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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 7:00 AM

The Florida State Seminoles made such a huge statement this past Saturday Night when they crushed the Clemson Tigers on national TV…that they’ve temporarily found themselves at #2 in the BCS rankings. The media had been acting like Alabama vs. Oregon was a foregone conclusion for weeks. When the full season is in the books…does Florida State have a chance to hold on to one of those two invitations?


Here are the current BCS standings…

1…Alabama .9841

2…Florida State .9348

3…Oregon .9320

4…Ohio State .8553

In that framework…Alabama’s five-hundredths of a point lead is huge….and Ohio State’s roughly eight-hundredths of a point deficit is going to be too big to overcome in a weak conference like the Big 10. Florida State is currently holding onto second place by 28 ten-thousandths of a point!

Can the Seminoles strengthen their grip on second place? It’s going to be tough…

*First, Oregon of the Pac 12 has the tougher remaining schedule. They will play both Stanford and UCLA in the regular season, recently surging Oregon State in a late rivalry game, and then possibly UCLA again in the Pac 12 championship game. Florida State is in the weaker ACC. They do draw currently respected Miami and dangerous Florida (non-conference) the rest of the way, before an ACC title tilt that might involve a rematch with Miami. It will be difficult for FSU to lock in the #2 spot unless Oregon loses. The Ducks have one extra challenging game. Keep in mind that Oregon was rolling over people last year before getting shocked by Stanford. So, a Ducks loss IS possible. If both teams stay undefeated…the fractions look to favor Oregon.

*The current “voting” polls have Oregon at #2 and Florida State at #3. That’s unlikely to change if nobody loses given human nature. Florida State has currently trumped that in the full BCS process by finishing #1 in the computers. They can’t get any BETTER in the computers than they already are…meaning that human nature is likely to keep them out once strength of schedule drifts more toward Oregon’s direction.

*Who’s more likely to stub their toe and lose style points with a “bad win?” Oregon learned their lesson last year when they weren’t as focused as needed for Stanford. And, they know that they’re neck and neck with Florida State in the decimal points. Florida State is led by a freshman who already showed some temporary lack of focus in a sluggish win over Boston College. As great as Jameis Winston already is, and is going to be, he’s more likely than Marcus Mariota to throw a small negative into the tiebreakers that voters will be looking for.

Of course, it’s possible that Alabama will get upset by LSU, Auburn, or the SEC East winner in the SEC Championship game. That could mean it’s Oregon and Florida State for the national title. Wouldn’t it cause a firestorm if one-loss Alabama stays head of either of those two teams?

Handicappers must pay very close to the developing BCS race. Teams know they have to perform. Sometimes, that leads to greatness. Sometimes, that leads to choking! Las Vegas oddsmakers tend to price games in late October and through November as if all the best teams are always going to play at a peak level. The “big three” have been doing that lately. Who’s most likely to have a misstep?

We’ll talk about that in the coming weeks amidst our big game previews. First up will be Oregon when they host UCLA this weekend in a game we’ll preview Friday in the NOTEBOOK. Florida State’s big game with Miami is the following Saturday, November 2. Alabama vs. LSU is November 9.

Tuesday Night’s college football game isn’t exactly a biggie. But, JIM HURLEY knows you want to GET THE MONEY in every game! You can purchase the final word for Louisiana-Lafayette/Arkansas State right here at the website with your credit card Tuesday in the hours leading up to kickoff. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about including the World Series in any football package when you call. We’ll be previewing the best-of-seven Fall Classic featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox here in our Wednesday report.


Speaking of which…here’s the schedule for this week:

Wednesday: World Series Preview

Thursday: Carolina at Tampa Bay on the NFL Network

Friday: early look at UCLA at Oregon in college football

Saturday: South Carolina at Missouri in the week’s top prime time game

Sunday: Green Bay at Minnesota in the NFL on NBC

Monday: Seattle at St. Louis (and its new starting QB) on MNF on ESPN


Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State will be going all out to prove their #1 in the country for the rest of the season. There’s no debate about who’s NUMBER ONE IN SPORTS HANDICAPPING. That’s title has always belonged to JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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