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Rivalry Week’s Biggest Matchups

By: Kade Padgett (@kadepadgett)

It is finally that time of the year. The season is down to the final week, and playoff scenarios are starting to take shape. Everyone is ready to get to the postseason, but there is still one more stop that we need to make. You could go winless during the season, but if you win this week you will feel good. Every game up to this point is nothing compared to what this game will be like. It is finally rivalry week.  

Rivalry Week is all about beating a team you just absolutely cannot stand. Teams hated each other regardless of who the coaches were and who played for whom. What makes this season more interesting, is that a lot of these rivalries have serious playoff implications. Nothing feels better than getting to send your rival home packing early. Nothing stings more than missing out on the postseason because of your rival. Here we will look at the biggest games for rivalry week, and which ones hold the most implications for the playoffs. 

Miami vs. Florida State 

It seems like we are back here again for Miami vs. Florida State for the ACC title game. This could not be a more evenly divided rivalry game. In their last 13 games, the series is split 7-6 in favor of Miami, with game 14 being played on February 26th.

Miami is led by Senior quarterback Sam Dobbins, who has posted a stat line of over 2800 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Freshman running back Bo Yost also has almost 1000 scrimmage yards with 10 touchdowns as well, making for a formidable backfield for the Hurricanes.

The Seminoles, are led by sophomore Zeus Claydon, who posts a line of over 3600 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Senior running back Ronnie de la Rocha has been consistent on the ground and through the air, leading the Canes in both rushes and receptions.

The implications of this game are massive. Both teams will be going to the playoffs, but only one will get to do so as the conference champion and have the easier road in the postseason. This is going to be one of the best games of rivalry week, and we get it on night 1. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ACC Championship.  

Florida vs. Georgia 

This game has a much different feel than the ACC title game. We all know that with the revamped sim engine of College football, any team can win any game. Getting into the postseason is what matters, something that both Florida State and Miami have accomplished. Florida and Georgia have clinched nothing right now. The winner of this game will likely be into the postseason, whether as an auto bid or as an at-large team.

Florida is led by Junior quarterback Beau Dale, who has a passing line of 3300 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. His backfield mate Bode Dale (no known relation) leads the Gators on the ground with nearly 500 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.

Georgia is led by freshman quarterback Brandon Petty and his 3092 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. His backfield mate KJ Kretzer leads the Bulldogs in receptions and rushing yards.

This matchup is equal, with both teams standing at 3-4 with just one game to go. Not necessarily a win and in scenario but winning this game would go a long way to getting your name into the big dance.  

Kentucky vs Tennessee 

This feels like a David vs. Goliath story in the CFSL. Kentucky has the SEC title in their hands, and they are walking out of the door. Tennessee can steal it away from them, and let a team like Alabama, Florida, or LSU swoop in and take it. If Kentucky beats Tennessee, they win the title.

Kentucky is led by Mateo Walker and his nearly 3100 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.

Tennessee is led by Kyson Carey and his nearly 2300 passing yards and 8 touchdowns. On paper, this is a lopsided matchup. Tennessee has the worst point differential in the CFSL this season at –248, and they have failed to score more than 40 at any point this season, only scoring 30 or more twice. Kentucky averages almost 40 points a game and hasn’t lost since Week 3. So, what makes this one of the best rivalry games of the week? The absolute chaos that would ensure should Tennessee win.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the scenarios, go and read “CFSL Playoff Scenarios: Season 19, Week 8” written by our own Ryan Moreland. It is always fun watching chaos unfold. And while I wish no ill will to anyone on the Kentucky squad, I am all for the chaos scenarios.  

This is shaping up to be an amazing rivalry week in the CFSL. Playoffs are just around the corner and there are storylines all over the place. But we cannot think about the playoffs just yet. Rivalry week is up to bat, and the time to get those bragging rights is now.  

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