May 25, 2024

Bulldogs and Seminoles preparing for unique battle in Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl

(Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

The Orange Bowl kicks off this afternoon between Florida State and Georgia, but all eyes will be on this matchup for many reasons beyond the playing field.

After all, it sent shockwaves across the College football landscape when the Playoff Committee left the Bulldogs and Seminoles out of their top-four. Florida State became the first undefeated Power Five champion that couldn’t taste postseason glory. Many believe the decision had a lot to do with star quarterback Jordan Travis’ injury.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs were the two-time reigning National Champs, and finished 12-1 this season. However, a soft schedule came back to haunt Georgia when it mattered the most, and the Orange Bowl is now its’ consolation prize. The intriguing part is the fact that nobody knows which team is going to show up.

Florida State (13-0) has already had several starters opt out of this game, including wideouts Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, tight end Jaheim Bell, defensive linemen Jared Verse and Fabien Lovett, running back Tre Benson and backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker.

There’s no denying the Seminoles are looking depleted approaching their clash with the Bulldogs. Not to mention the distractions from everything that has transpired in the program over the past four weeks. There were even rumors of fans wanting Florida State to boycott this game because of disgust with the ACC. On top of that, the Seminoles are exploring all options in court of exiting the league for greener pastures.

That’s more than enough drama to distract the players, but Coach Mike Norvell is trying to keep everyone focused on the task at hand. Despite being nearly three-touchdown underdogs, and short-handed, the Seminoles still have an opportunity to take down a team that has only lost one game over the past two seasons.

Norvell can also extend the program’s winning streak to 20 games. That’s not saying Florida State would pull what UCF did in 2017 and claim itself as National Champions, but finishing undefeated would be a statement in itself. The Seminoles really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, which makes them dangerous and ready to shock the world.

Coach Kirby Smart has the best talent in all of College football, and Georgia wants to prove the Alabama loss was a fluke. The Bulldogs are preparing to take out all of their frustration on the Seminoles, and show millions of fans that the Playoff Committee made a mistake by leaving them out. Several starters on Smart’s squad are gearing up for battle too, so Norvell should be expecting Georgia’s best.

Fans are already making out this game to be David versus Goliath, but Florida State actually matches up well against Georgia scheme wise. This game should be a battle that’ll be won in the trenches, and could very well come down to special teams. It’s still going to come down to which team wants it more.

Miami is a fun place to be around New Year’s Eve, with all of the festivities, so each coach has to keep his players dialed in. This will be a clash of the highest-ranked teams that aren’t participating in the Playoffs. And it’s the ACC against the Almighty SEC, so fans should be expecting the unexpected.