The Florida Gators are in the AP poll’s Top Ten so they must be pretty good.
Why, then, is there the feeling that our state just isn’t all that special in college football anymore?
I attribute it the following chart, which demonstrates better than any deep analysis of roster strengths or coaching credentials why Florida, FSU and Miami aren’t really scaring anybody to death this Halloween, and why the South Florida Bulls deserves a spot in any discussion of the best programs in our state.
Team Best 2016 win Last win over ranked team
Florida (6-1) Kentucky, 45-7 No. 3 Ole Miss (10-3-15)
FSU (5-3) South Florida, 55-35 No. 11 Ole Miss (9-5-16)
USF (7-2) Navy, 52-45 No. 22 Navy (10-28-16)
Miami (4-4) Ga Tech, 35-21 No. 22 Duke (10-31-15)
UCF (4-4) East Carolina, 47-29 No. 6 Baylor (1-1-14)
What’s the best win of 2016 overall for this bunch? Call if FSU over South Florida. The Seminoles don’t get brownie points for beating Ole Miss in the season opener now that the Rebels are 3-5 and 1-4 in the SEC.
Miami and Central Florida are going to have to scramble to qualify for bowl games.
Florida could win the SEC East or stumble badly down the stretch for the second consecutive season. Flip of the coin.
FSU lost 63-20 to Louisville, which would be more easily forgotten if Louisville were going to the ACC title game or the College Football Playoff. Neither is true.
Any way you slice it, we’ve clearly forfeited some of the old bragging rights from championship seasons past.
Right now you’d have to say Alabama is the state-of-the-art state in college football, with the Crimson Tide at No.1 and Auburn No. 11.
Michigan comes in second (Wolverines No. 2 and Western Michigan No. 17).
Incredibly, Washington and Florida are too close to call in third. The Huskies are all the way up to No. 4 with Washington State at No. 25. If you want to argue the No. 10 Gators and No. 19 Seminoles outweigh that combination, go ahead. Look back to that chart above, though. Nothing much has been proved on the field yet.