Not this year.
And that should have been the goal the whole time.
National relevance is important, yes, but before any team can be a national title contender -- or a conference champion for that matter -- it has to win its division first. Florida State and Miami both had opportunities to measure themselves against top-10 competition in September, and both came up short in road games. While a gap remains between both programs and the nation's elite, Florida State and Miami are now in a position to distance themselves from the rest of the ACC.
They have to get past each other, though, first.
Both teams can attribute much of their success to defensive improvement. Miami ranks No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss, No. 2 in sacks and No. 2 in pass efficiency defense. Florida State is No. 1 in the country in sacks, No. 2 in tackles for loss, and No. 4 in rushing defense. Both teams have veteran quarterbacks in Christian Ponder and Jacory Harris. Both have a deep stable of running backs.