As the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time on the season, the Florida State Seminoles are also favorites to win the BCS national title — even if they are playing in a weak ACC this season. This team might be the best team to have a shot at the title by a wide margin.
Being given no chance to win the ACC title game, the Duke Blue Devils are definitely playing with a huge chip on their shoulders. With one of the best seasons in school history and a 10-2 record, you would think the Blue Devils would at least be given a shot — but that’s not the case.
Florida State has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation leading the way — and he’s just a freshman. Jameis Winston has been as impressive as anyone in the nation at the position and it wouldn’t be surprising if he won the Heisman Trophy. Winston has passed for 3,490 yards and 35 touchdowns for the 14th-best passing offense and second-best scoring offense in the nation. Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw have been his favorite targets on the year as Greene has caught 61 passes for 914 yards and nine scores while Shaw has 48 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns. Devonta Freeman leads the 30th-ranked rushing attack with 852 yards and 12 scores.
Duke is the surprise of the ACC this season and there are a handful of teams rooting for them to win this game and give other teams a shot at a national title. The Blue Devils are led by a dual-quarterback system with Anthony Boone, the passing quarterback, and Brandon Connette, the running quarterback. Connette has rushed for 13 touchdowns on the season as well as passing for 1,210 yards and 13 scores while Boone has scored four touchdowns on the ground and has 1,695 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air. Jamison Crowder leads the team — by far — with 88 catches for 1,131 yards and seven touchdowns. The run game ranks 55th in the nation with about 180 yards per game.
Defensively, the Blue Devils haven’t been all that impressive this season. Duke ranks 37th in points allowed per game as well as 71st in yards allowed per game — going to be hard to stop the Seminoles’ offense. Florida State is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking first in points allowed per game and third in yards allowed per game.
Duke will face off against the Florida State Seminoles for the ACC title at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 7. The game will be broadcasted on ABC.
PREDICTION: Duke 14, Florida State 37
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.