Florida, UCF Check Into The Initial CFP Rankings

The Gators Check In At 11, The Knights 12th, In The College Football Playoff Committee’s Initial Rankings

Central Florida’s Alex Swenson (30) is congratulated on his touchdown by teammates Dredrick Snelson (5), Bryon Brown (13) and Randy Shannon (53) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. UCF won 37-10. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

This time last year UCF checked in at 18 in the CFP Rankings. This year, they start at 12, as they attempt to reach the College Football Playoff.

Clamoring for respect, the Knights have the 127th-ranked strength of schedule. UCF is the only team in the county to have not played a team with a winning record. However, the meat of their schedule is ahead of them due to dates with Temple, Cincinnati, and USF.

One spot ahead of the Knights is the Florida Gators at 11. Florida is coming off a loss to Georgia last week as they attempt to win ten games a reach a New Years Six Bowl Game.

The Takeaway From College Football Week Nine 

It was a rough outing for Florida Programs in week nine. Due to UCF’s bye week, only one team won their matchup this past weekend, FIU. To make matter worst, Florida, Miami, Florida State, and USF all lost by double digits as they were all exposed to some degree.

UCF is the only team that has a chance to represent the state of Florida in the College Football Playoff.

UCF regained the No. 1 spot in our Florida Rankings this week. Click here for full rankings.

Georgia 36 – Florida 17

The Bulldogs took advantage of Florida’s three turnovers and an injury to cornerback C.J. Henderson to win the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” for the second straight season and the fifth time in the last eight years. Florida took a one-point lead early in the third quarter — Feleipe Franks threw a perfect, 36-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Swain — but Georgia answered with another Fromm-to-Holloman connection and then pulled away late

“I don’t think we played very well at all,” Gators coach Dan Mullen said. “It probably was our worst execution performance of the year and I am really disappointed in that.”

Despite another lopsided loss to Georgia, the Gators still have a chance to win ten games this season. It’s been a significant turnaround from Jim McElwain’s final season, but Franks has to make more progress for the team to become a legitimate SEC contender.

UP NEXT: Florida begins a three-game home-stand against Missouri.

Boston College 27 – Miami 14

After Miami’s loss to Virginia two weeks ago, coach Mark Richt said he planned to spend time during the Hurricanes bye week evaluating the state of his program, from personnel on down. Against Boston College, the Hurricanes may have tried a couple of trick plays, but they didn’t look like a team that had had extra time to try and prepare for a crucial conference game. Worse, Friday night in Boston, it wasn’t just the problematic offense that struggled, the defense – which came into the game ranked No. 1 in the ACC and No. 2 in the nation – started slow before making adjustments later. It was, from beginning to end, a bad performance on multiple fronts.

“Everybody’s got some ownership in this thing,” Hurricanes coach Mark Richt said. “All you can do is go back to the drawing board and the keep working hard and looking at the next opponent and get ready to play ball. That’s all you can do at this point, but we’re all disappointed.”

The Hurricanes have now played four games away from Hard Rock Stadium this season and have lost three of them, their lone road victory coming against Toledo. With Friday’s loss at Boston College and the Hurricanes not set to travel again until a Nov. 10 game at Georgia Tech, Miami will go more than an entire year without beating a Power Five opponent on the road. Things don’t get easier for the Hurricanes in November with Miami set to travel to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks.

Up Next: Miami returns to Hard Rock Stadium as they host Duke Saturday.

Houston 57 – USF 36

South Florida wide receiver Jernard Phillips, bottom, is tackle by Houston linebacker Derek Parish, left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

In a game that saw 1,149 yards of offense, the Bulls were unable to take advantage of a Houston defense that gave up 557 yards per game. Instead, USF ran into Cougars’ quarterback, D’Eriq King, who’s shown remanences of former Bulls’ quarterback Quinton Flowers. King threw touchdown passes of 15, 38, 30, 52 and 27 yards and had scoring runs of 47 and 36 yards. He finished 28 of 41 passing. The seven total touchdowns set a career high.

“We just didn’t play well and we didn’t tackle, giving up touchdown throws.” Said Bulls head coach Charlie Strong. “You just can’t play like that and go win in an environment like this.”

USF was looking to extend the program’s best-ever start to a season. The Bulls started the past two seasons at 7-0 and entered Saturday’s game as one of only five remaining FBS teams. The Bulls must win out and beat UCF at home to potentially reach New Year’s Six bowl game.

Up Next: USF returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3 to host Tulane.

Clemson 59 – Florida State 10

Florida State couldn’t get out of its way, suffering its most-lopsided defeat at home — surpassing a 58-14 loss to Southern Miss in 1981. It was also the most points allowed by the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Noles’ quarterback Deondre Francois completed 17 of 36 passes for 180 yards and an interception for the Seminoles before departing due to injury.

“I felt like we had some guys that quit on our football team and that’s can’t be tolerated,” Florida State coach Willie Taggart said. “You quit, you don’t play.”

Florida State is 0-5 against ranked teams since the start of the 2017 season. Four of those losses are by double digits, including a 31-14 loss at Clemson last fall. The Seminoles set a standard of winning and playing in bowl games — from Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles’ last losing season was Bowden’s first year, 1976, and they have played in a bowl game each year since 1982. Both streaks are Jeopardy.

Up Next: FSU visits No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday.

FIU 36 – Rice 17

Owls’ quarterback James Morgan passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns, Maurice Alexander raced 51 yards for a touchdown, and Jose Borregales kicked three field goals as the Owls took care of Rice easily in Conference USA action on Saturday night.

After FIU’s sixth win of the season, the Panthers are bowl eligible for the fourth time in program history and the second-straight year under head coach Butch Davis. The Oct. 27 date is also the fastest any Panthers squad has become bowl eligible in school history.

Up Next: FIU hosts FAU in the Shula Bowl.

LA Tech 21 – FAU 13

The Florida Atlantic University football team saw its 10-game home streak end on Friday night at the hands of Louisiana Tech. The Owls took the early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but a two-touchdown second quarter by the Bulldogs would prove enough for the remainder of the game and the eventual 21-13 win. FAU is now 3-5 overall and 1-3 in Conference USA play.

“The day started really well on both sides of the ball. We had good tempo moving the ball offensively” said FAU head coach Lane Kiffin. “I think (LA Tech) had 20 yards rushing at the half and just five in the first quarter. We were running the ball and stopping the run, we just screwed up with some turnovers (offensively), didn’t get turnovers (defensively) and were atrocious on third down.”