Ask Farrell: Where does Florida rank in the SEC?

Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
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Last week in another Ask Farrell, the question was whether Auburn - despite being ranked seventh nationally at that time - was the fourth-best team in the SEC.

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More than anything, a point was being made that Auburn still had a really tough schedule ahead of it and while the Tigers were having a great season, Alabama, Georgia and LSU might have better overall teams.

After Saturday’s decision in Gainesville, now Florida is on the clock as arguably the fourth-best team in the league or even better.

Florida never trailed Auburn, hunkered down in the second half defensively and forced former five-star quarterback Bo Nix into throwing three interceptions as the Gators won, 24-13.

It was impressive in many ways. Quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, backup Emory Jones filled in nicely when Trask got hurt, Lamical Perine peeled off an 88-yard touchdown run and receiver Freddie Swain had a TD reception and big numbers as well.

Auburn’s defense was the talk of the town entering Saturday’s matchup and rightfully so, but Florida’s group, which was allowing less than nine points per game, played incredibly well. They swarmed the football. They baited Nix and then made him pay.

TAKE TWO: Can Georgia flip Tank Bigsby from Auburn?

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After Nix hit receiver Seth Williams on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 10:23 to play in the first half to cut Florida’s lead to 14-13, Auburn would not score again.

Florida is for real. But the Gators have no time to celebrate. This weekend they travel to LSU and face another SEC elite program in one of the toughest environments in all of college football.

The following week Florida goes to South Carolina and then has a bye week before the annual rivalry matchup against Georgia, which throttled Tennessee on Saturday after being tested early.

If the Gators get through all that, they still have to go to Missouri and win - harder than it sounds - and then finish off the regular season against rival Florida State. If Florida perseveres through that stretch, it would meet Alabama or the SEC West winner in the conference title game.

Not an easy road at all.

FARRELL'S TAKE

So - again - we ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell after the Gators dispatched Auburn on Saturday, are they now the fourth best team in the SEC after Alabama, Georgia and LSU or is Florida even better than advertised?

“I’ll give the same answer I gave about Auburn -- Florida is the fourth best team in the SEC and the schedule is too hard for them to run the table. However, they are better than I expected them to be after seeing them struggle against Miami and Kentucky.

"Dan Mullen is a very good coach and they will be a tough team to beat, but I feel confident that Alabama and Georgia are better teams and that LSU will beat Florida outright. But, as we all know, my prowess to predict tough games is less than stellar and this Florida defense is very, very good. It will come down to how well the offense continues to play for the Gators. They will do well but the schedule is too much.”

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