Fisher's 'Noles thriving again

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WHO'S HOT

Jimbo Fisher. Give it up for the first-year Florida State head man. The Seminoles, after vanquishing rival Florida, are 9-3 and playing Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game against a good, but not great, Virginia Tech squad. Florida State, seeking its first 10-win season since 2003, is on the verge of returning to national prominence.

WHO'S NOT

Kyle Brotzman. The Boise State senior place-kicker missed attempts from 26 and 29 yards at the end of regulation and in overtime in the Broncos' loss at Nevada, which ended Boise State's dream of playing for a national title. According to Associated Press reports, Brotzman is now taking some heat. Fans should direct their anger at Boise State's defense, which blew a seven-point lead in the final seconds. Here's hoping Broncos fans, in the spirit of the Christmas season, forgive Brotzman.

RICHT TO MIAMI?

Not so fast. Georgia coach Mark Richt leaving Athens for South Beach would seem a bit far-fetched. The Hurricanes are looking to win, and win fast. That's a lot of pressure for a veteran coach who still has several years remaining on his current contract. Look for Richt to remain at Georgia next season, though 2011 will be make or break -- 6-6 won't cut it again.

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC

At Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship game at the Georgia Dome, don't expect officials to pipe in musical choices like Son of a Preacher Man or any song with the word "money" in it in reference to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. But there's nothing stopping 35,000 Gamecock fans singing any of those songs together in harmony.

RANKING THE BIG FOUR

1. South Carolina (9-3, 5-3 SEC): If the Gamecocks can limit their turnovers, they can defeat Auburn with their stout running game.

2. Georgia (6-6, 3-5 SEC): If the Bulldogs are going to be successful in 2011, they will need to establish a solid running game with sure-handed runners in the backfield.

3. Georgia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC): Don't blame Scott Blair for his missed extra point late against Georgia. The Yellow Jackets blew multiple chances before then to defeat their nemesis.

4. Clemson (6-6, 4-4, ACC): That aura surrounding coach Dabo Swinney last year has diminished somewhat.

SATURDAY'S GAMES

- Georgia Southern at William & Mary, 1:30 p.m. (No TV)

- Auburn vs. South Carolina, 4 p.m. (CBS- Ch. 12)

THIS WEEK'S STORY LINES

Clemson: Tigers likely say goodbye to junior defensive end Da'Quan Bowers after possible Military Bowl contest.

Georgia: Junior receiver A.J. Green likely plays his final collegiate game at the Liberty Bowl.

Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets are likely headed to Independence Bowl.

South Carolina: Nothing would be sweeter than a first Sugar Bowl appearance if the Gamecocks can knock off undefeated Auburn.


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