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Where Florida football ranks ahead of 2022 season per Phil Steele

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Phil Steele has revealed his 2022 preseason top-40 poll with the Gators coming in at No. 32.

Steele is a professional and collegiate football journalist whose college football preview magazine has become a staple of the off-season cycle. In a post to Steele’s digital magazine, Steele slots the Gators in at No. 32, behind programs such as Boise State (No. 31), BYU (No. 26), and UAB (No. 21).

While the ranking could be a bit jarring for Gators fans, the ranking actually makes some sense. The Gators are coming off a 6-7 season that included a Gasparilla Bowl loss to in-state opponent UCF. They also went 2-6 in SEC play and lost their only conference wins coming against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Florida’s program is also undergoing an overhaul from top to bottom, and it starts with new head coach Billy Napier. Coming off a successful run at Louisiana, athletic director Scott Stricklin has provided Napier the off-field resources he needed when he arrived in Gainesville, hiring a massive staff and injecting the program with a much-needed culture change.

While the teams ahead of Florida in the rankings may not traditionally be in a better position than the Gators, you can understand where Steele was coming from when ranking the Florida Gators. This time next year? It could be a different story.

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