TALLAHASSEE -- It was nice while it lasted.
A week after debuting at number two in the Bowl Championship Series standings, the Florida State Seminoles were jumped by the Oregon Ducks on Sunday.
After beating then-12th ranked UCLA 42-14 on Saturday the Ducks received a boost in the computer standings due mostly to an improvement to their strength of schedule and passed the Seminoles. If the season ended today, the Noles would be on the outside looking in at the BCS National Championship Game.
But FSU will have an opportunity to pad its own strength of schedule Saturday when the unbeaten Miami Hurricanes (7-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) ranked seventh in the BCS this week visit Doak Campbell Stadium to play the Seminoles (7-0, 5-0).
It will be the kind of matchup that the ACC was looking for when it added Miami in 2004.
At that point in time the Hurricanes were fresh off two national championship appearances in the past three years and FSU was coming off a decade-long streak of top-five finishes.
Incidentally, 2004 was the first and last time that FSU and Miami were both ranked in the top 10 as ACC opponents. Since that point, both programs have gone through turmoil and transition.
An academic scandal at FSU marked the beginning of the end of the Bobby Bowden era, and a decline in recruiting and the Nevin Shapiro scandal had Miami mired in mediocrity as it faced penalties from the NCAA.
Now nearly nine years later both teams are looking to prove things have come full circle. Miami is off the NCAAs proverbial hook and free to pursue its postseason goals, and Bowden returned to FSU on Saturday for the first time since retiring and witnessed a Seminole team that was a spitting image of the ones he once coached in his heyday.
Now the stage is set.
Next Saturday the two old rivals will renew acquaintances with one looking to turn the lights out on the others national title hopes. Its a familiar position for both teams and both fan bases have had the date circled for weeks. But lately, getting to this point has seemed a little tenuous.
Whereas FSU has pounded opponents scoring at least 41 points in every game and sporting the fourth-ranked scoring defense in the country Miami has struggled of late. While FSU was taking then-No. 3 Clemson to the woodshed and giving its starters the second half off against N.C. State, Miami was eking out wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest neither of which is above .500.
Even the Vegas oddsmakers seem a bit skeptical of the Canes lately, Miami opened a 22-point underdog Sunday.
Regardless of perception though, the BCS No. 7 vs. No. 3 is a big deal a return to form for one of college footballs greatest rivalries. Its the kind of marquee rivalry matchup the ACC has been waiting the last decade for. ESPNs College GameDay will be there. The nation will be watching.
All that BCS stuff? It can wait a week.