January 1, 2001 - by
Seminoles Take Rooting Interest In Gators – At Least For One Day

Jan. 1, 2001


By BEN WALKER
AP Sports Writer

MIAMIBrian Allen can barely get the words out of his mouth.


“I’m not a Florida Gator fan,” the Florida State linebacker said
Monday,
“but I want them to win tomorrow night.”

For good reason, too. Because if the team he despises can upset No. 2
Miami
in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night, his third-ranked Seminoles will get a
chance to win an undisputed national championship.

Otherwise, the Seminoles are looking at a split title – at best.

“When we go to spring drills in February, we don’t think about sharing
a
title,” he said. “Those T-shirts that we wear say `Repeat’ on the front and
`No Excuses’ on the back. They don’t say `Repeat – Along with Miami.”‘

The Seminoles play top-ranked Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Wednesday
night, with the winner being assured the coaches’ championship.

If Oklahoma loses, Miami could wind up winning the Associated Press
media
poll with a victory over No. 7 Florida.

“We’re going to be big Gators fans,” Florida State defensive end Jamal
Reynolds said. “We want it all wrapped up.”

Said defensive back Chris Hope: “I don’t think we should have to share
it
with Miami, even if they win. But if Miami loses and we win, that should do
it.
No recount or nothing.”

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback
Chris Weinke already are on record saying they would be content with winning
a
piece of the national title.

Oklahoma is the only undefeated major college team in the country,
while
several schools have just one loss.

Miami handed Florida State its only loss, 27-24 on Oct. 7. The
Hurricanes’
lone loss came early this season at Washington, which also went into the
Rose
Bowl with one defeat.

The rankings by the Bowl Championship Series picked Florida State over
Miami
as the Oklahoma’s opponent.

“I think anybody beside Oklahoma would draw a question: `Do you think
you
deserve to be here more than Florida State, Miami or Washington?”‘ Allen
said.

“As soon as we lost to Miami, we wanted to play them again in the
Orange
Bowl for the national championship. Everyone on our team wanted to get that
chance,” he said. “But it didn’t work out that way.”

There were three shared titles in the 1990s.

“If you have a split champion this year and another one next year,
maybe
we’ll have a playoff system in the near future,” Allen said. “I think a lot
of people want that.”

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