Florida sees surge in Sports Illustrated power rankings despite loss

·2 min read

There are no moral victories and were it not for a handful of mistakes, UF could very well be celebrating an upset win over the No. 1 team in the country right now. Still, the Gators performed valiantly in a game where not many gave them a chance, and they looked like one of the nation’s best teams in the process.

With very few teams in college football standing out through three weeks (aside from the Crimson Tide), it’s not surprising Florida has actually seen its national stock rise after the loss. Despite losing 31-29 to Alabama, Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde ranked UF all the way up at No. 6 in his post-Week 3 college football power rankings. Here’s what Forde said about the Gators.

The Gators showed a lot in defeat, pushing the Crimson Tide to the brink. Nobody has come that close to beating ‘Bama since Auburn beat ‘Bama in November 2019. Florida’s running game was overpowering, and that’s even without the services of explosive dual-threat backup quarterback Anthony Richardson. Dan Mullen knows what he’s doing.

The loss doesn’t leave the Gators with much room for error. They likely need to run the table if they want any chance to win the SEC East and play a rematch against ‘Bama for a shot at the College Football Playoff. But Mullen’s squad showed that it isn’t that far away from taking down the big boys.

The Crimson Tide have won 17 in a row, but Florida had them sweating in the final minutes. If the game had just been a few minutes longer, the Gators would have very possibly pulled it out. Still, even with the loss, it’s hard to be disappointed with the play of the Gators, and it should give the team a lot of confidence moving forward.

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