Both Florida and Florida State come into this weekend's matchup at 10-1 and ranked in the Top 10 in the BCS. This is the first time that the two schools will meet with both being this highly ranked since 2000 when the No. 3-ranked Seminoles took down the No. 4 Gators 30-7 in Tallahassee.
This year's matchup promises to be a much closer and lower scoring affair as two of the best defenses in the country should be able to dominate much of the game.
With a win in Tallahassee on Saturday, Gators fans will be singing Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and taking a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. A loss, however, will send the Gators to Tampa for the Outback Bowl or Orlando for the Capitol One Bowl.
That is what's at stake for the Gators this Saturday.
FSU still controls its own fate and can earn a berth in the Orange Bowl with a win over Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game in two weeks time.
But which team is more BCS-worthy?
The Florida Gators are more BCS-worthy based on how they have played against their toughest opponents and their resumé. A resumé that even a Georgia alum David Pollack agrees is the best in the country.
Best resume in CFBall is easily Florida. No one inCountry wld have ran the table with that schedule— David Pollack(@davidpollack47) November 19, 2012
Florida is the only team in the country with three wins over top-10 teams this season, and a win on Saturday would give the Gators their fourth. In contrast, FSU has played only one ranked team all season—Clemson. In that game, FSU gave up a season high in points (37) and yards (426). Florida's offense has been nowhere near as potent as Clemson's this season, but in its only real test of the season, the Seminoles' vaunted defense got torched.
In contrast, Florida has played its best football of the season against its toughest opponents. Florida held Texas A&M and its No. 14-ranked rushing offense to 134 yards on the ground. That's 111 yards less than the Aggies have averaged against their 10 other opponents. Florida held LSU to just 42 rushing yards, or 162 yards less than it has averaged against its other 10 opponents.
Against the four top-10 teams that Florida has faced this season, its defense has held three (LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina) to their season low in offense and held Georgia to its second-lowest offensive output of the season.
Yes, Florida has played down to some of its opponents this season (Bowling Green, Missouri, Louisiana Lafayette, Jacksonville State) but it has played its best football against its toughest opponents. When you play in a BCS bowl game, you will be facing one of the best teams in the country, and Florida has shown an ability to rise to the occasion that FSU hasn't shown this season.
Florida hasn't won with style points, but as Will Muschamp will point out to you, at the end of the day, the only stat that matters is getting a win.
Florida is more worthy of going to a BCS game than Florida State based on how Florida has been able to navigate its gauntlet of a schedule while FSU stumbled during its cupcake-filled schedule in the watered-down basketball conference also known as the ACC.
Florida has one more chance to add to its already impressive resumé this Saturday at 3:30 p.m EST. If the Gators beat Florida State, there will be no question about how worthy they are of playing in a BCS bowl game.
If Florida gets run off the field, we'll know that this team just wasn't ready to hang with the big boys just yet.
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