Boston College-Florida St. Preview
(AP) - Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has grown tired of the comparisons.
Last year, Florida State started 10-0.
This year, the Seminoles have done it again.
To him, there's nothing else that really matters. Doing it with style last year, doing it the hard way this year, Fisher doesn't see one as better than the other.
And on Sunday, the Seminoles (10-0, 7-0 ACC) returned to the top of the AP Top 25 after a five-week stay at No. 2, but they remained third in Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings.
''When you measure this team for 60 minutes, it measures up pretty daggone good,'' Fisher said after his team extended its school-record winning streak to 26. ''To anybody. Anywhere. Anybody, anywhere.''
By now, that cannot be argued.
Boston College coach Steve Addazio certainly isn't arguing as his team prepares to visit the Seminoles on Saturday night.
''These guys find a way to win and they play the best at their most competitive moments. That's usually what great teams do," Addazio said.
''... They won the national championship and they're undefeated and it's their second year running. They played Auburn last year in the national title game, found a way to win. I'm into giving credit where credit is due, and they're an amazing football program.''
The Seminoles rallied to beat archrival Miami 30-26 last Saturday night, a game in which they trailed for 49 minutes - 11 more minutes than they spent playing from behind in the entirety of the 2013 regular season.
''Pressure breaks pipes ... or it makes diamonds,'' wide receiver Rashad Greene said. ''And right now, we're shining. We're able to play with pressure.''
Pressure has been a constant for Florida State in 2014. The Seminoles ran 93 plays when trailing in the entire 2013 season; this year, they have run 252 plays when trailing. They have trailed in the second quarter in seven of their last eight games.
Saturday's win was the third time in the last four games where Florida State needed late heroics; a year ago, the Seminole starters barely had to play down the stretch of most games.
''I hate comparing players and I hate comparing teams,'' Fisher said. ''It's unfair. You can't compare teams year to year. It's like a pair of children. It's like a pair of brothers. It's unfair of brothers to compare because they're different DNA. That group of guys will never play again together. This group of guys, in another two months, will never play again together.''
''A team has a one-year life expectancy,'' Fisher added, his words seeming to come out even more quickly than usual. ''That's what I keep trying to tell everybody. A team has a one-year life span, bar none. Look at DNA. If you're a smidgen off from one DNA that clears you from court, is that right? Well, it's the same way here.''
Fisher making even a cryptic reference to the legal system may seem odd, given what Florida State has dealt with of late.
Quarterback Jameis Winston has been dogged by several high-profile incidents, there was a recent domestic battery investigation surrounding running back Karlos Williams and The New York Times reported last week that cornerback P.J. Williams was ticketed but not charged after briefly leaving the scene of a car accident last month.
Distractions haven't stopped the Seminoles.
Any doubters haven't bothered them, either.
''They can think what they want,'' Fisher said. ''I know what I know.''
Greene said that as long as Florida State finishes among the top four in the playoff rankings, he'll be pleased. The top four play for the national title. Seeding won't matter.
So now it's easy: If the Seminoles beat Boston College and Florida at home, and then win the ACC title game against Georgia Tech or Duke, they undoubtedly will get a chance to defend their crown.
Addazio has the Eagles (6-4, 3-3) eligible for a bowl game for the second straight year. Last season, his first in Chestnut Hill, BC opened a 17-3 lead over the Seminoles early in the second quarter before giving up three straight touchdowns. Florida State won 48-34, but that was the most points it allowed and its smallest margin of victory until a 34-31 victory over Auburn for the championship.
''We got momentum and we gave momentum back before the half,'' Addazio said. ''I sure wish we were playing them up here and it was about 10 degrees, but we're not and we have to find a way to create momentum.''
This year, the Seminoles aren't running away with wins. Five times in 10 games they have trailed at the half, and in three of them they faced deficits of 16 points or more.
Addazio said he's not counting on taking an early lead again.
''I know that in the second half of those games, they are playing at a high, high level, with unbelievable intensity. It jumps at you,'' he said. ''Teams come out and give them their best shot early, but you have to sustain it when you play that team. You have to come out and play well and sustain it, get it to the fourth quarter and win it. No one's been able to do that.''