Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Lot Riding on Rivalries

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Lot Riding on Rivalries

Article excerpt

Rivalry Week has arrived, and not a moment too soon.

With computer madness kicking off arguments galore over which teams are worthy of playing for a national title -- for now, Oklahoma's in the lead, with Miami and Florida State right behind in the BCS standings -- let's not forget what college football is really all about: braggin' rights, baubles and bowl berths.

There will be no shortage of prizes awarded next Saturday, and a few winners are sure to earn even more rewards. From The Game to the Big Game, the Iron Bowl to the Civil War, the Apple Cup to the Old Oaken Bucket -- and more, there's plenty at stake.

A preview:

No. 4 Florida (9-1) at No. 3 Florida State (10-1): Governor's Cup aside, this is the biggest game of the week in the world of the Bowl Championship Series. The Seminoles, 35-6 winners over Wake Forest on Saturday, have locked up a BCS game and a win over the Gators gives them a strong chance at defending their national title in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Florida, SEC East champs after a 41-21 win over South Carolina, needs to win in Tallahassee, then take the SEC title game on Dec. 2 to make a claim for the national crown.

No. 5 Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-10) at No. 8 Oregon State (9-1, 6-1) is the biggest Civil War game ever: The Ducks, who beat California 25-17, will be Pac-10 champs and head to the Rose Bowl with a win; the Beavers, 33-9 winners over Arizona, go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1964 if they beat the Ducks and Washington State (4-6, 2-5) upsets No. 6 Washington (9-1, 6-1) in the Apple Cup game. Washington goes with a win over the Cougars and a loss by the Ducks.

In the Big Ten, there's a four-way tie for first place: No. 17 Purdue (7-3, 5-2), despite a 30-10 loss to Michigan State, earns its first Rose Bowl berth since 1966 with a victory at home over Indiana (3-7, 2-5) in the traditional game for the Old Oaken Bucket. …

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