EMERALD BOWL - Dec. 27, 2006 - AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Florida State (6-6) vs. UCLA (7-5)
Outside of the Louisville-Wake Forest Orange Bowl matchup, this may be the most lopsided bowl as far as the "experts" go. I can't find anyone who's picking the Seminoles in this one. And, I can't blame them.
After watching UCLA's defense completely stifle the USC attack three weeks ago, it is quite hard to imagine how the FSU "offense", with lame duck Jeff Bowden calling the shots and mind-farked Drew Weatherford taking snaps, is going to accomplish much against the Bruins.
That said, look for the FSU defense to hold the Bruin attack in check as well. Lost in all the wailing about the Noles' offensive bumbling is that the Bruins rank 3 spots lower nationally than FSU in terms of total offense, and 17 spots lower in scoring offense.
The intangibles, however, favor FSU. Sure, UCLA is giddy about their upset of USC, but let's hold off on the coronation of the Coming Bruin Juggernaut for now. While their upset of the Trojans was certainly inspired, on that same day the Noles were giving everyone's-favorite-pick-now-to-win-the-national-title, Florida, all they could handle. And you cannot underestimate the determination that the Noles have to avoid that unheard-of losing season.
That said, look for the Noles to keep it close, only to ruin their chances of victory with the thing that has plagued them all season - turnovers.
UCLA 16, Florida State 13
6-7, coming right up