Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gators Have the Road Set for National Title Run

By JC De La Torre

The Florida Gators have sights set on Miami and now know the road to get there. With Saturday's upset of the Penn State Nitanny Lions by Iowa, Florida now doesn't have to worry about that fantastic Texas Tech squad slipping up somewhere along the line. The road is clear for the Gators and their case got even stronger with Florida State's victory over Clemson. Take care of their own business by finishing off with victories over South Carolina, the Citadel (on homecoming), and Florida State, they likely will face Alabama for the right to play for a berth in the National title game.

Florida will be ranked no worse than #4 when the BCS standings are released this evening, putting only Bama, Texas Tech, and Texas in their path to 1 of the 2 spots in the BCS. Florida emphatically stated their case to jump Texas by clobbering the nearly bowl eligible Vanderbilt Commodores 42-14, while Texas struggled early against god awful Baylor before finally getting their bearings and blowing out the Bears 45-21.

The biggest problem for the Longhorns is their remaining schedule, as they face two schools having down seasons in Kansas (6-4) and Texas A&M (4-6). They are in the same division as Texas Tech, so unless the Red Raiders fall to Oklahoma, they won't play in the Big 12 Championship game. Meanwhile, Florida plays South Carolina (7-3), the Citadel, and currently #22 Florida State (7-2, 1st place in the ACC Atlantic Division) before taking on #1 Alabama in the SEC title game. If both teams were to win out, there's little doubt that the Gators would jump Texas.

Of course, if the Red Raiders stumble in either the Oklahoma game or the Big 12 championship game, that opens up a big time mess in the BCS standings that could have Florida playing Texas or USC or Oklahoma or maybe even Penn State gets back into the mix. Basically, the BCS folks are praying to the football gods that the Red Raiders or Alabama can win out and keep this from being a nasty clusterfudge that President-elect Obama may inject himself into to force a college football playoff.

For the Gators, its simple - take care of your own business, avoid any minefield losses like Ole Miss, and you'll get a shot at the Crystal.

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