Sports Illustrated released their rankings of rivalry games based on how “spicy” they consider the matchups to be and the Sunshine State Showdown between Florida and Florida State was described as “tangy” — the “tangy” distinction is for in-state teams with winning records.
The moniker makes sense for this game. The Gators and Seminoles are in similar spots as programs, with the latter having a better season on the field. The subtext when these two teams meet is always recruiting. As two of the three biggest brands in the state, both programs battle for the best prospects in the state, making their annual matchup mean more than your average in-state rivalry game.
This year’s game is expected to be one of the better on-field games in recent years. For the first time in a while, both teams are at similar levels. Here is what Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde said about the matchup:
The Gators (6–5) killed their late-season momentum with an upset loss at Vanderbilt, while the Seminoles (8–3) come in riding a four-game streak of blowout wins. It’s not Bowden vs. Spurrier, but the game has a little bit of juice back.
Pick: Florida State 31, Florida 20.
Forde’s analysis makes sense. If the Gators don’t slip up against Vanderbilt last week, the national outlook on this game is a bit different. Florida State has quietly been on the best run of the Mike Norvell era.
This year’s edition will be played on Black Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on ABC Sports.
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