By: Scott Manze (@brosius16)
The importance of this Saturday's Florida State-Florida is, much like the game itself outside of the southeast, being overlooked.
This is the first time both team have met ranked in the top 10 since 2000. Both teams have combined for 2 losses this season, also the fewest since that 2000 season. Runs by both teams have defined the rivalry for the last 15 years, with the Seminoles winning 5 out 6 from 1998-2003 and then the Gators taking the next six before the the Noles won the last two. And since the 2003 game, which some call "The Swindle in the Swamp" and I call my greatest memory of the rivalry, there has not been a defining game.
This Saturday is huge for many of the reasons already listed. On paper, these are the combined best two FSU-Florida teams in years, yet they both have a ton to prove. Florida has arguably the best resume of any team in the country and is ranked fourth in the BCS, yet doesn't get the respect it feels it deserves due to lackluster outing against inferior opponents in the last month. The Noles are ranked tenth, but are much higher in the human polls and look to prove that this is the most underrated program in the country.
Will long runs of wins by either teams continue? Will Florida State win their 3rd in a row in the series? Will Jimbo FIsher continue his dominance of his in state rivals?
And while this year's game figures to be a defensive struggle, it feels like one that can have a defining moment in the series history. Look for a key goal line stand or a late game winning drive to produce vivid memories from the game for the first time in almost a decade. The series needs that kind of jumpstart to bring it back into the public eye.
There is a lot more on the line in this game than many think. Let's just hope it doesn't disappoint.
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