively. Most around the FSU camp will say they deserve it.

"Some of out guys still don't think we should have lost that game," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "But they finished that one. It just shows the resolve that they have."

FSU impressed voters enough to move up to the No. 5 spot in both polls following a 36-3 defeat of Virginia. The victory over then-No.6 Virginia, players say, hope leaves a lasting impression.

"I think it sends a statement that Florida State is still Florida State," defensive tackle Travis Johnson said. "When we want it we are going to get it. If you got it, we want it."

The Seminoles are ranked ahead of three undefeated teams: No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 9 Utah and No. 19 Boise State.

TOP RATED: After holding the Cavaliers high-powered running attack to just 20 yards on Saturday, the FSU is now the top-rated rushing defense in the nation. UVA had been averaging 275 yards per contest.

FSU is giving up just 58 yards a game (1.91 per carry), edging Nebraska. The Huskers give up 66.8 yards a contest. The Seminoles have not given up a rushing touchdown since Miami's Frank Gore scored the game-winning touchdown in their 16-10 overtime loss.

HONORED: Guard Ray Wills was named the ACC's Offensive Lineman of the Week and linebacker Ernie Sims's shared Defensive Back of the Week honors with N.C. State safety Marcus Hudson.

Sims blocked a punt, picked up his first two collegiate sacks and tallied nine tackles against Virginia. Willis graded out at a season-high 93 percent.

ABC TO COVER ROADTRIP: ABC announced Monday that they will televise FSU's Oct. 30 game at Maryland. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be regionally televised.

ABC will air Saturday's game a Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m., as well.

Of FSU's first six games, five were nationally televised. ESPN is scheduled to broadcast a Thursday road game at N.C. State Nov. 11. Television plans for home dates against Duke and Florida are still undecided.

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