Call it the the “Sunshine State Showdown” or the “Florida Feud.” Call it whatever you want. But for the Gators, and their fans, they’ve had, and heard, about enough from their Garnet and Gold rivals in the series lately.
Saturday night in Tallahassee, Florida-Florida State will resume. And with it, the continuation of the Noles recent dominance. Three in a row, and five of the last six belong to Florida State and they are favored to make it six our of seven coming up.
Now, contemplate that FSU has not won four in a row in the rivalry since their Bobby Bowden led run from 1987-1990. And with that late 80’s streak, Nole Seniors like Peter Tom Willis and Lawrence Dawsey (now coaching the FSU receivers) could claim that they never lost to their bitter rival.
Gator fans will remind you that with Tim Tebow largely responsible, they previously won six straight over FSU from 2004-09. And their seniors in 07, 08 and 09 can claim the same thing.
But, it’s a “what have you done right now, sports world,” and the 2016 Jimbo Fisher led version of upperclassmen, have that same chance to donut the Gators. It seems that ever since, Jameis Winston led the blowout at Gainesville 37-7 four seasons ago, there has been a swagger to FSU in this game.
That includes last year’s 27-2 blowout at the Swamp where Dalvin Cook ran all over the Gators (above) that night.
Florida comes off the dramatic goal line stand win at LSU to clinch the SEC East Saturday. Cook became FSU’s all time leading rusher last weekend at Syracuse in another dominant performance.
So, the stage is set.
Emotions will be high.
And, as with any big time college football rivalry, throw out records, trends and streaks, it’s different, it’s hostile, it’s personal.
And for Florida the challenge is tall, but they can’t start a streak against FSU, until they actually win one, again.