It's been raining on and off here all day in Tampa, the sun is still out, but in true Florida fashion the weather is whacked out of its mind just an hour and a half before kickoff.
Fans and students are just pouring into the stadium now, gates were at 4:30. Thus far, it looks like a pretty even split between Seminoles fans and Bulls fans. I'll have a better idea closer to kickoff, but there will be no lack of support for Florida State today.
A few things to look out for today, this is the Super Bowl for USF, a win almost completely redeems their season and it's definitely a date the Bulls have had circled all off-season. You can expect to get USF's best shot today, the team that showed up against Ball State and the one who comes out of the tunnel today are not going to be the same group of kids. For all intents and purposes, toss out the Bulls' record and consider this a one-off. They will not play like a 2-2 team today.
That being said, I don't know that USF's best shot will still be enough. Clemson is head and shoulders above what USF is capable of, the Tigers threw their best shot at the Noles last weekend and fell short. If Florida State comes out and plays their game today, they should be able to handle the best the Bulls have to offer.
The issue will be miscues and momentum. Turnovers, blown plays or a bad quarter can give the Bulls just the level of confidence they need to pull off the upset. The Bulls are overmatched, but not out of their league. USF boasts some very talented skill players and BJ Daniels, all criticisms aside, is the kind of quarterback who can get hot and hurt a team on the right afternoon.
As long as Florida State doesn't come out asleep, they should be able to handle this game. But I'll be back at halftime with the update.
Attendance: 65,787 (sellout)
TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough play-by-play, Chris Spielman color, Quint Kessenich sideline)