Head to Head debates the biggest topics in College Football. This week, Florida State dropped from the No. 1 slot in both the AP Top 25 and the coaches' poll, despite staying undefeated with a 38-20 win against Syracuse on Saturday. Our panel debates whether or not Mississippi State truly deserved to jump the Noles in the polls.

The voters finally made the right decision and stopped rewarding the reigning BCS national champion for last season’s crown. It's about time we move on from that era.

Now eight weeks into the college football season, Florida State dropped to No. 2 in both the AP Top 25 and coaches' polls. The move, though two weeks delayed, was necessary nonetheless.

The No. 1 spot deserves to go to the best team. Resume should play a part in how teams are viewed but the best should be determined through dominance. Though there’s no clear dominant team in college football, Mississippi State deserves the spot for now.

Not to give away my SEC West bias, but after defeating three top ten teams in consecutive weeks -- on the road at then-No. 8 LSU, at home against No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 2 Auburn -- the Bulldogs proved themselves a step ahead of the pack.

Despite maintaining a spotless record, FSU hasn’t looked like the team to beat this season.

What have the Seminoles done so far with a subpar schedule that features only two ranked opponents (No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 24 Clemson) and three teams with losing records (Syracuse, Citadel and Wake Forest)? I’d say just enough to survive. Come CFP season, the Noles need to remain unbeaten to continue to be considered.

The only two tests for FSU so far are an overtime victory against Clemson in the Atlantic Coastal Conference opener and a come-from-behind-win at NC State a week later. The schedule has otherwise been a cruise for the Seminoles.

Mississippi State played better teams in the past three games than Florida State did all season. And sure, they did begin slowly last week but that's what happens when you play against the then-second-ranked team in the country.

Rid your memories of the ghost of seasons past and focus on a team’s present body of work. Hail State and the “Dak Knight” have done more than enough this season to sit atop the rankings.

For now, the Noles are where they belong -- at No. 2. They're going to have to show me something to prove me wrong and a loss to No. 5 Notre Dame at Doak on Saturday will not only confirm my suspicions, but also plunge them further down the list.

-- Tesalon Felicien, NCAA.com

 

In college football, what people think of you really matters, despite what coaches and players might preach. Rankings are everything; they help us make sense of the world. In seasons like this, we need that clarification.

Although it may not seem like a big deal that Florida State fell out of the No. 1 spot in both polls, it (kind of) is. Arguing away that if FSU wins out it will still earn them a spot in the College Football Playoff is all background noise. What’s going on here is something much more insidious: People really, really don’t respect Florida State. Wait, it’s more than that. They just don’t like ’em.

Everyone keeps hinting around it, so we’ll come right out and say it: They’re the Alabama of just a year ago, and the "U" of the 80's/90’s and so on. Sports fans actively root for their demise. Only in sports do we encourage failure quite like this.

We get the ‘haters’ and criticism; we do. The whole act of “I’m rooting for whatever team FSU’s playing.” But great villains are granted a level of respect, of deferential treatment. In years past, established No. 1 teams keep their spot until knocked off or a team performs so out of their minds, we have no option but to show love. Hasn’t happened this year with FSU.

Most of that stems from certain ongoing proceedings currently surrounding that institution, but we’re discussing the on-the-field product here. And we’re talking about the validity of any other team usurping FSU’s throne just yet. We remain unconvinced.

If you haven’t been able to tell with all these upsets and that only five Power 5 conference teams remain undefeated -- reminder: two of those teams come from Mississippi -- this has been a wacky, unpredictable season. The power dynamic has shifted, different power players have arrived. Yet poll voters haven’t acknowledged this. Before the season, tripleheader wins against LSU-Texas A&M-Auburn would vault any team to No. 1. But now we know that the usual elite of the SEC -- LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Mizzou, South Carolina, and jury’s still out on Alabama -- are having, to put it pleasantly, “down years.” Beating these guys just isn’t as awe-worthy.

What is skewing opinion is the hype surrounding these games. At the time, they were primetime, top-10 matchup, social media-buzzing type wins. Not so much now. Let’s not become prisoners of the moment and instead give our villains the respect they deserve.

Hail Florida State.

-- Brendan Bures, NCAA.com

Related:
Mississippi State makes fastest ascent to No. 1 in AP poll history