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Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was prepared for the onslaught of questions right off the bat. Typically, coaches don’t have to address the next game until at least the ink is dry from the boxscore on the previous game.
But not when No. 1 Oklahoma comes to town. When the Sooners are up next, the questions fly immediately.
So, Fisher was prepared Saturday night, after his No. 5-ranked Seminoles wiped up Charleston Southern, 62-10. And it’s a good thing, because the first three questions in his postgame press conference had to do with Oklahoma, not the Buccaneers.
“We’re going to continue doing the same thing we do every week,” Fisher said, without emotion. “We’ll obviously have some changes in the gameplan. But as far as preparation goes, we’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing.”
The pros in Las Vegas are wary of that. And they know that the Seminoles, under Fisher and since Bobby Bowden retired, have been on a steady climb back to national prominence. It started last year, when they won their state, so to speak, beating Miami and Florida. They also advanced to the ACC title game, and defeated South Carolina, 26-17, in their bowl game.
So, they know what Florida State is capable of, especially at home. And that respect level is shown in the line. Pete Korner of Esportclub, LLC, established Oklahoma as a 4.5-point favorite.
“This is a very interesting one,” Korner told Covers.com, “and it’s hard to have too big of an opinion on any one team this early in the season. Florida State is good, and can certainly win this game, but we definitely wanted more than a field goal with Oklahoma.”
Keep in mind, the Sooners hammered Florida State, 47-17, last year in Norman, Okla.
“People will remember that,” Korner said. “I can definitely see this line going up, before it goes down.”
And with that, let’s take a look at some of next week’s other marquee games:
LSU (-3) at Mississippi State
“This should be your typical, really tight SEC night game,” Korner said. “A field goal is right where it should be, and Mississippi State, as the underdog, can definitely win this game.”
Boise State (-22) at Toledo
“Toledo did look good against Ohio State,” Korner said. “But Boise State has proven they are a team that doesn’t look ahead against anyone. When it came down to this one, it was pretty simple: I don’t want to have to be rooting for Toledo.”
Auburn (+3) at Clemson
“It’s tough to read these two teams right now,” Korner said. “Auburn has a new look, and obviously they’re struggling on defense, but they’re finding ways to pull wins out. This one is on the road, though, and if anyone’s going to win big here, it’ll be Clemson.”
Washington (+18) at Nebraska
“We’re almost always going to have a big number when it comes to Nebraska,” Korner said. “They may not be great, but the bettors don’t allow us to go low with Nebraska. I’m not a fan of Washington, but we have to roll the dice on this one.”
Tennessee (+10) at Florida
“We don’t like Tennessee, though this has the potential to be another good, early SEC game,” Korner said. “I think this is right where it should be. I don’t expect this line to move too much.”
Michigan State (+3) at Notre Dame
“Notre Dame certainly looks like they can have a great offense. But it’s on the defense now to win games,” Korner said. “This will be very tight, and don’t go into it thinking Michigan State won’t win because Notre Dame simply cannot lose three in a row. Michigan State can win this one. This is not automatic for Notre Dame.”
Texas (-4) at UCLA
“On the road, but Texas is still the better team and they should win,” Korner said. “There’s not too much recent history, and it’s definitely two different styles clashing. I think Texas is going to take care of business.”
Ohio State (+4) at Miami
“We went into this figuring that most players from Miami will be back. So, we figure more problems on the Ohio State side,” Korner said. “Miami will be healthier, and I just haven’t seen anything out of Ohio State. They are winning, but obviously, they are not clicking now.”
Stanford (-8) at Arizona
“We definitely wanted it over the touchdown mark,” Korner said. “Obviously, Andrew Luck is going to be the No. 1 pick, and so he’s going to show everything he’s got every week. And I’m not impressed with Arizona at all. If this wasn’t at Arizona, it’d be well into the double digits.”