Jameis Winston, FSU ready for upset-minded Syracuse

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Life is good for Florida State these days.

Ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings, the Seminoles have won every game but one by at least 27 points; the other victory was by 14. They are a heavy favorite over Syracuse (5-4) on Saturday and already have clinched a spot in the Dec. 7 ACC championship game. Unlike the other teams in the national title hunt, the Seminoles -- led by Heisman-contending quarterback Jameis Winston -- have a clear path to the Jan. 6 national championship game.

Asked this week what it would take to upset Florida State, Orange defensive tackle Jay Bromley joked to the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Herald, "I would just say I hope Jameis Winston loses his helmet and can't find one."

Turning serious, Bromley said to beat FSU, "you really have to play almost flawless."

Winston is among the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, and this week he took over as the leader in the Heisman straw poll. He has passed for 2,661 yards with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the undefeated Seminoles.

During his weekly news conference, Syracuse coach Scott Shafer called the Seminoles "one of the best college football teams I've seen in a long time."

Syracuse beating FSU, then, would be a huge upset -- the biggest of the season and one of the biggest this century.

But Shafer had a hand in another huge upset: He was Stanford's defensive coordinator when the Cardinal shocked top-ranked USC 24-23 in 2007.

USC was heavily favored but committed five turnovers and surrendered four sacks to a Stanford team that finished 4-8 in then-coach Jim Harbaugh's first season. USC went on to finish 11-2 and whipped Illinois in the Rose Bowl.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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