Florida Gators Looking to Contend for National Title

Ken BlackContributor IOctober 12, 2008

So who was the biggest winner this week in college football? It would be hard to argue against Texas, coming off a dominating performance against the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Indeed, anytime a team beats the top-ranked team, it is cause for celebration. But the Florida Gators pulled of an impressive show of their own.

The Gators jumped seven spots in the AP rankings and are now sitting fifth. One team, if they both keep winning, will be their opponent for the SEC championship. Thus, to play for the national championship, the Gators will likely need two teams in front of them to falter.

Yes, it is true the Gators are ranked seventh in the coaches' poll, but that is not going to matter in the long run. Texas Tech is ahead of them, but will lose. It took a miracle to beat Nebraska. USC will be largely rendered irrelevant in the BCS standings because of strength of schedule.

Plus, Oklahoma will not play for the national championship without winning their conference, especially if the team they keep out is the SEC Champion. So, essentially, Florida ranks fourth. Beating Alabama moves them up to at least third.

So what are the two other teams left? Texas and Penn State. Admittedly, looking at these teams schedules, it is looking pretty good for both of these teams if they win out.

On paper, Texas has the tougher schedule. And there will be letdown after Oklahoma. This is bad news, especially with Missouri (next week), Texas Tech and Kansas still on the schedule. If they get through all that, they deserve to be in Miami in January.

However, the money is against them running the table. Thus, it looks at this point like the national championship will be between the SEC champion and Penn State.

Alabama will not be in the SEC championship game, simply because they have not been tested. Yes, they have played two teams that were top 10 teams, but what have those teams done since? Both Clemson and Auburn were overrated in the top 10 and have nosedived since.

Therefore, the SEC championship game will be a rematch between LSU and Florida. Until LSU proves otherwise, my money is with Florida.

It certainly looks like another Big 10/SEC title game, with Penn State and Florida being the representatives. Given the way the offenses are clicking, it could be a very entertaining, high scoring shootout.