The Florida Gators football team may have caught a break in the form of the Louisville Cardinals getting blown out by the Houston Cougars.
The Florida Gators will need to have Lady Luck on their side in order to reach the College Football Playoff. It seems improbable, but the possibility exists that Florida will win out and earn an opportunity to play for the national title.
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Though it’s admittedly a long-shot, the Gators may have caught their first massive break on Thursday, November 17.
Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals were dominated by the Houston Cougars on Thursday, falling 36-10 on the road. It was a frustrating showing for a team that trailed 31-0 at halftime and looked like a championship contender as recently as Thursday afternoon.
By losing its second game of the 2016 season, Louisville has effectively been eliminated from College Football Playoff consideration.
The ACC isn’t a strong enough conference for Louisville to survive a second loss and still play in the College Football Playoff. The one team that joins Louisville as elite is the Clemson Tigers, which defeated the Cardinals earlier this season.
Thus, if any ACC school is going to make the College Football Playoff, it’s Clemson.
As for Houston, it’s a two-loss team with two bad losses on its resume. It fell 46-40 to the 7-2 Navy Midshipmen, which is somewhat forgivable, but it also lost 38-16 to a 5-5 SMU Mustangs team that was on a three-game losing streak.
In turn, the team that effectively eliminated Louisville has been eliminated from the College Football Playoff picture itself.
Intriguing as this all may be, Florida has murderer’s row to go through over the final two or three games of the season. It’ll play the LSU Tigers in Death Valley after Hurricane Matthew forced their earlier encounter to be postponed, rescheduled, and relocated.
If Florida defeats LSU or the Tennessee Volunteers lose, the Gators will clinch the SEC East and play the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game.
Before getting to Alabama, however, Florida still has a guaranteed game on the schedule. After taking the road to play LSU, the Gators will have to pack up and ship right back out to play the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee.
If the Gators somehow run the table and defeat LSU and Florida State on the road, then the game against Alabama could have massive implications.
Winning consecutive games over LSU, Florida State, and Alabama—improbable, but not impossible—would bring Florida’s record to 10-2 on the season. Moreover, it’d bring the Gators to the forefront of the College Football Playoff discussion.
With Louisville now out of the championship picture and just four one-loss teams remaining in the Top 10, Florida could do the unthinkable.