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Florida State 60 minutes from school record
The light at the end of the tunnel is nearing with all of Florida State's goals there for the taking.
''I think right now we're at the point where it's the big push, we've just got to stick to the process and stay consistent to what got us here,'' FSU guard Josue Matias said. ''We just can't slack now.
''Sometimes you do think about it, but you've got to stay focused. You can't lose. The main thing now is to not lose track to what we're trying to do.''
Standing in the way Saturday is a rival Florida team with plenty of motivation. The Gators would like to send fired coach Will Muschamp out on a win and Florida was the last team to beat Florida State before it began its 27-game win streak.
''Yeah, it makes us want to end it,'' Florida safety Keanu Neal said. ''Every team that faces it wants to end that streak. But it's another game, we're just going to go out and play like they should.
Florida State 60 minutes from school record
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, left, congratulates Nick O'Leary on a touchdown during
''I mean, every team is beatable. No team is unbeatable.''
The Seminoles have faced heavy criticism in 2014 for not being as dominant as the 2013 title team and their late-game victories, but coach Jimbo Fisher has focused on the bottom line - wins. He understands the team is on the precipice of another school record, but won't let players think about being a part of history.
''It's funny, when you're doing it, you don't even think about it,'' Fisher said. ''That's not the concern. The concern is the next game and how you prepare.
''We always talk about, hey, that was a goal we had, now we've got to take the next step. It's like climbing a mountain. Got to keep that going one step at a time. ... We don't ever say undefeated. Ultimately (the goal) is National Championship. That's always our goal here, and then we build them down, layer them down after that.''
Some things to watch Saturday when No. 1 Florida State hosts Florida:
QUOTABLE: These are the things said during Florida-Florida State week. ''I've always hated Florida,'' FSU linebacker Reggie Northrup said. ''They recruited me a little bit. They didn't offer me and I wasn't interested. I didn't like Florida from the get-go, so it didn't make a difference. I just don't like Florida. Like their colors, just everything.''
NO PROBLEM: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has shined when his team has needed him most. The reigning Heisman winner has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,275 yards and nine touchdowns while trailing. His quarterback rating is 194.26 when behind by 15-plus points this season. ''He's really good when he knows what he's getting, whether it's pressure or coverage, middle field or split safety,'' Muschamp said. ''I think you've just got to continue to change up and have creative looks that you are playing multiple things out of.''
MUSCHAMP'S FINALE: There's no doubt the Gators love Muschamp and will try to send their fired coach out on a high note in Tallahassee. It went that way in 2004, when former Florida coach Ron Zook won his finale at FSU and got carried off the field. Muschamp scoffed at questions about how things could unfold in Tallahassee, but left tackle D.J. Humphries said players already have talked about the possibility of hoisting Muschamp on their shoulders for a victory lap. ''He wouldn't have no choice. We're too strong for him,'' Humphries said.
NOTHING SPECIAL: Don't look for the underdog Gators to try anything out of the ordinary against their in-state rivals. While Florida has nothing to lose in a mostly miserable season, Muschamp believes his team is capable of pulling off the upset by sticking to the game plan and having some success. So the Gators are likely to try to run, run, run, hoping to keep Winston & Co. on the sideline, play solid defense and win a close game. ''Doing something different, that's how things kind of fall down,'' Humphries said. ''We'll play like we've been coached all season. That's how we've been winning the games that we have won, so we're going to keep doing that.''
<< NCAA College Football News Big 12 seeks out minor bowl games that fans can easily drive to
As college football gets ready for a shake-up in its postseason system, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he would like to have reach agreements with five or six bowl games.
Bowlsby and the other nine major conference commissioners, along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, will meet in southern California this week to pick the final three bowls to be involved in the six-site playoff rotation. Once those are in place, the conferences can turn their attention to the other bowls for 2014 and beyond.
The Big 12s current agreements, which end after this season, do not include a Florida game. Bowlsby said league officials want to change that, while keeping a strong hold on Texas and having a destination out West.
Also, Iowa States successful trip to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., last season at least in terms of ticket sales has the conference considering deals with bowls closer to campuses.
I think that probably did cause us to think about bowls closer to home, Bowlsby said in a recent phone interview.
Bowlsby declined to talk about specific bowls being targeted by the Big 12, but a person familiar with the conferences plans told The Associated Press league officials are interested in striking a deal with at least one of the Tennessee bowls games the Liberty Bowl or the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference was not discussing details of its plans publicly.
The Liberty Bowls current agreements are with the Southeastern Conference, Conference USA and the Big East. C-USA and the Big East, which will change its name to the American Athletic Conference next season, have been drastically altered by realignment. Seven C-USA teams will join the American during the next two seasons.
Last year, the SEC did not have enough bowl eligible teams to fill the Liberty Bowl slot and game organizers struck a deal with Iowa State. Cylcones fans gobbled up tickets and about 25,000 showed up to watch their team lose to Tulsa. Ames, Iowa, is about a six-hour drive from Memphis.
Most of the other nine Big 12 schools are within seven to 10 hours of Memphis not a short trip but doable in a day.
Our guys said wed be well advised to have some bowl that we can drive to, Bowlsby said.
The Music City Bowls current agreements are with the SEC and Atlantic Coast Conference.
The addition of West Virginia to the Big 12 last year has in part led the conference to turn its attention to the talent-rich southeast part of the country, especially Florida.
The Big 12s current bowl lineup includes: the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio; the Holiday Bowl in San Diego; Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston; the Pinstripe Bowl in New York; the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.; and the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas.
Bowlsby said the conference expects to often have its champion in the final four when the playoff starts, plus send another highly rated team to one of the four other marquee bowl games. The Cotton Bowl is expected to be part of the playoff bowl rotation.
The Big 12 is unlikely to keep its affiliation with the Yankee Stadium game and there has been speculation the Holiday Bowl could switch to a Big Ten affiliation with that conference interested in playing more postseason games in California.
Weve had a 16-year partnership with the Big 12 and its been a great relationship, Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski said. We are right now looking at all of our options moving forward. Theres interest in the Big Ten, interest in the Big 12. Were looking at all options to make this the best bowl game that we can.
The top Florida games beyond the Orange Bowl the Outback Bowl in Tampa and the Capital One Bowl in Orlando have SEC-Big Ten matchups. Orlando also hosts the Russell Athletic Bowl earlier in the bowl season. That has tie-ins with the Big East and the ACC.
While the SEC seems likely to keep its flag planted in Florida, and the Big Ten isnt about to vacate the Sunshine State altogether, there could be a spot for the Big 12.
Bowlsby wasnt about to speculate.
Everybody is kind of holding their cards close to the vest right now, he said.
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