Florida

NBC 6 Weekend Football Preview: Now or Never in the Sunshine State

What to Know

  • We rate each of the showdowns with our not-so-scientific NBC 6 ranking system.

In the continuing saga of “how can we make fans suffer more”, the major football teams in South Florida have continued to keep those who support them on the edge of their seats this season – and that’s not a good thing.

In the case of the Miami Dolphins, it can’t get any worse this week after losing to Green Bay last Sunday – mostly because the 5-5 Dolphins are off this week. As for the college game, the once top 10 ranked Miami Hurricanes find themselves two losses from not going bowling this season while FIU stands two wins away from playing for their conference’s title.

At the same time, one of the state’s powers is staring down the barrel of their first losing season in decades while the city of Orlando will be the center of the sport this weekend thanks to two big battles – and we rate each of the showdowns with our not-so-scientific NBC 6 ranking system.

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BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 20: Running back Mark Walton #1 of the Miami Hurricanes carries the ball while being pursued by defensive tackle Ricky Walker #98 of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 20, 2016 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

Miami Hurricanes at Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday)

It was just over a month ago that the ‘Canes were riding high with a 5-1 record after coming back to beat rival Florida State – but that seems like ages after four straight losses that have seen Miami dealing with issues ranging from who will be the starting quarterback to what’s the deal with a team who has lost eight of their last 13 games.

While the Hokies are eliminated from a bowl game with a loss, Miami has to win one of their final two games to be eligible for the postseason.

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CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Alex McGough #12 of the FIU Golden Panthers runs for a touchdown against the Charlotte 49ers on October 15, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

FIU Panthers at Charlotte 49ers (Saturday)

There are not many people outside of the SW 8th Street campus who would have thought at the start of the season that Miami would be barely bowl eligible and the Panthers would be on the path toward playing for the Conference USA crown. But, with a win this weekend and one next Saturday at home against Marshall, FIU would play for the title in just the second season under Butch Davis.

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TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 22: The Florida State Seminoles and the Boston College Eagles set their lines during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Eagles 20-17. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

Florida State Seminoles vs. Boston College (Saturday)

If you were born after 1976, you are a part of a group who has never seen the Seminoles with a losing record to finish a season. Alas, a loss in one of their final two games – this week or next Saturday vs. Florida – and the Seminoles will have their first losing season since 1976 and miss their first bowl game since 1981.

The Noles were in the same spot last season, but won their final two games – except this year, both the Eagles and Gators are ranked in the top 20 nationally.

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Florida Gators vs. Idaho Vandals (Saturday)

It’s a game four years in the making in the home finale for the orange and blue this season. The teams met to open the 2014 season – and the game lasted exactly one play before lighting and massive rain caused it to be cancelled. At 7-3, Florida has bounced back from a losing season last year and can finish with just their third double digit win season this decade if they can win out.

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CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 07: Adrian Killins Jr. #9 of the UCF Knights stiffs arms Cortez Broughton #96 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half at Nippert Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

UCF Knights vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (Saturday)

It’s the game of the week in the state as both ranked teams are fighting for a chance to play for the American Athletic Conference title – while the Knights look to keep the nation’s longest win streak going and get a nationally televised win in primetime to continue their campaign to be a part of the College Football Playoff system.

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FAMU Ratters vs. Bethune Cookman Wildcats (in Orlando) (Saturday)

When you talk about rivalries in the state of Florida, the orange and green are not fond of the marron and gold and vice versa – and this season, the game has implications for who will bring home the MEAC title. Plus, if you aren’t a fan of football, this has one of the best halftime shows in all of college football when the bands battle it out on the field.

Other State Games

With the Florida Atlantic Owls losing on Thursday night to North Texas, the only other major college game this weekend involves the USF Bulls hitting the road to take on the Temple Owls.

In the pro game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also on the road when they face off with the New York Giants while the Jacksonville Jaguars will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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