Following Florida State's narrow 20-17 win over Boston College on Saturday and yet another frenzied fourth quarter in a season defined by them, coach Jimbo Fisher said it doesn't matter how the Seminoles win -- only that they continue to find a way to get it done.
"As a coach, you talk about one thing: Finish. Get it done. This team wins in every way, shape and form you can win. Everybody else has failed at least once, no matter what you look at, and some of those teams have lost when they were over 20-point favorites." Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher
"Let me ask you this: How about the way everybody else hasn't finished?" Fisher told ESPN.com. "Our team has never not finished. The game is 60 minutes. This team hasn't lost in over two years. Everybody says 'game control.' That's something made up. As a coach, you talk about one thing: Finish. Get it done. This team wins in every way, shape and form you can win. Everybody else has failed at least once, no matter what you look at, and some of those teams have lost when they were over 20-point favorites."
Oregon was a 24-point favorite when it lost at home Oct. 2 to Arizona. In Week 12, the College Football Playoff's 12-member selection committee ranked the Ducks No. 2 and dropped Florida State, the only undefeated Power 5 team remaining, to No. 3. This past week, Alabama jumped Florida State on its way to No. 1.
The Noles have been constantly criticized this season for how vulnerable they have looked while winning. Florida State was tied at 17 with Boston College late in the fourth quarter Saturday, but escaped thanks to a game-winning 26-yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo with 3 seconds remaining. It was the Noles' sixth win this season in a game in which they trailed or were tied in the second half.
"What I'm proud of is how they finished," Fisher said. "That's what this team does. What people think of us is none of my business. That's not our concern. We just play."
Selection committee chair Jeff Long cited two main reasons for Oregon's jump over Florida State: the Ducks' wins over three top-25 teams, and how the committee was willing to forgive the home loss to Arizona because the Wildcats have remained a top-15 team and because the Ducks had significant injuries on the offensive line during that game.
"We've had the same amount of guys injured," Fisher said, not specifically referring to Oregon. "We beat Clemson without Jameis [Winston]. We played without our starting center. We played without our starting nose guard, who's a first- or second-round draft pick we lost for the year. We've had linebackers out. We had DBs out. We had receivers out. You name it. This team just keeps winning. At the end of the day, that's the name of the game. Nothing else matters."
The selection committee hasn't seen it that way.
Long said in his most recent ranking teleconference that Florida State's two wins against teams currently ranked in the committee's top 25 came against No. 22 Clemson and No. 24 Louisville, "so they're at the back end of the top 25."
"Florida State is certainly in there at No. 3," Long said Tuesday, "and they're very close to a number of other positions and teams in that grouping."
Florida State will finish its regular season at home Saturday against rival Florida before facing Coastal Division winner Georgia Tech in the Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game on Dec. 6.