Miami at Florida State, Sunday 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Regardless of the result on Saturday, the matchup between rivals FSU and Miami will likely serve as a historic point of inflection in the series. For the Hurricanes, a victory would not only snap their 7-game skid against the Seminoles, but would also serve as a breakthrough in the program’s revitalization efforts under Mark Richt, whereas a win for FSU would both extend their winning streak to 8 in the rivalry – longer than any steak either team has ever achieved over the other – and tie the overall series record for the first time ever at 31-31 overall. While coming into this season, the matchup may have seemed like a no-brainer for the Seminoles, the Hurricanes have thus far looked like the superior squad, having thrashed their (admittedly ineffectual) opponents to achieve a 3-0 record and #13 ranking, while the Seminoles – bogged down by both injuries and incompetence – disgracefully descended from their top-3 preseason ranking to their worst start in almost 30 years before escaping from last week’s aesthetically displeasing display against Wake Forest with their first victory of the season. Nonetheless, odds-makers seem to remain slightly skeptical of Miami’s chances to win, perhaps due to a combination of the uncertain status of star running back Mark Walton (who was averaging close to 10 yards a carry on the season before suffering a mild ankle injury last week against Duke), the disadvantage of playing on the road in Tallahassee, and the recent inadequacies of both the Canes and Mark Richt in struggling to win similarly important games against Conference rivals.