ESPN’s SP+ rankings for Florida slightly bearish after Week 1

·2 min read

Florida is down two places to No. 14 in Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings following the first full week of college football.

Entirely based on numbers, the Gators drop can be attributed to the team’s offensive rating. Florida dropped from a 41.7 to 39.8 rating on offense after the FAU game. The Gators’ overall rating fell from 20.7 to 18.2.

That likely has something to do with the passing game not clicking entirely, because the rushing attack was the strongest it’s been in years for Florida. If Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson can get as comfortable passing as they are running, then the offensive rating should bounce right back.

The defensive rating slipped from 21.0 to 21.6, but the Gators moved up from 35th in the country to 32nd. The front seven looked strong against the Owls, but the Gators will face tougher lines in weeks to come. Florida’s lost two defensive backs for the season already and had four defensive tackles miss Saturday’s game with injury, so holding the defensive rating steady is a win for them.

Alabama opened up the gap at the top of the rankings followed by Georgia at No. 2. Even with Georgia’s impressive performance against Clemson, the SP+ system has the Crimson Tide as the favorite by eight points in a matchup with the Bulldogs.

Texas A&M fell one spot to No. 9, but the real surprise comes from Auburn. The Tigers jumped up nine spots in the rankings and leapfrogged the Gators to No. 13 on the list. If that’s not enough pressure, Ole Miss checks in one spot after Florida at No. 15.

If the numbers say anything after one week of college football it’s that the Florida Gators have competition within the SEC.

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