College Football Playoff Rankings: Why Florida at No. 7 gives Gators an outside chance

By Adam Silverstein
December 15, 2020
College Football Playoff Rankings: Why Florida at No. 7 gives Gators an outside chance
Football

Image Credit: UAA

After spending three straight weeks as the No. 6 team in the College Football Playoff Rankings, the Florida Gators saw their status fall in Tuesday’s penultimate release but only by a single spot. Florida is now the No. 7 team in the nation after suffering a horrendous upset loss at home to LSU on Saturday, and that is exceedingly good news for the program as it prepares to face Alabama, the No. 1 team in the nation, this Saturday in the 2020 SEC Championship Game.

So why did the Gators only drop one spot in the rankings despite losing a home game to a 3-5 team? It’s likely the confluence of unlikely events that led to that defeat, which were clear to anyone watching that game. When you combine the three-turnover first half of redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask with redshirt junior cornerback Marco Wilson’s shoe throw, heavy fog limiting visibility and a 57-yard made field goal, it took a lot for Florida to lose that game — even if it never should have been in that position in the first place.

Plus, the CFP Selection Committee has been consistent about head-to-head results mattering in its rankings. Florida was stuck behind Texas A&M for weeks despite looking like the better team over the last month-plus because the Gators lost to the Aggies head-to-head. Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia on Nov. 7 clearly mattered to the committee.

What the No. 7 ranking means for the Gators is that they not only have a wide outside shot at the four-team CFP field if things shake out their way — blowout win over Alabama, Notre Dame beating or blowing out Clemson, Ohio State losing to Northwestern — but apparently have a leg up on the Bulldogs for a New Year’s Six bid out of the SEC.

Think about it: If Florida beats Alabama, it would have nine SEC victories in a single season, including wins over the No. 1 and No. 8 teams in the CFP Rankings. That said, no two-loss team has ever made the CFP.

Let’s take at the latest sets of college football rankings.

College Football Playoff Rankings

1. Alabama (10-0)
2. Notre Dame (10-0)
3. Clemson (9-1)
4. Ohio State (5-0)
5. Texas A&M (7-1)
6. Iowa State (8-2)
7. Florida (8-2)
8. Georgia (7-2)
9. Cincinnati (8-0)
10. Oklahoma (7-2)
11. Indiana (6-1)
12. Coastal Carolina (11-0)
13. USC (5-0)
14. Northwestern (6-1)
15. North Carolina (8-3)
16. Iowa (6-2)
17. BYU (10-1)
18. Miami (8-2)
19. Louisiana (9-1)
20. Texas (6-3)
21. Oklahoma State (7-3)
22. NC State (8-3)
23. Tulsa (6-1)
24. San Jose State (6-0)
25. Colorado (4-1)

AP Top 25

1. Alabama (62)
2. Notre Dame
3. Ohio State
4. Clemson
5. Texas A&M
6. Cincinnati
7. Indiana
8. Iowa State
9. Coastal Carolina
10. Georgia
11. Florida
12. Oklahoma
13. USC
14. BYU
15. Northwestern
16. North Carolina
17. Louisiana
18. Iowa
19. Miami (FL)
20. Tulsa
21. Texas
22. Liberty
23. Buffalo
24. NC State
25. San Jose State

Coaches Poll

1. Alabama (60)
2. Notre Dame (2)
3. Clemson
4. Ohio State
5. Texas A&M
6. Cincinnati
7. Indiana
8. Iowa State
9. Georgia
10. Oklahoma
11. Florida
12. Coastal Carolina
13. USC
14. Northwestern
15. North Carolina
16. BYU
17. Iowa
18. Louisiana
19. Miami (FL)
20. Tulsa
21. Liberty
22. Oklahoma State
23. NC State
24. Texas
25. San Jose State

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