College Football preview: Florida at Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Florida has owned Florida State recently, so the Seminoles would enjoy nothing better than knocking the Gators out of the national championship race.
No matter what happens against Florida State today, the second-ranked Gators will play No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship game next week.
But if Florida doesn’t beat its most fierce rival, the SEC title will be the only thing at stake for the Gators in the Georgia Dome.
“What can we do greater than if we could beat them?” Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. “They are number two in the nation, they are an excellent football team and they’ve been wearing us out lately.”
Florida (10-1) has won four straight in the series, and the Gators have some history of spoiling Florida State’s title runs.
Florida upset the undefeated Seminoles in 1997 to keep them out of a possible national title game, just 10 months after the Gators won their first national championship ó over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
This time it’s Florida with the most to lose.
“They (Florida State) have a lot of motivation, not only because of our national championship hopes, but they have the fans and it’s a rivalry game,” Gator safety Ahmad Black said.
Florida State (8-3), a 161/2-point underdog, still has BCS hopes, too. The Seminoles need Maryland to beat Boston College to reach the ACC title game. So they also have some scoreboard watching to do Saturday.
“We’re the biggest underdogs that we’ve been in years,” Bowden noted.
Florida’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Tim Tebow, said the Gators won’t be looking ahead.
“It’s not just the next game, it’s Florida State,” Tebow said.