"I'm a senior. We're not going to go to a BCS bowl. We're probably going to end up in the Chick-Fil-a Peach Bowl. It just hurts – especially as a senior."
It is the fourth consecutive year that FSU won't reach its ultimate goal
of playing for the national championship. What the Seminoles are not used to hearing is that the familiar consolation prize of an Atlantic Coast Conference title may have eluded them, as well.
Even then, the Hurricanes own the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to their September win over FSU.
So what is a realistic goal now?
"Ten wins," free safety Pat Watkins said.
"That's what we're playing for now. We have to win the rest of our games and let everything else take care of itself."
Florida State returns home to host Duke Saturday.
They'll travel to N.C. State for a Thursday night game Nov. 11 before closing their season in Tallahassee against rival Florida.
"Sure we're all hurting right now but we have to focus," tailback Lorenzo Booker said. "We have the rest of our schedule to play."
Johnson's Peach Bowl scenario seems most likely if Florida State finishes the season third in the ACC.
The Gator Bowl, which gets the first pick of ACC teams passed over by the BCS, and the Tangerine Bowl (third pick behind the Gator and Peach) are other options.
But for now, the Seminoles will seek shake off the images of Saturday night.
"This is something we should realize by now," Johnson said.
"Everyone is going to bring their ‘A' game when we come to play. It's going to be like this. We have to be prepared or this happens."