What to Know
- The state’s other two power college program look to bounce back after losses – one loss that led to the firing of their head coach.
As much as we have taken shots at the college and pro teams that call South Florida open this season, there has to be a time where credit is given – and for all of those teams, last weekend was a VERY good time to either be a Dolphin, Hurricane, Panther or Owl.
All four teams came out victorious last weekend – including two defeating their hated rivals – while the other two set up a meeting this weekend that could end up being for the division title in their league the way this season is going.
At the same time, the state’s other two power college program look to bounce back after losses – one loss that led to the firing of their head coach and led to the real chance of being left out of a bowl game for a second straight season.
But, before we get to that, we rank up each game with our not-so-scientific NBC 6 system.
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday)
Well, well, well, - I guess the Fins didn’t get the memo about tanking this season because they looked like a team that actually knows how to play football in their win last weekend over the New York Jets…and at the same time, dropped from having the likely top pick to somewhere around picking fourth.
Anyone who thinks there will be two straight wins might be disappointed as they hit the road this weekend to face a Colts team who was fed the shock of the preseason with their quarterback retiring – now, can head coach Frank Reich get a win with a quarterback who appeared for the first time this season last week?
Miami Hurricanes vs. Louisville Cardinals (Saturday)
If you would have picked the Canes to go up to Tallahassee and beat rival Florida State for a third straight season, it wouldn’t have been a shock – if you would have said they would have made the Noles look bad in the process, some would have said you’re dreaming but that’s what took place.
Now, the question for fans of the Canes is going to be whether the team that just got two huge road wins is going to show up – or is it going to be the one that lost in overtime to lowly Georgia Tech in their last appearance inside Hard Rock Stadium.
FIU Panthers at FAU Owls (Saturday)
The only yearly badly between South Florida college teams takes place this weekend as the winner not just takes home the Shula Bowl trophy, but with some help can also take home the Conference USA East Division at the end of the season and make it to a much better bowl game.
All time, the Owls hold a major lead in the series at 12 wins to just four for the Panthers, but FIU has won all their games in the last eight seasons and is coming in off a monster win last weekend against Old Dominion.
Florida State Seminoles at Boston College Eagles (Saturday)
Well, the Willie Taggart era came to an end in Tallahassee after a loss to the Canes last weekend – now, the keys are turned over to Odell Haggins as the Noles know they need to win two of their final three games just to be bowl eligible. The good news? They beat BC last season and have their game against a FCS team next weekend.
Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (Saturday)
The orange and blue got loss number two on the season against Georgia – meaning both their setbacks have come to teams ranked in the top six of the initial playoff rankings – and they now face a Vandy team who has outscored them in their last three meetings in Gainesville…despite the Gators winning two of those games.
Other State Games
It’s weekday football for the state’s other FBS programs with USF playing last night against Temple and UCF on the road Friday against Tulsa. Meanwhile, Bethune Cookman is on the road Saturday when they face Delaware State.
In the pro game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to break their four game losing streak when they face the Arizona Cardinals while the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the bye week after playing their…um, “home” game in London in a blowout loss to the Houston Texans.