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Atlantic Division opponents: Florida St.

I don't think it is insane to believe Syracuse could win the Atlantic Division in its debut season. If anything, I would predict Syracuse goes 5-1 in the Atlantic Division in 2013, good for a tie for first place. Why? Because despite featuring the ACC's two primary football anchors, the Atlantic Division isn't so tough. Each week, for the next six weeks, I'd like to present an up-close look at our fellow Atlantic teams. Up first is Florida St., considered by many to be an elite football team.

The Atlantic Division was created in 2005, after Boston College joined the ACC to make it a 12-member league. Since Atlantic Division play began, Florida St. has been at the top of the division most years. The following is Florida St.'s history against fellow Atlantic Division football teams and some related statistics:

3-2 in 2005 (T-2ND):
Sep. 17 @ Boston College, W 28-17
Oct. 8 vs. Wake Forest, W 41-24
Oct. 29 vs. Maryland, W 35-27
Nov. 5 vs. North Carolina State, L 20-15
Nov. 12 @ Clemson, L 35-14

0-5 in 2006 (6TH):
Sep. 16 vs. Clemson, L 27-20
Oct. 5 @ North Carolina State, L 24-20
Oct. 21 vs. Boston College, L 24-19
Oct. 28 @ Maryland, L 27-24
Nov. 11 vs. Wake Forest, L 30-0

3-2 in 2007 (T-2ND):
Sep. 3 @ Clemson, L 24-18
Oct. 6 vs. North Carolina State, W 27-10
Oct. 11 @ Wake Forest, L 24-21
Nov. 3 @ Boston College, W 27-17
Nov. 17 vs. Maryland, W 24-16

3-2 in 2008 (T-2ND):

Sep. 20 vs. #18 Wake Forest, L 12-3
Oct. 16 @ North Carolina State, W 26-17
Nov. 8 vs. Clemson, W 41-27
Nov. 15 vs. Boston College, L 27-17
Nov. 22 @ #25 Maryland, W 37-3

3-2 in 2009 (3RD):
Oct. 3 @ Boston College, L 28-21
Oct. 31 vs. North Carolina State, W 45-42
Nov. 7 @ Clemson, L 40-24
Nov. 14 @ Wake Forest, W 41-28
Nov. 21 vs. Maryland, W 29-26

4-1 in 2010 (1ST):
Sep. 25 vs. Wake Forest, W 31-0
Oct. 16 vs. Boston College, W 24-19
Oct. 28 @ North Carolina State, L 28-24
Nov. 13 vs. Clemson, W 16-13
Nov. 20 @ Maryland, W 30-16

3-2 in 2011 (3RD):
Sep. 24 @ #21 Clemson, L 35-30
Oct. 8 @ Wake Forest, L 35-30
Oct. 22 vs. Maryland, W 41-16
Oct. 29 vs. North Carolina State, W 34-0
Nov. 3 @ Boston College, W 38-7

4-1 in 2012 (T-1ST):
Sep. 15 vs. Wake Forest, W 52-0
Sep. 22 vs. #10 Clemson, W 49-37
Oct. 6 @ North Carolina State, L 17-16
Oct. 13 vs. Boston College, W 51-7
Nov. 17 @ Maryland, W 41-41


23 total Atlantic wins
17 total Atlantic losses
Average number of wins in Atlantic: 3 per season
Average number of losses in Atlantic: 2 per season

Record vs. Clemson: 3-5 (3-1 home; 0-4 road)
Record vs. Wake Forest: 4-4 (3-2 home; 1-2 road)
Record vs. North Carolina State: 4-4 (3-1 home; 1-3 road)
Record vs. Boston College: 5-3 (2-2 home; 3-1 road)
Record vs. Maryland: 7-1 (4-0 home; 3-1 road)

Away games: 8-11
Home games: 15-6
*10-game home winning streak vs. Atlantic opponents dating back to 2009


Against the Top 25:

Sep. 20, 2008 vs. #18 Wake Forest, L 12-3
Nov. 22, 2008 @ #25 Maryland, W 37-3
Sep. 24, 2011 @ #21 Clemson, L 35-30
Sep. 22, 2012 vs. #10 Clemson, W 49-37


Analysis:

It will be difficult to defeat #12 Florida St. at Doak Campbell this season; there is no reason to think Syracuse wins this game, given the stats. Certainly, it is not impossible, but FSU has only lost six times at home while playing in the Atlantic, in contrast to 15 Atlantic home victories, including a take-down of Clemson last season. Where we really need to get Florida St. if we wish to rip them a new one is inside the Carrier Dome. They have a losing record on the road vs. Atlantic opponents. All in all, FSU has won 57.5% of their games played in the Atlantic Division - a number which is hardly intimidating. Florida St. has also beat up on Maryland a lot, both at home and on the road. I'd expect that to continue this season. Other than that, they're pretty average against other Atlantic teams. You could say those 7 wins against Maryland have inflated the stats in FSU's favor a bit. Syracuse will certainly beat FSU at some point down the road here; let's hope the Seminoles are in the Top 25 when it occurs, so the entire country takes notice. And unlike Boston College, we need to actually beat Florida St. when we have them at home.

Predicted record for FSU in 2013 Atlantic Division:

5-1 (Wins against Maryland, NC St., and SU at home; BC and Wake on the road. Loss to Clemson on the road.)

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