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We rank up each game with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific-system with some help from our own morning anchor Sheli Muñiz.
If you’re a college or pro football team in South Florida, this weekend is the definition of a must win situation – and for one team, it might be one of the final legitimate chances to get a win during the 2019 season.
Inside Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Hurricanes face a game on Friday that could see them be eliminated from ACC Coastal Division title contention with a loss while, two days later, the Miami Dolphins could cement their place as the worst team in the NFL with a loss.
In between, the FIU Panthers could actually have the best record in Miami-Dade County with a win this weekend – while the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles face their toughest games of the first half of the 2019 season that are important for much different reasons.
Before anyone can think about that, we rank up each game with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific-system with some help from our own morning anchor Sheli Muñiz (a diehard Florida Gators fan and alum who happened to be at work when we did this).
Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Cavaliers (Friday)
There is a decent chance that the ‘Canes could either still be in the race to win their division of the ACC or possibly be a risk of not even making a bowl game this season depending on what takes place in this showdown – a direct result of Miami losing last weekend to Virginia Tech despite being a double digit favorite.
Head coach Manny Diaz – who said he was going to be more involved with the defense during practice this week – also made a move on offense in giving N’Kosi Perry the starting quarterback job for this game, a direct result of his 400+ yards passing after taking over for Jarren Williams in the first quarter of the loss to Virginia Tech.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Redskins (Sunday)
Meanwhile, the “exciting” football continues two days later with a game that – and we write this knowing both teams have games with the New York Jets later in the season – could be one of the final chances for either team to get a victory during the 2019 season.
The Dolphins, coming off their bye week, are sticking with Josh Rosen as their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future – a move that some may see as waving the white flag while others see it as the best move for a team that looks to be in a multi-year tank job before the ship can be righted.
FIU Panthers vs. Charlotte 49ers (Saturday)
A win by the men from Southwest 8th Street and a loss by the ‘Canes will give head coach Butch Davis’ team the best record in Miami-Dade County – okay, not something to brag about in 2019 but it would be huge for momentum entering the second half of the season.
It would also be a huge win for FIU as it would be their first Conference USA victory of the season after dropping their first two games – something needed for a team picked to finish second in their division in the preseason.
Florida Gators at LSU Tigers (Saturday)
After getting a win last weekend over then-seventh ranked Auburn at home, the now seventh ranked Gators hit the road for their first test away from Gainesville this season – a night game in Baton Rouge against one of the most hostile crowds in all of college football.
At this rate, the winner of this game pulls into the driver’s seat for their division of the SEC – and Florida would be well into the conversation for the conference title game and a shot at making the College Football Playoff for the first time.
FSU Seminoles at Clemson Tigers (Saturday)
Last season’s blowout loss at home set the course for the Noles to have their first losing season in over four decades – and is a major reason why Clemson somehow became a near four touchdown favorite in this one despite the recent close games between the two teams at the home of the Tigers.
FSU head coach Willie Taggart is handing the offense back over to James Blackman at starting quarterback after missing the last game – the man who had the Seminoles within a field goal of tying the defending champs during the last game he played against them in 2017.
Other State Games
In the college game, both FAMU and FAU are on the road as the Rattlers are facing South Carolina State while the Owls take on Middle Tennessee State. USF is back home for their game against BYU while UCF is on their bye week after losing their second game of the season last weekend.
In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at their second home when they face the Carolina Panthers – in London – while the Jacksonville Jaguars return home to face off with the New Orleans Saints.