Winless Florida State takes on undefeated Wake Forest (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ABC). In the history of football, these words have never been uttered before this week, and it's likely that they never will again.
Three-time national champ FSU's all-time record against Wake is 28-6-1. In the 33 times the two have met later in the year than Week 1, usually in midseason, the Demon Deacons entered with an average of 3.1 losses already.
2017's inversion of reality is partly a trick of the schedule — 0-2 FSU had to open against Alabama, then lost its starting QB right away, gave up a cupcake W to Hurricane Irma, had a home game against Miami postponed, and started a rookie QB against a talented NC State defense — and partly a result of 4-0 Wake actually being pretty good! The best team the Deacs have beaten is only Appalachian State, but they've taken care of business like a legit team should, allowing 13 points per FBS game and ranking No. 16 in Defensive S&P+.
“It’s a big game right here," star FSU safety Derwin James said of Wake Forest, as part of a reasonable quote few would've predicted. "This is probably one of the biggest games. I feel like this is a very important game and a key game that we need to win.”
FSU is a touchdown favorite, but ... could the Deacs hit 5-0 and prolong the Noles' worst start since 1976? Wake's defense vs. FSU's offense is the key to any fathomable home upset.
Expect their records to eventually revert to something more typical, with Wake's back-loaded schedule and FSU finally getting back into a season rhythm, but let's still appreciate the oddity of "winless Florida State takes on undefeated Wake Forest."
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