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Monday, January 14, 2013
Readers say Florida State's year was better

By Edward Aschoff

The votes are in and the readers have spoken when it comes to deciding which Florida school -- Florida or Florida State -- had the better year in 2012.

With more than 12,000 votes cast in our SportsNation poll, Florida State took home 58 percent of the vote, while the Gators earned just 42 percent. ACC blogger Andrea Adelson and I took our argument for both teams to the blog on Friday, and while I made the case that the Gators overachieved and the Seminoles underachieved, Florida State still walked all over Florida in our poll.

You could make an argument for both teams, but I just felt that after going 11-2 with even a chance of making it to the national championship game following a 7-6 season in Will Muschamp's first year, the Gators clearly had the better year. Did it end with an embarrassing bowl loss? Yes, but the Gators weren't even supposed to sniff the Sugar Bowl when the season started.

Florida State was a legitimate national championship pick during the preseason, but fell short against a less-talented NC State team and was beaten soundly by Florida at home to close the regular season. Granted, the Seminoles took care of business after that, winning the ACC title and then destroying Northern Illinois in the Discover Orange Bowl, but those regular-season losses were bad ones for the Noles.

The Gators might have owned the SEC's worst passing offense, but their only slip-up during the regular season came against eventual SEC Eastern Division champ Georgia. Florida also ended the regular season with four wins over top-10 teams.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl disaster aside, the Gators, who rose as high as No. 3 in the BCS standings, had quite the second year under Muschamp.