November 14, 2000 - by
Battle Of Florida Continues With BCS Berth At Stake

Nov. 14, 2000


Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The third-ranked Florida State Seminoles host the fourth-ranked Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday, in what may really be a battle of three Florida college football teams.

With the Seminoles assured of a bowl berth, all that remains to
be decided is whether they’ll make it to the Orange Bowl.

The University of Miami holds a slight edge over the Seminoles
for a second-place rating. The Seminoles need a decisive victory over the
Gators to regain their Orange Bowl reservation.

“We’ve still got our work cut out for us, but most of the teams
left have games to play as well,” Seminoles’ coach Bobby Bowden said after seeing the new rankings. “Like I said, I’ll be a fan of the BCS until it lets us down, and then I’ll have to rethink my allegiance.”

Bowden could be headed to his fifth Orange Bowl in his 25 years
with the Seminoles.

It wasn’t a loss that dropped Florida State (10-1, 8-0 ACC) from
the second slot to No. 3, but rather a less-than-dominating show against Wake Forest last Saturday.

The Seminole’s 35-6 win over the Demon Deacons was the first time
since their 27-24 loss to the University of Miami on Oct. 7 that Florida
State did not outscore their opponents by more than 30 points.

“It’s gotten to be that the expectations are so high with this
team, that if we don’t win by 50 we didn’t do a good job,” said senior
quarterback Chris Weinke, who threw for 324 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions.

“Winning by 29 is still nice, but we know it’s probably going to cost
us.”

Weinke is considered to be one of the front-runners for the Heisman
Trophy.

The Seminoles suffered a setback as four tailbacks were lost to
injury. While injuries to starter Travis Minor and fourth-stringer Greg Jones shouldn’t be too serious, backup Jeff Chaney will probably miss the rest of the season with torn knee ligaments, and Davey Ford has a possible fractured collar-bone.

The No. 4 Florida Gators clinched the SEC East title last week
with a 41-21 win over South Carolina and have a shot at the BCS with a win in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 2. It will be their seventh championship game since coach Steve Spurrier started with the team in 1990.

But the fact that Spurrier has never beaten their in-state rivals, at Doak Campbell,
makes a win this weekend all the more imperative.

The main question for Spurrier is who his starting quarterback
will be, freshman Rex Grossman, or senior Jesse Palmer. Grossman has been the main quarterback since Palmer hurt his ankle in a 47-35 loss to unranked Mississippi State on Sept. 30.

After Grossman went down 21-3 against South Carolina last
Saturday, Spurrier turned to Palmer, who threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns for the win.

“He’s been good with the whole situation,” Spurrier said,
speaking of Palmer. “One thing we say is, `You hit the bench around here and it doesn’t mean you’re there forever. If the other guy is struggling, coach will give you a chance.'”

Related Articles