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UF, FSU, USF: Which one-loss team is better?

GAINESVILLE -- There are two schools of thought right now regarding the BCS-member football teams in the Sunshine State.

1. UF, one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, is clearly better than everyone else.
2. Boil away the hype and UF (5-1) has one loss just like two other BCS-member teams in this football-mad state. Florida State is 5-1 and USF is 6-1.

UF is ranked No.5 in the Week 8 Associated Press poll. USF is ranked No.14 (up six spots) and FSU is back in the AP poll at No.23.

Comparing the three teams' defeats, UF's 31-30 loss against Ole Miss at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium now seems to be the worst loss of the three one-loss Florida teams. Ole Miss is 3-4 and the Rebels have lost two straight (South Carolina and Alabama) since upsetting the Gators.

USF lost to Pittsburgh at home but Pitt is now 5-1 and ranked No.17 in the country. It's too bad USF doesn't play UF, FSU or Miami this season.

FSU's only loss came on the road to Wake Forest (4-2), which was ranked No.19 in the AP poll last week. Wake Forest dropped out of the AP Top 25 on Sunday after losing to Maryland 26-0 on Saturday. Is Wake Forest turning out to be just another overrated ACC team?

While UF's loss to Ole Miss could be considered the worst defeat among the three one-loss BCS Florida teams, the Gators' 51-21 blowout of LSU is certainly the most impressive win of any team in the Sunshine State. FSU's best wins have been against a pair of three-loss teams (Colorado and Miami). USF's best win was against No.19 Kansas (5-2).

This much we do know:

1. Both UF and FSU have knocked off Miami.
2. Similar to UF's loss to Ole Miss, FSU's loss to Wake Forest was made possible by mistakes. FSU had seven turnovers in its loss to Wake. UF had three turnovers and several other defensive and special teams errors in the Gators' only loss of the season.
3. Of the three one-loss BCS teams in the state, only UF has beaten a team ranked in the AP Top 5.
4. Of the three one-loss BCS teams in the state, only UF has lost to a four-loss team.

This sounds crazy right now but it is conceivable that both UF and FSU could be ranked in the BCS Top 5 by the final week of the season. UF is already No.5 in the AP poll and a win against Georgia would further boost the Gators' resume. FSU ends the season against Va. Tech (home), No.21 Georgia Tech (away), Clemson (home), No.23 Boston College (home), Maryland (away) and UF (home).

Can UF run the table and be 10-1 going into the final week of the season?
Can FSU run the table and be 10-1 going into the final week of the season?
Will UF at FSU determine which team plays in a BCS bowl?
Are there any scenarios out there pitting UF and USF against each other in a bowl game?



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