AAC’s Revenge As G5 Schools Top Our Florida Rankings

A rough week for Florida and Florida State shakes up the Florida Rankings

College football’s second week is often an opportunity for the nation’s power programs to rack up points against so-called “cupcakes.” This time around, Florida State nearly choked on one.

Samford—no, not the Cardinal, Samford—held a fourth quarter lead against the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday night. The ‘Noles came back, eventually pulling away in the closing minutes, but it was nowhere close to the performance many expected to see out of Willie Taggart’s group.

Miami showed earlier in the day how to deal with a cupcake opponent. They obliterated Savannah State 77-0, taking out frustrations from a week one loss to LSU on neutral turf by running up the score and trotting out a brand new turnover chain. Miami is in the easy part of their schedule now, with their next game coming up against Toledo, so they will have more opportunities to show off.

Meanwhile, Florida faced a conference opponent. There are no cupcakes in the SEC, of course, but after 31 straight wins against the Kentucky Wildcats, the early season matchup was easily dismissed by Gator fans. They did this at their own peril, as the streak ended on Saturday night.

This opened up the Florida Rankings for USF to climb the ladder. The Bulls put on a show against Georgia Tech, earning a win with great moments both on offense and special teams. Blake Barnett looks to be the right choice at quarterback, and he was excellent against Georgia Tech in the victory.

1: University of Central Florida Knights (last week: 1)

It’s UCF at the top again as the Knights roll on with the longest winning streak in the state. They’re the highest-ranked Florida team in national polling as well at the moment, quite an accomplishment for the G5 institution. So far, even after Scott Frost has left, UCF remains the top team in the Sunshine State.

2: University of South Florida Bulls (last week: 5)

“It’s an AAC dominated state to this point. Though Georgia Tech is likely on its way to another middling season, the Bulls showed much resiliency in pulling out the victory.” -Tom Layberger

3: Miami Hurricanes (last week: 2)

“Miami is in a unique situation as the quarterback position is unsettled. All 4 QBs played in Saturday’s blowout victory over Savannah St. However, the quarterback rotation on the road at Toledo will tell us where Mark Richt’s head is leaning going forward.” -Jaquan Cathey

4: Florida Gators (last week: 4)

The polling for spots 4-6 was very tight. The Gators, despite losing to Kentucky for the first time since the Reagan Administration, managed to hold onto the fourth spot in the state, but only just.

5: Florida State Seminoles (last week: 3)

“Florida State has to see improvement in two key areas if they want actually compete for something more than a 7 win season. If the Noles can get better penetration from the offensive line and open up those running lanes there’s no telling what this Running back group can do. Also the secondary needs to step it up, they’ve given up way to many easy touchdowns through the air.” -Tim Mallard, producer, The Erik Kuselias Show

6: Florida Atlantic Owls (last week: 6)

Lane Kiffin’s squad rebounds from a blowout loss against national contenders Oklahoma to even their record. The Owls were as high as fourth in two of our voters’ polls, only finishing two points short of Florida State for the fifth spot. They’ll need to string some more wins together before they can rise.

7: Florida International Panthers (last week: 7)

“Who? No Really? They are at the bottom and have a long way to go to even pass a 2-3 loss Florida team above (unless FAU/USF/UCF suddenly have three losses).” -Steve Kinsella