The Florida Gators dropped 13 spots in USA TODAY Sports’s latest re-rank of all FBS college football teams. They come in at No. 48, 29 spots behind their rival and final opponent of the regular season, Florida State.
The Gators had an up-and-down first half of the season. They came out of the gate swinging with an upset win over the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes in Billy Napier’s first game as Florida’s head coach. They went from unranked to No. 19 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll after the victory.
They then lost to Kentucky and barely got a win over in-state rival USF, leaving them out of the top 25 entirely. Their close loss to Tennessee paired with their win over Eastern Washington caused expectations to stabilize.
The Gators seemed to have found their form after a great month that saw the Gators play well in stretches of their losses to LSU and Georgia, and play very well in victories over Texas A&M and South Carolina. They then seemed to collapse in their loss against Vanderbilt. Injuries, penalties, and inconsistencies all played a part in their 31-24 loss to the Commodores. While a drastically better team this season, Vanderbilt just doesn’t have the players that Florida does, leaving most fans in shock over the result.
Luckily, the Gators’ 6-4 record going into the game confirmed their eligibility beforehand. Sitting at 6-5, the focus shifts to ending the regular season on a positive note. A victory over in-state rival Florida State would go a long way in repairing the fan intrigue post-Vanderbilt and in recruiting momentum with Early Signing Day coming up on Dec. 21.
The special Black Friday edition of the Sunshine State Showdown will be played in Tallahassee on Nov. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on ABC.
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