Special season? For the Florida State Seminoles, not especially.
For FSU, it’s always about the pursuit of an ACC title and/or a national championship. So when the Seminoles (6-3, 3-3 ACC) host the Boston College Eagles (4-5, 1-5) in Friday night’s nationally televised game at Doak Campbell Stadium, much of the nation will be tuned out.
Seminole junior running back Dalvin Cook is always worth watching.
Although it’s not enough to warrant the Heisman Trophy — and maybe not enough for a trip to New York — Cook is having another brilliant season. He has 1,134 rushing yards, ninth in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and 12 touchdowns with three games (and a bowl appearance) remaining.
Cook needs 127 yards to become FSU’s all-time leading career rusher, surpassing the mark of Warrick Dunn.
Additionally, Cook has advanced to fifth place all-time in state of Florida FBS career rushing history. At 3,833 yards, he’s trailing No. 1 Kevin Smith (UCF, 4,679 yards from 2005-07); No. 2 Errict Rhett (Florida, 4,163 yards from 1990-93); No. 3 Dunn (FSU, 3,959 yards from 1993-96) and No. 4 Emmitt Smith (Florida, 3,928 yards from 1987-89).
Pretty heady company.
Cook long ago proved he was worthy of elite status.
“When you start saying who is better … I think you’re going down a slippery slope,’’ FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said.
“I don’t ever like to compare players or eras. Everybody has been great in their own regard.
“But to have Dalvin’s name put out there with some of the guys he’s in company with right now, it shows you how elite he really is. He’s definitely one of those guys, one of the most elite guys that has ever played here.’’
Cook’s distinction might be how quickly he has rolled up the yardage. He didn’t really emerge until midway through his freshman season in 2014, when Jameis Winston’s passing was FSU’s focal point.
“To me, the most impressive thing is how consistent he is doing it,’’ Fisher said. “I mean, how he does it over and over and over again. We all say, ‘Well, that’s just Dalvin.’
“To me, that’s a sign of greatness, when you start to take that greatness for granted. That’s the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen him do, how hard he works and how consistent he is at being dynamic. That’s extremely, extremely hard, especially when everybody in the world is trying to stop you. The consistency is impressive.’’
Fisher is hopefully of a fast finish, so FSU can preserve its own consistency as a team.
If the Seminoles win out and capture a bowl triumph, they will have a double-digit victory season for the fifth straight time, which could tie for the nation’s third best streak (Alabama is going for its ninth straight, Clemson is shooting for its sixth straight while Ohio State is also pursuing its fifth straight).
“I tell our kids each year, ‘You commit and we expect to win here, but you’ve got to go do it,’ ‘’ Fisher said. “Coaches, we’ve got to do it every year. You can’t take anything for granted.
“In some of our losses this year, we lose on a 54-yard field goal (against North Carolina) and Clemson comes back (in the final minutes). We’re close to sitting there at 8-1. It’s hard. Winning is hard. You never want to take it for granted. You want to be consistent.’’
Individually, Cook has mastered that trait.
He’s not finished yet.