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National pregame: Florida-Florida State rivalry retakes center stage

The Gators and Seminoles renew acquaintances on Saturday, with the winner possibly staking a claim in the national title game.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 22, 2012

They're baaaaaaaack.

From 1990 through 2000, college football's best rivalry was Florida State-Florida. Saturday's answer to Cowboys-49ers.

Florida State and Florida played 13 times from 1990 through 2000 — that's right, 13 times in 11 seasons, since they twice rematched in the Sugar Bowl, once for the national title.

In all games, both the Seminoles and Gators entered ranked in the top 10.

Then Florida State began its 21st-century slide, and Florida had its occasional slumps. But Saturday in Tallahassee, the 10th-ranked Seminoles host No. 4 Florida in a game that still carries national title implications.

If Southern Cal can upset Notre Dame on Saturday, Florida could make a case to reach the national title game, even though the Gators won't be in the SEC title game. If Florida State beats Florida, the Seminoles will zoom up the polls and make their case, if there's a Big Bowl opening.

Florida clearly has been the SEC's most impressive team, though it won't get to play for the conference title. While Georgia and Alabama are headed for the SEC championship game, neither played any of the heavyweights from the opposite division.

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