BCS Will Welcome Gators With Open Arms

There seems to be quite a bit of concern about this week's BCS standings and the fact that the Gators fell to number four in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. To quote the Bobby McFerrin's 1988 hit, "Don't Worry, Be Happy."

While the talented songwriter and musician has long regretted the way that song defined (incorrectly) his career, the sentiment is a good one for many situations including this one. There is no question that Florida will earn a spot in the BCS Title Game with a win over Alabama.

Let's take a look at the three elements of the decision making process. It'll illustrate why I am so confident of the outcome.

Harris Interactive Poll ----- Florida is ranked No. 2 in this poll, right behind Alabama. A win over the No. 1 team would undoubtedly vault the Gators to the top spot and eliminate the .0372 cap between the Gators and BCS No. 3 Texas. The other thing that could further help Florida in this poll is that a win against Alabama might still keep the Tide ahead of the Longhorns.

USA Today Coaches Poll --- While Florida slipped here it is most likely the result of manipulation by a few coaches trying to help either Texas or Oklahoma in the Big 12 debate. Remember the coaches really don't pay a lot of attention to their vote until the final week. These are the same guys who were the most responsible for the Gators passing Michigan in the final BCS Standings two years ago and there's no reason to think their collective aversion to an in-conference title game has gone away.

My Pals in Computer Land ----- Florida is actually No. 6 in this category behind Utah and Texas Tech. The fact that Tech is No. 4 tells you all you need to know about the need to eliminate this nonsense from the equation. Still if you watch computer rankings over the course of the season one thing is certain; beating highly ranked teams is rewarded. While Florida is playing the computers' No. 3 team, Oklahoma will face No. 20 Missouri, Southern Cal gets a hideous UCLA team on the heels of a more hideous Notre Dame matchup and Texas and Utah are idle. Any sort of win would certainly aid the Gators in the computer rankings, possibly quite a bit.

As I mentioned earlier there is a natural aversion to a BCS Title Game featuring two teams from the same league. Texas will probably do some lobbying for a second shot at Oklahoma since they already beat them once. It's a better argument than Michigan had two years ago, but it's bound to fall on deaf ears. While a strong case can be made for Southern Cal or Penn State they can't "catch" the SEC Champ in this system.

The one thing that would really gum up the works would be a Missouri upset of Oklahoma. That would result in a tough decision between Texas, which didn't win its conference and Southern Cal which (I assume) did. But since I picked the Florida/Georgia winner to play Oklahoma in the BCS Title Game back in August I'm not changing now. Here's how I see it playing out:

Orange Bowl ----- Cincinnati vs. Boston College
Sugar Bowl ------- Alabama vs. Utah
Fiesta Bowl ------- Texas vs. Boise State
Rose Bowl --------- Penn State vs. Southern Cal
BCS Title ---------- Florida vs. Oklahoma

Sorry Buckeyes, but your last two big bowl performances were wretched. The two bowls making at-large selections (Sugar, Fiesta) this year saw it first hand and will look to do something more interesting this time. Look at the bright side, you might run for 500 yards against Georgia in Orlando.


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