CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Get ready for the first College Football Playoff game when No. 5 Florida State and No. 3 Clemson meet on Saturday.
While the four-team chase for the BCS title doesn't start until 2014, the playoffs will probably look and feel very much like Saturday night's Atlantic Coast Conference showdown between the Seminoles (5-0) and Tigers (6-0) in a jam-packed stadium, ESPN College GameDay will be on campus with a track to the national title game at stake.
There will even be at least one playoff selection committee member on hand: Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich.
Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd and Florida State's Jameis Winston say their teams are keeping the frenzied atmosphere in perspective as they get ready for the ACC's first matchup of top-five teams since 2005.
"We're all about our goals," said Boyd, who leads the ACC with 297 yards passing a game. "The next goal for us is win the division. This sets the line for us to do that. The goal after that is to win the conference. This sets the line to do that."
Boyd became the school's all-time passing yardage leader with his 14th career 300-yard game in a 24-14 victory over Boston College last week. Boyd's 164 yards shy of joining ex-North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers and former Duke passer Thad Lewis as the only ACC players to reach 10,000 yards passing.
Winston, a redshirt freshman, has elevated himself alongside Boyd in Heisman Trophy talk with his play so far. Winston has thrown two more TD passes than Boyd (17 to 15) in one less game. He's also shown poise likely to serve him well when the Death Valley crowd turns the volume up to 11.
"They have outstanding players. They have a great offense," Winston said. "They have a very athletic defense, a great defense we're going to have to prepare well for."
Here are five things to watch when No. 5 Florida State plays at No. 3 Clemson on Saturday:
ACC SHOWCASE: The ACC hasn't had a party like this in a long time. It's last top-five showdown was eight years ago when No. 5 Miami beat third-ranked Virginia Tech 27-7. That was back when those programs were new league entrants and that contest seemed to point to a yearly matchup for the top on the national scene. Instead, the ACC watched the Southeastern Conference beat them up and take their lunch money the past few years. But the ACC entered the week with three unbeaten teams and four schools in the top 20.