GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Gators’ victory over in-state rival Florida State not only ended the Seminoles’ slim hopes of Bowl Championship Series championship consideration, but also likely guaranteed the Gators a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
Florida easily defeated the Seminoles 37-26 in a game where the Gators offense took apart the FSU’s once-vaunted defense and Florida’s defense confounded E.J. Manuel and the Noles’ offense.
The victory pushed Florida to number four in the next to last BCS rankings released Sunday. Notre Dame is number one and will be in the BCS championship game in Miami in January. Alabama is number two and Georgia is number three in the BCS rankings.
Even though Georgia beat Florida in the regular season, and the Bulldogs will represent the SEC East in the SEC Championship game; the Gators will likely get the SEC’s second BCS bid because they will be ranked higher after the SEC Championship game.
Florida’s victory over the Seminoles also helped punctuate the discrepancy in talent and coaching between the SEC and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Besides Florida’s victory, the South Carolina Gamecocks humbled Clemson 27-17; Georgia mauled Georgia Tech 42-10; and Vanderbilt thumped Wake Forest, 55-21 on Saturday.
The Gators have earned their BCS berth on the back of a stifling defense. The Gators have held opponents to an average of 12.9 points per game in 2012, and held three opponents to single-digits.
While Florida struggled against Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette in recent weeks, the Gators responded when it counted most against the Noles last Saturday.