Florida Rankings: Is Winning The Only Thing?

The debate on UCF’s schedule rages on

Every week when tabulating our Florida Rankings here at Sports Talk Florida, voting for the top spot comes down to a simple debate:

The University of Central Florida is undefeated, but their schedule is considerably weaker than Florida’s.  Can UCF be the number one team in the state without a signature win?

The Knights get a couple of chances at that signature win the next two weeks, with a big matchup against Cincinnati coming up, followed quickly by the much-anticipated War On I-4 with rival USF.  Winning both of those games would go a long way toward getting people to buy in.

At the same time, Central Florida will not have an opportunity this season to win another game against a school from the Power 5 conferences, presumably until postseason however UCF might find it.  Their only P5 win will have come against Pittsburgh, with a cancelled matchup with North Carolina wiped off their schedule.

Florida, however, does have a signature win, having defeated an extremely good LSU team earlier in the season.  The Gators might not be on top of the college football heap, but they’re certainly headed in the right direction.

The debate continues, with only a UCF loss or the end of the season out there to wrap it up.

This week’s rankings:

1:  University of Central Florida Knights – UCF is not a unanimous number one, with holdouts still insisting that their weaker conference invalidates their loss-free record.  Still, McKenzie Milton and the Knights remain undefeated, they’re still flying high, and UCF remains the top team in the state.

2:  University of Florida Gators – The Gators have three losses, but they also have two wins over ranked teams.  Those are rare in the Sunshine State these days, and it makes a case for Florida.  If UCF slips up at all, the Gators will take the top spot for good, but for Gators fans it’s that matchup with Florida State that looms large.

3:  University of Miami Hurricanes – “Miami drops their fourth straight game as they struggle to find offense.  Now the Hurricanes face the notion of missing the bowl season after a preseason ranking of no. 8.”  -Jaquan Cathey

4:  University of South Florida Bulls – “Overall, the Bulls looked pretty good at Cincy while playing their backup QBs. Still, a porous run defense and untimely penalties proved too much to overcome. Establishing the run game (see Cronkrtie, Jordan) in Philly will be imperative Saturday.”  -Tom Layberger

5:  Florida International University Panthers – FIU has just three losses.  That’s one of the best records in the state.  Unfortunately for Butch Davis’ squad, they have lost to two different Florida teams and lack a single signature win.  Lots of disparity in polling, with FIU being at every spot from 3-7 on various polls.

6:  Florida Atlantic University Owls – Lane Kiffin’s squad has bounced back nicely from a rough first half of the season.  They’re still going to kick themselves over previous losses, but simply getting up off the mat is a good sign.

7:  Florida State University Seminoles – It has been a miserable season for Willie Taggart in his first year as FSU’s head coach.  Florida State has a losing record, the only school in the state that can say that, which makes them a clear choice at the bottom of the poll.