The Seminoles are sailing in one direction, the Terps the other.
FSU has won six consecutive games for the first time in four years after falling in the opener at Miami. Maryland, meanwhile, is riding its first three-game losing streak under Friedgen in four seasons.
Maryland also is looking for its first victory against a Top 10 team under Friedgen.
"As our program grows, those games are going to come about. How successful we are in those games are really going to determine the direction of our program," Fridgen said in his weekly news conference with the media.
"That's why, as a goal, we want to beat a top 10 team, and once you do that I think you reach a certain status. I know when I was here before when that happened we felt like there wasn't any team we couldn't play with. This is a young football team, so I don't know that they've seen a team like Florida State yet. We need to go out and have fun; we have nothing to lose and play to win."
FSU is unbeaten in 14 games against Maryland, which is the longest current series win strike in the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU is 6-0 all-time in games played at Byrd Stadium.
Additionally, FSU has not allowed more than 10 points in seven of the last eight games versus the Terps. Of course, Bowden knows FSU is not in a position to overlook an opponent.
If FSU is looking for any added incentive, Maryland jumped to an early 10-0 advantage over the Seminoles last year.
FSU, of course, reeled off 35 unanswered points in a 35-10 win.
Still, many top teams across the country have struggled at one time or another this year.
"I can't remember it being like this 10 years ago, 20 years ago," Bowden said.
"I guess it's a parity thing and the plays the kids are capable of making. The worst thing that happened to us against Wake Forest is they had an open date. They were able to put some stuff in that we weren't ready for."
The Terps should not have any problem preparing for the Seminoles.
For the second straight week and the third time in four games, the Maryland defense has held the opposition under 100 yards rushing. The Terps held Clemson to just 36 rushing yards.
"One of the goals we've had since I've come here is to beat a top 10 team, and that opportunity is going to be available again this weekend," Friedgen said.
"I'm playing every game to win, and I think if we could win one of these games here it would tremendous things to our confidence, and who knows what could happen after that? Right now I'm focusing on the Florida State game and giving that our best effort."