Florida Football 100 For 100, No. 44: The Gators Can Clean Florida State's Clock

July 23, 2012; Greensboro, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head football coach Jimbo Fisher talks to reporters during the ACC media day at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro NC. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

There are three days until Florida's September 1 opener with Bowling Green. There are 44 entries left in the 100 For 100 series. Hit 'em up, numerous shots from the fo'-fo'?

Our friend/loathed rival Bud Elliott at Tomahawk Nation has a long piece on why 2012 is Florida State's year — and has to be Florida State's year, because of the likelihood that the 'Noles will lose too much to compete for a national title in 2013. I don't think he's wrong about that, nor are the many pundits who are on board the S.S. Jimbo and projecting a run at a championship. But the beautiful thing about Florida State being good is that Florida will always have a chance to ruin the Seminoles' season.

Imagine an 11-0 Florida State team that has risen to No. 1 in the polls by the time the Gators head to Doak Campbell Stadium this November. If that team beats Florida, it would be all but ticketed for a national title appearance, with no better a squad than Virginia Tech waiting in the ACC Championship Game. If that team loses to Florida, though, is a win over Virginia Tech going to vault it past other good one-loss teams? I doubt it.

And while Elliott hints at the chance that Florida has to be special in 2013 if many of its juniors stick around, I think there's a better chance that Florida will be playing near its defensive peak by the end of this season, after Ronald Powell returns to the lineup and freshmen Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard get their ESS EEE CEE-soning. And I genuinely do think that Florida's offense will be good in 2012, good enough to hang with Florida State.

Yes, Florida State's time appears to be now, and the 'Noles appear to be back. But that FSU window could slam shut at any time in the season, should one team rise up to clean its clock. I think the Gators have a chance to do that in the most painful way.

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