TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Florida has owned Florida State recently, so the Seminoles would enjoy nothing better than knocking the Gators out of the national championship race.
No matter what happens against Florida State on Saturday, the second-ranked Gators will play No. 1 Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game next week.
But if Florida doesn't beat its most fierce rival, the SEC title will be the only thing at stake for the Gators in the Georgia Dome.
``What can we do greater than if we could beat them?'' Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. ``They are number two in the nation, they are an excellent football team and they've been wearing us out lately.''
Florida (10-1) has won four straight in the series, and the Gators have some history of spoiling Florida State's title runs.
s after the Gators won their first national championship - over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
This time it's Florida with the most to lose.
``They (Florida State) have a lot of motivation, not only because of our national championship hopes, but they have the fans and it's a rivalry game,'' Gator safety Ahmad Black said. ``The rivalry game spices it up a little bit, plus they can end our season basically.''
Florida coach Urban Meyer believes his players are focused on the Seminoles.
``They have a very clear vision at what the task at hand is,'' said Meyer, who is 3-0 against Bowden.
``For coaches, every game is a huge game,'' Meyer said. ``It's our job and how we feed our families.''
Florida State (8-3), a 16 1/2-point underdog, still has BCS hopes, too. The Seminoles need Maryland to beat Boston College to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. So they also have some scoreboard watching to do Saturday.
``We're the biggest underdogs that we've been in years,'' Bowden noted.
Florida's Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Tim Tebow, said the Gators won't be looking ahead to Alabama.
``It's not just the next game, it's Florida State,'' Tebow said. ``It's not hard to focus on this one.''
Probably not an encouraging thought for Bowden, who believes the Gators are better than last year when they clubbed his Seminoles 45-12.
``They beat us like they owned us,'' Bowden said. ``It'll be interesting to see if we've closed the gap any.''
Unless the 23rd-ranked Seminoles can win the ACC and get to the Orange Bowl, it's looking more like a possible New Year's Eve in Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Bowl against another SEC opponent.
Florida comes first and Bowden has fretted all week about the Gators' fast starts in recent weeks, especially since his club has fallen behind by double digits in five of its last six games.
``It could take 50 (points) unless you're just simply playing super on defense,'' Bowden said. ``It's just according to whether they get hot or not.''
And Bowden doesn't want to ask that much of his offense.
``I don't know if anybody in the country wants to get in a shoot out with 'em,'' Bowden added. ``They've just got so much skill.''

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