The SP+ ranking system was developed by Connelly in 2008 and, in his own words, is “a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency” and “intended to be predictive and forward-facing.”
The offensive metric is much kinder to the Orange and Blue than the defensive metric. Offensively, the Gators are the 20th-best team in SP+, with a rating of 36.3. Defensively, Florida is the 70th-best team in SP+, with a rating of 28.2.
The stark difference in the rating properly explains the Orange and Blue’s season thus far. There are moments when the Florida offense clicks. Most recently, the third quarter stretch in last week’s Georgia game where the Gators scored 17 unanswered points against a Georgia defense that SP+ ranks as second-best in the country.
Florida’s defense, however, is dealing with significant issues in personnel. Those issues were worsened by the recent dismissal of Brenton Cox Jr. from the team. Expect the Gators’ defensive numbers to stay the same, or worsen, as the season enters its final stretch of games.
Of the Gators’ remaining four games, two teams are ranked above them in SP+, Texas A&M (No. 25), and Florida State (No. 33). South Carolina (No. 39) and Vanderbilt (No. 94) are ranked below them.
Florida’s next game will be Saturday when they travel to College Station to take on the Aggies. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
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