Weekend Rooting Guide

The MAC Championship Game, ACC Championship Game, and Pitt-UConn all don’t mean anything to Gator fans unless you’ve got a secondary rooting interest in one of those contests. For instance, I’ll be rooting for Virginia Tech over Boston College because I have some Hokie friends here in Charlotte, but I’ve never even met a BC fan.

Some of the other games of the day though can affect the Gators.

Root for UCLA over USC. Not only did they kindly beat USC to pave the way for the 2006 national title team, but their basketball team twice rolled over for the Gators in the Final Four. Nice fellas, those Bruins.

Also: there are plenty of people with votes who just plain like USC. It is theoretically possible that some might rank the Trojans over the Gators. There would be no reason for them to do that if Florida has one loss and USC has two. With as close as the BCS race will end up, every point counts.

Root for Missouri over Oklahoma. The only possible situation where a 12-1 Florida team gets shut out of the national title game is a Texas-OU rematch. If the Sooners go down, that possibility evaporates instantly.

Also: I have come to the realization since Monday that it probably would be a good for Oklahoma to win close rather than win a massive blowout. A close Sooner win means more first place votes go to Florida in the human polls, and UF needs as many as it can get to make it comfortable. Every first place vote for Oklahoma is a vote for Texas too, given the situation in the computer polls.

Root for Hawai’i over Cincinnati. Remember Hawai’i? That opponent from waaaaay back in August? They have one more game, and it’s a home contest versus the Big East champions. Cincy gets a 13th game because there is an NCAA rule that says you can get an extra regular season game if it is in the islands. It’s designed to take away the excuse of losing a home game from any non-WAC team that refuses to play out there.

Both teams have already secured their bowl bids, so there isn’t much on the line. However, Florida played Hawai’i and Oklahoma played Cincinnati. This is the only game of the weekend that can directly affect the strength of schedule for any of the top three teams. Remember, every point counts.

I know that Cincinnati won 10 games and Florida embarrassed Hawai’i, but the Warriors are a completely different team at home. They also play worse the farther east they go, so it’s almost impossible for them to have played worse than they did in Gainesville (unless they played in Newfoundland or Europe or something). It’s a doable upset for the home guys, so let’s go Warriors.

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