Gators rise in latest SP+ rankings after win over Vols

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While Florida’s defense allowed several big plays on Saturday that kept Tennessee in the game early on, it was a fairly dominating performance for the Gators, who gained more than 500 yards on offense en route to a 38-14 win.

With that victory, UF saw a fairly big rise in this week’s SP+ rankings, the analytics system created by ESPN’s Bill Connelly. SP+ attempts to be a pure efficiency measure that attempts to control for tempo and opponent while only taking quality of play, not wins and losses, into account.

And in Connelly’s Week 4 update of the rankings, Florida ranks No. 4 nationally. There’s a bit of a log jam in the top 10, as the Gators and the No. 8 ranked Michigan Wolverines are less than two points apart from one another.

In spite of the Week 2 loss to Oregon, Ohio State is the only other one-loss team ranked ahead of the Gators, coming in at No. 3. Meanwhile, there’s a new No. 1, as Georgia has jumped now-No. 2 Alabama after a 62-0 win at Vanderbilt.

Florida’s high ranking is largely thanks to its offense, which ranks third in the nation according to SP+. The passing attack has been inconsistent, but the Gators have arguably the best ground game in college football. Defensively, things have been a lot better this season. Though the unit isn’t elite, it still ranks a respectable 23rd. Special teams for Florida are less impressive, ranking just 50th.

It’s clear that the numbers buy into this UF team. But we’ll see if the Gators have what it takes to spring an upset against Georgia and capture back-to-back SEC East titles.

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