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Florida a biggest mover in CBS Sports’ preseason 2022 college football rankings

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Prospects appear a bit rosier for Florida football ahead of the 2022 season in comparison to the end of the 2021 season, at least according to CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson.

Patterson revealed his college football rankings this week for the upcoming campaign. The Gators come in at No. 30, a 40-spot increase from their No. 70 ranking at the end of the 2021 slate. The Gators are also listed second among the Biggest Movers in the rankings, only behind USC‘s 73-spot leap into the No. 12 spot. Here is what Patterson had to say about the Gators.

The bottoming-out moment for the Gators came with a loss to UCF in the bowl game, but it began much earlier in the season and impacts how we view 2021 Florida against the potential of 2022 Florida. Billy Napier comes with his own hype factor, but any kind of shake up to the system should put a product on the field better than the 6-7 squad from a year ago.

Patterson’s justification makes sense. You can’t really put a team that collapsed in the second half of the season with a first-time Power Five head coach inside the top 25. It is a testament to the new staff’s revamp of the Florida program, however, that Patterson put the Orange and Blue at No. 30. In fact, Napier’s former program, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, was at the bottom of the Biggest Movers list, dropping 41 spots from last years No. 20 position to the No. 61 position.

The new crew will look to vault the Gators into the top 25 as the season progresses. Their first test will come on Sept. 3 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium against Utah. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire