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Florida State Vs. Florida Preview: Two Flawed Teams Clash in the Swamp

Florida St. Seminoles vs. Florida Gators, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Maybe it's because I live in Tallahassee and follow the SEC closely, but it's easy for me to see the warts on both Florida and Florida state. The Seminoles have been almost as disappointing as the Gators this year, though that's at least in part due to the fact that FSU fans started the season with higher hopes (and in part due to the fact that Florida State lost to Wake Forest and Virginia).

It's not often that you see Florida, Florida State and Miami all down on the same year, but that's where we stand this year. And that's what adds a bit of intrigue to this game -- bowl invite or no, this is quite possibly the most important matchup remaining on either team's schedule. Florida State can win the state championship they like to brag about so much, and Florida can prove that last year's win is a speed bump on a record of dominance that dates to 2004.

The problem is that Florida is facing a kind of team that seems to cause it the most trouble this year: A solid defense paired with a mediocre offense. The Seminoles lead the ACC in total defense, rushing defense and score defense. The weak point is their passing efficiency defense, but good luck to Florida in handling that one.

Florida, meanwhile, is pretty much mediocre across the board. They rank around the middle of the SEC in most categories, though that might actually stack up to a solid team in the ACC. But it's not like Florida has done so well against the SEC -- they're 3-5 on the season -- that we can easily figure out where they would land in the coastal league.

So Florida State has the advantage, with the exception of the edge that goes to the homefield team. But don't be surprised if a few of the Seminoles' warts give Florida a significant win.

Florida State 31, Florida 21

Woo Pig Sooie