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Florida State Clinches Orange Bowl Bid

Without having to play a game this weekend, Florida State clinched a spot in the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl and will defend its national title against either Oklahoma or Miami.

The Seminoles, who held a .51 lead over Miami in last week’s bowl championship series rankings, actually increased their lead over the Hurricanes despite Miami’s 52-6 wipeout win against Boston College.

The official BCS standings won’t be released until today, but the new figures were posted Sunday night on the Internet by Jerry Palm, a Chicago-based math expert who has deciphered the BCS formula.

Oklahoma will remain No. 1 in the BCS standings, followed by Florida State and Miami.

This situation is this: If Oklahoma defeats Kansas State in next weekend’s Big 12 title game, the Sooners will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

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If Oklahoma loses, Florida State and Miami will meet in a rematch. Miami defeated Florida State, 27-24, on Oct. 7 in Miami.

How could Miami, a 46-point winner against Boston College, lose ground to Florida State for the coveted No. 2 BCS spot?

Blame it on Oklahoma. Because the Sooners labored to beat Oklahoma State, 12-7, on Saturday, Florida State overtook Oklahoma for the top spot in at least three BCS computers: Jeff Sagarin, New York Times and Kenneth Massey.

Palm’s Sunday night projections are not accurate down to the decimal point because two of the eight BCS computer rankings--the Seattle Times and Richard Billingsley--had not posted this week’s results.

Yet, using six of the eight computers, Palm reports that Florida State increased its lead over Miami from .51 to .61, thus clinching at least the No. 2 BCS spot. In the BCS formula, the two schools with the lowest point total in next week’s final rankings will play for the BCS national title in the Orange Bowl.

Even if it loses out on an Orange Bowl berth, though, Miami might still claim the Associated Press national title. Miami on Sunday actually strengthened its No. 2 hold in both the writers’ and coaches’ poll. And while the coaches are contractually obligated to award their share of the national title to the Orange Bowl winner, the AP poll is not.


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