By Charles Jay
The Florida State Seminoles surged to the national championship last season, and dominated almost all of their opponents along the way. They have had a much more difficult time this season, and it has made a difference in the manner in which this team has been perceived. That has resulted in a #3 seed in this four-team playoff process, so despite being unbeaten in their last 29 games, they must travel out west to play the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl, and they will have to beat the college football odds as an underdog, which is a very unusual position for them.
FSU was a perfect 13-0 straight-up, although their season seemed far from perfect. Jimbo Fisher’s team had to endure a lot of close games and make several comebacks, and seven victories came by six points or less. Those games came against the likes of Oklahoma State, Miami, Boston College and Florida, all of whom were invited to bowl games but none of whom were world-beaters. They obviously did not meet the expectations of oddsmakers, as they were just 3-10 against the football pointspread.
Oregon has trailed in the fourth quarter only one time, and that was in their only loss, suffered at the hands of Arizona, which they later avenged with a 51-13 victory in the Pac 12 championship game. They are 12-1 straight-up and 9-4 against the pointspread. They have also won and covered eight games in a row since they were defeated.
In the college football odds that have been posted on this game by the people at Vietbet, Oregon is a considerable favorite:
Oregon Ducks -7.5
Florida State Seminoles +7.5
Over 71 points -110
Under 71 points -110
Jameis Winston came back this season after leading Florida State to a national championship, and the expectations on the part of some were that he had every opportunity to repeat as the Heisman winner. But he was beset by many things, including an investigation for sexual assault, a shoplifting charge at a supermarket, and a suspension for shouting obscenities in the middle of campus. Whereas he threw 40 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions last season, he had only 24 touchdown passes and was intercepted 17 times in the 2014 season.
But Vietbet customers know that when he needed to deliver, he did. Florida State came back against the number of opponents, including Louisville, who had gone into the game with a #1 defensive ranking, but gave up 35 points in the second half to the Seminoles. It must be noted that Winston has a lot of weaponry at his disposal; wide receiver Rashad Greene caught over 90 passes, and Oregon will be handicapped without cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, perhaps the top defensive player in the country, who is out with a knee injury. And the emergence of running back Dalvin Cook (5.8 yards per carry) is something that cannot be ignored.
Oregon has probably not dealt with the speed offered by the Florida State defense very much this year. We would doubt very seriously if Vietbet patrons are going to see them averaging ten yards per pass attempt or 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, as they did during the regular season. But the Ducks have a scary-good running back in freshman Royce Freeman, who totaled 1299 yards and offers a strong support component to Marcus Mariota, who was scary himself, with 38 TD passes and only two interceptions on his way to this years Heisman. .
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