The top-ranked Gators have won a school-record 21 straight games, also the nation's longest current streak. They've won 15 in a row against Southeastern Conference teams, 10 consecutive at home and eight straight against non-conference foes.
There's one more that will take center stage this week:
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
“There's a lot of hatred,'' Gators safety Ahmad Black said. “It started even before us. It goes way back to the earlier days. We're just going to try to keep it going. We've won five straight, so we don't want to be the team that loses the streak.''
The streak started in 2004, when the Gators rallied behind fired coach Ron Zook and became the first
Three of the four victories under coach Urban Meyer haven't even been close, with
“Two years they've ripped us,''
“Not anybody is going to beat them with an imperfect ball game. They're too good. We're going to have to play the best we can play and they're going to have to turn the ball over. Upsets are caused by turnovers. When a superior team, No. 1, is playing somebody not ranked, then the only thing that neutralizes it is turnovers.''
Bowden added that he believes the Seminoles will be able to compete - next year, after quarterback Tim Tebow graduates.
“It'll eventually change,'' Bowden said. “Nothing will last forever.''
The Seminoles became bowl eligible for the 28th consecutive year with Saturday's 29-26 victory over
The Gators have more at stake. They need to beat FSU and
It also will be Senior Day for Tebow, linebacker Brandon Spikes, receiver Riley Cooper and several other key players - a daylong celebration for a group hoping to win a third national championship.
“This last opportunity, it's very special,'' Tebow said. “It's how you want to have your last game at
Players and coaches quickly turned their attention to FSU after the drubbing, with more postgame talk about the Seminoles than the Golden Panthers.
Extending the streak dominated the conversation, too.
“It's five? So it'll be six,'' guard Mike Pouncey said. “It's a rivalry game, so everybody's going to play a little bit harder.''
The rivalry used to be one of the best in the country, with bragging rights, recruiting battles and national championship hopes on the line almost every year. Players and coaches (Steve Spurrier at least) would exchange barbs and trash talk, there was almost always some pregame tension, maybe even a fight, and the games usually lived up to all the hype.
It hasn't been that way lately, but Tebow insists the game hasn't lost its luster.
“Since I can remember watching football, I can remember watching that game,'' he said. “
“That's just one example of how special this game is. For
Posted: 11/24/09 1:45PM ET