Storylines: Florida at Florida State

Saturday's Florida-Florida State will not be the biggest ever played between the teams, but it will be the biggest in over a decade. Both teams are 10-1 and the winner just may be able to backdoor their way into the BCS National Championship Game.

Storylines............

Jimbo Fisher could move to 6-0 against UM/UF

How difficult is this? Consider that it has not been done by Florida State since all three programs emerged in the 1980's as national powers. The closest the 'Noles came were the years 1997-1999 where FSU won five of the six games (lost to UF in 1997). FSU was playing for 2 of the 3 National Title's during that span as well and Miami was on probation.

Since 1980 (31 years), Florida State has only beaten their two main rivals in the SAME YEAR seven times.

The incredible job by the UF coaching staff

Win or lose Saturday, Gator fans can hold their head high and feel like the team is headed in the right direction. Why? Well UF is simply not a very talented team (in NC terms). They are playing a very young QB, they have no offensive play-makers, the OL is average, and they have no WR coach.

The 'good' is the defense which has played near flawless football.

In other words, the offense will get better moving forward (particularly in year two with the same OC) and while the defense will take some personnel losses, we think the scheme is top notch, therefore there will not be much drop-off moving forward. The UF defense appears here to stay with Coach Muschamp at the helm.

UF has beaten Texas A&M, South Carolina, and LSU this year. All three of those games were VERY losable, yet the Gators found a way to win. That is a mark of good coaching. We especially want to point out that in each of those games it was the HALF-TIME adjustments that made the difference. Again, great coaching.

The BCS National Championship Backdoor

While one team sits at no.4 in the BCS and the other at no. 10 right now, it is a lot closer than many people realize. FSU is ONLY that low because of a poor schedule (mainly because WVU went to the B12), but a win over UF coupled with Clemson beating South Carolina would help immensely in the computers and would give FSU two top 10 wins (something NO OTHER one loss team could say at that point).

What needs to happen? Obviously both programs need to win this game. BOTH programs need USC to beat Notre Dame. BOTH would like to see Georgia Tech beat Georgia and then beat Alabama. FSU would get a slight bump for the ACC Championship with GT and it would appear to be VERY unlikely that UGA would grab one of the two SEC BCS games. Georgia also becomes a wildcard to beat Alabama and take them out of the hunt in this scenario.

Oregon is more of a problem for FSU right now than UF, but Oregon could get that extra game in the P12 Championship game and pass UF.....so BOTH would like to see Oregon lose to Oregon State or UCLA.

A win by UF guarantees a BCS berth, likely to the Sugar Bowl. A loss will make it very difficult for UF to get that at large bid (likely the loser of the SEC Championship game if UGA beats GT). FSU will play in the ACC Championship game and be a heavy favorite so their path to a BCS game is clearer.

These are just some of the scenario's out there. For BOTH teams it only matters if you win this week's game.

This rivalry is just a whole lot better when the teams are in this position

UF won six in a row from '04-'09 and the games were not real close. While they converted that to two NCs there was something missing that last weekend of the regular season.

The last two years BOTH teams have had 3+ losses which in this state means "the winner stinks less".

THIS is the way the rivalry took off in the 90s as FSU and UF were both top 10 national powers on a consistent basis. We can all hope that this is the start of a new 'run' for both programs. The game just MATTERS MORE and that is great for both programs.

Does home field matter?

FSU is 8-6-1 at Doak Campbell against UF since 1980. UF is 10-6 over the same span at home. So while the home team does win a little more than not, it is close enough where statistically speaking it may not be worth a full 'Vegas style' six point edge.

Many, many, many, many of the players have played against each other dating back to Pop Warner.

Questions that still need answers

Can the FSU offense move the ball on a legit defense?

Can the UF offense make enough plays to keep them in the game?

Is it Werner/Carradine or Floyd/Easley that is the best DL combo?

Which OL opens up holes for the running game?

Biggest Edge's

FSU: Not much question here as it is the loaded WR group at FSU vs. a very underwhelming group at UF.

UF: RB Mike Gillislie is the heart and soul of the UF offense and the senior is the best back in the game. If he can go for over 100 yards, UF will shorten the game, and that should bode well for the Gators. FSU lost Chris Thompson and must rely on a pair of sophomores in Devonta Freeman and James Wilder.


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