It is not a shock to open a paper to find Florida State listed as a 22-point favorite.
The Seminoles (7-0) are No. 3 in the Bowl Championship Series standings and have defeated their last three opponents by a combined score of 163-31.
Florida State is very good, if not tremendous.
It is a shock to open a paper to find Florida State listed as a 22-point favorite over Miami.
It would be one thing if Miami were 0-7 and unranked, but Miami is 7-0 and ranked No. 7.
It would be one thing if Miami has struggled against Florida State, but the Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 31-26, and 14-9 in Tallahassee.
It would be one thing if Florida State has cursed Miami through the years with a series of crushing defeats that have cost its archrival several national titles.
But it's actually the other way around.
This is Miami of Coral Gables we're talking about, right, and not Miami of Ohio?
This is the Miami with five national titles, against the Florida State with two?
You hear all the time about underdogs getting "disrespected" but rarely has a Las Vegas line been this rude.
Remember Super Bowl III, when the New York Jets stunned the Baltimore Colts in the game Joe Namath became a cult hero?
Baltimore was favored by 18.
There are good reasons to suspect Miami's ranking is inflated given the Hurricanes needed last-minute drives the last two weeks to defeat unranked North Carolina and Wake Forest.
If Miami can't rise up and rally around this odds outrage, though, Florida State might be the greatest team of all time.
You can sense Miami simmering, like a stove-top pot ready to boil.
"I didn't really answer questions about being the favorite last week," Miami Coach Al Golden said about Wake Forest. "I really don't want to talk about being the underdog this week."
Golden doesn't have to talk about it.
He can just hold up the agate page of Friday's edition of USA Today's Sports Section.
Today's Line: FLORIDA STATE…22…Miami (Fla.).
UCLA is favored by only 27 at home against crummy Colorado, and Northern Illinois, one of the eight remaining unbeaten teams, is favored by only 231/2 over hapless Massachusetts (1-7).
Miami is as much an underdog against Florida State this weekend as Hawaii is against Utah State.
It just isn't right.
According to pregame.com, this is the widest spread involving top-10 undefeated teams, this late in the season, since 1980.
If Miami isn't ready to respond, and at least cover, it might as well go back on self-imposed bowl probation.
If Jerome Brown were alive, he'd be as mad as he was before the Penn State game in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.
He'd order his Miami teammates to rise from a press function with the departing words, "Did the Japanese go sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed 'em.…?"
This is the "U" we're talking about, the renegade outfit chronicled in a 2009 documentary in which players referred to Florida State as "little brother."
Miami, thankfully, is not as brash and insulting under button-down coach Golden.
Miami, though, still has the right to be insulted.
Florida State and Miami have met 12 times when both have been ranked in the top 10. Miami has won nine times.
Of course, Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston was only 10 the last time the schools met like this in 2004. Winston, so far, seems immune to pressure and oblivious to everything except excellence.
He is already being touted as maybe the best quarterback in school history.
With a twinkle in his eye, Winston told reporters in Florida he knew a little about the rivalry.
"What is it, wide left or something?" he said. "Wide Right?"
Actually there were three "Wide Right" games in which missed field-goal attempts doomed Florida State. There was also a "Wide Left" miss in a 2002 Miami win.
Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher, knowing how much emotion plays a part in rivalries, is doing everything he can to talk up his opponent.
"Miami is a great team," he said this week. "[Quarterback] Stephen Morris is a great player…They have playmakers at all positions."
The only thing Miami does not have, according to the oddsmakers, is a chance.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun