After Saturday’s narrow victory against in-state opponent USF, Florida football has dropped another seven spots in ESPN’s latest FPI rankings. They come in at No. 44 nationally and as the No. 10 team in the SEC.
ESPN’s FPI rankings were developed in 2013 as a way to measure the overall strength of each team and to predict results as the season goes on. As the season goes on, the data used to determine a team’s FPI will come from the games played. At the beginning of the season, the previous season’s data is used to determine the rankings. Now that we have data for the 2022 season, the FPI will pull from that instead of last season.
Outside of the season opener against Utah, the Gators have been anything but consistent this season. Last week, they fell outside ESPN’s FPI Top 25 when Kentucky’s defensive adjustments effectively shut down Florida’s offense in the second half. Because the FPI rankings are rooted in data, the stagnant offensive performance played a role in the rankings drop.
Florida had a great opportunity to improve its rankings against USF, which came in as one of the worst teams in the nation, per FPI. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The Bulls outgained the Gators in total yards and after a 21-point second quarter, the Orange and Blue did not score again until there was 5:05 left in the game.
The next chance for Florida to improve upon their rankings comes Saturday against longtime SEC rival Tennessee. The Volunteers have put together some impressive performances this season. They come in at No. 8 in the FPI rankings, mostly due to their explosive offense that is designed to be up-tempo and rack up stats. If they can keep up with Tennessee, the Gators would be in a good position to make a leap in next week’s FPI rankings.
Kick-off for the Florida-Tennessee game will be at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and played at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. ESPN’s College Gameday will be in attendance for the SEC East rivalry game.
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