Wow, who would have thought that heading into the final week of the regular season that FSU would be starring down the barrel of a possible bowl berth after starting the season 0-4?
The only thing standing in their way is the hated rival, the Florida Gators.
So the scenario is this: Heading on the road to hostile territory as an underdog, which classifies this as a sod game. Win and you are bowl eligible.
No it won’t be a sexy bowl game. But after all the adversity this team has endured this season it is the perfect reward if they can complete the in-season turnaround.
So here we go, let’s see how College Football News sees this game play out:
Florida State (5-6) vs Florida (5-6) Preview
Why Florida State Will Win
The 5-6 is half full.
The Seminoles started the year with the heartbreaking overtime loss to Notre Dame, followed it up with a loss to Jacksonville State, and followed that up by getting boat-raced by Wake Forest.
They’ve won five of their last seven including terrific – all things considered – wins over Miami and Boston College to get in a position to possibly go bowling.
The defense isn’t great, but it’s making timely stops and plays. The offense isn’t great, but the passing game is consistent enough to make up for the stalled ground attack.
And don’t dismiss the idea of attitude. Winning teams make their own luck – or some cliché thing like that.
Why Florida Will Win
The 5-6 is half empty.
At this very moment a year ago, Florida was still in the College Football Playoff chase with a high-powered offense that was matching 2019 LSU numbers.
At this very moment now, Dan Mullen can’t coach, the program is in disarray, and now it’s all about who’s going to come in and take over the job and keep the program from getting housed by South Carolina.
However, even with all of the problems and tough loses, there’s a chance to salvage something with a win and a bowl appearance. (Actually, Florida can lose and still go bowling if the planets all align correctly, but that’s for another day.)
Of course things aren’t going great when you’re Florida and you lose six of your last nine games, but there’s still talent, the passing game isn’t all that bad, the ground game is averaging well over 200 yards per game – although, that has slipped lately.
The defensive front should be able to generate a ton of pressure in the backfield against the leaky FSU line, and …
What’s Going To Happen
Interim head coach Greg Knox should be able get the job done with the running game.
Florida State hasn’t played a whole slew of teams that could pound away, but Syracuse and North Carolina had some success, and almost everyone else was too busy throwing to worry about the ground attack.
Florida State might be sharper right now, but it doesn’t control the clock, and Florida is about to.
This will be more of a grind than anything flashy for the Gators, but the turnovers have stopped, the defense will load up against the run, and the ugly last several weeks will have a brief moment of happy.
Date: Saturday, November 27
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
How To Watch: ESPN
And it looks like we’re trying to make a late-season rally to reach a 75% accuracy on our picks after having another perfect week last week.
But it’s crunch time now. We’ve reached the final week of the regular season.
Can we go perfect again? Time will tell.
But we’d gladly miss every single pick if the only one we got right was FSU. That’s how deep our love and devotion for this team runs.
Friday, November 26th
|#20 NC State vs North Carolina||NCST 31, UNC 27|
Saturday, November 27th
|Georgia Tech vs #1 Georgia||UGA 54, GT 21|
|Boston College vs #18 Wake Forest||WAKE 31, BC 24|
|Florida vs Florida State||FSU 29, UF 24|
|Duke vs Miami||MIA 31, DUKE 7|
|Virginia vs Virginia Tech||UVA 37, VT 31|
|Syracuse vs #17 Pittsburgh||PITT 38, SYR 21|
|Louisville vs Kentucky||UK 38, LOU 31|
|South Carolina vs #23 Clemson||CLEM 31, SC 21|
Last Week’s Picks: 7-0
Year-to-Date Record: 71-30 (70.30%)
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a great slate of games and we’ll check back in next week and hopefully not cringe at the results.
And if you missed it, check out our latest episode of the “Laces Out” series here.
If you’ve signed up for our weekly ESPN College Pick ‘Em challenge then don’t forget to get your picks locked in. Top entry at the end of the season will get a nominal cash prize!
Information for this post was obtained from College Football News.