College Football Playoff Rankings: Florida Gators underrated at No. 15

By Adam Silverstein
November 22, 2016
College Football Playoff Rankings: Florida Gators underrated at No. 15
Football

Image Credit: ESPN Images

The fourth release of the 2016 College Football Playoff Rankings were announced on Tuesday with the SEC East-leading Florida Gators moving all the way up to No. 15 after being completely out of the rankings two weeks ago.

Three-loss LSU, which Florida beat 16-10 last Saturday, completely fell out of the rankings.

Let’s take a look at the top 25.

1. Alabama (11-0)
2. Ohio State (10-1)
3. Michigan (10-1)
4. Clemson (10-1)
5. Washington (10-1)
6. Wisconsin (9-2)
7. Penn State (9-2)
8. Oklahoma (9-2)
9. Colorado (9-2)
10. Oklahoma State (9-2)
11. Louisville (9-2)
12. USC (8-3)
13. Auburn (8-3)
14. Florida State (8-3)
15. Florida (8-2)
16. Nebraska (9-2)
17. Tennessee (8-3)
18. West Virginia (8-2)
19. Boise State (10-1)
20. Houston (9-2)
21. Western Michigan (11-0)
22. Utah (8-3)
23. Washington State (8-3)
24. Stanford (8-3)
25. Navy (8-2)

While the Gators do not deserve to be ranked much higher than No. 15 due to their disappointing loss at Arkansas and best win now being against an unranked LSU, Florida should most certainly be ranked above a three-loss Florida State with no quality wins and three-loss Auburn whose best win is the same as that of UF.

Regardless, Florida completely controls its own destiny if it hopes to advance to the playoff or at least the Sugar Bowl as the highest-ranked SEC team not in the playoff.

To get to the CFP, the Gators must first (of course) win out, which would give them resume-boosting wins against No. 14 Florida State and undefeated No. 1 Alabama. That would certainly give the committee something to think about on its own in terms of putting in a two-loss SEC Champion with a win over the previously undefeated No. 1 team in the nation.

In all actuality, though, Florida will need some help even if it does win out due to the prominence of the Big Ten this season. One-loss Ohio State looks to be headed for the CFP even if it does not win the Big Ten title. If OSU beats Michigan on Saturday and Penn State takes down Michigan State, it will be PSU going to the title game likely against Wisconsin. Whoever wins that game would have a legitimate shot to be the considered for the CFP as a two-loss Big Ten team with quality losses — with Ohio State also sneaking into the field as the nation’s hottest team with a loss only to Penn State. That’s why the Gators very much want the Wolverines to win out — beat the Buckeyes and win the Big Ten title over either the Nittany Lions or Badgers.

That would put Alabama (which will get in win or lose to Florida) and Michigan in the CFP with two spots up for grabs between Clemson, Washington and Florida. Assuming both the Tigers and Huskies win out and take their respective conference crowns, it would still probably be difficult for the Gators to get in, but the CFP committee has shown it does not respect Washington’s wins to this point, and unless the Huskies get a chance to go up against and beat USC, Florida would have a legitimate shot of jumping them for the No. 4 spot.

As far as the Sugar Bowl goes, winning out would guarantee the Gators a spot in New Orleans. Beating Florida State and putting up a good fight against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game would likely put UF ahead of Auburn and Tennessee as the committee has shown that it does not truly dock teams for losing league title games.

Should Florida beat FSU and lose to Alabama and not be the highest-ranked SEC team, it would likely head to the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 in Tampa. Should it lose both games, the Outback bowl is still a possibility, but a return to the Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31 in Orlando or trip to the TaxSlayer Bowl on Dec. 31 in Jacksonville would be more likely.

6 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    I do not think we are underrated; we lost two games to mediocre teams by double digits.

    This team showed resolve by bouncing back but we have SERIOUS deficiencies on offense and our defense has been carved up at times.

    We will see how legit this team is on Saturday. FSU is the best opponent on our schedule YTD

    • Lee says:

      LSU is better than FSU. No question in my opinion

    • Michael Jones says:

      I’m with you for the most part, Alex. I think we’re good. Not great. A win against FSU would be awesome but not required for me to believe that we’re legit. We’re legit enough at this point.

      The whole team, including the coaching staff, is on a learning curve. Still think we’re a year or two away but believe that the future is bright. Believe we’ve got a good guy and a good coach at the helm but he’s human too. Everybody will get better as we go.

      Gator Nation IMO needs to hold steady and support this guy. . win or lose against FSU. Steady as she goes. I believe we’ll be happy with the finished product.

      Then again. . if we come out and put up an effort like we did against LSU. . plus get a few breaks like we did in Baton Rouge. . heck. . who knows. . we could win out! Ha ha.

      Go Gators!!!

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