Florida Starts at Number Two in BCS

What a difference a year makes. The Florida Gators a year ago were 4-2 and reeling from two blowout losses at the hands of the two teams that played for the national title. Now, the Gators stand 6-0, defeated a top 3 rated team (at the time), and won 3 road games in the SEC. Sunday , they started ranked #2 in the initial BCS poll of the season and have plenty left on their schedule to build on.

The Southeastern Conference continues their dominance of the college football landscape owning the top two spots in the BCS poll. Alabama has a commanding lead on the Gators at the top spot right now. The Gators and the Crimson Tide will not meet in the regular season, but could meet up if they win their division within the SEC.

Coming in at number six is SEC West opponent LSU (6-1) who the Gators defeated two weekends ago in Gainesville and they are followed closely by South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the Gators' next opponent and the two match up in Gainesville on Saturday Oct 20, at 3:30 p.m. the Gamecocks have to feel good about their spot in the poll after just losing to LSU this past weekend in a tough game.

Florida still has two other games already scheduled against top 14 teams from the initial poll. Georgia comes in at number 11 after a 5-1 start that has seen them only lose to the Gamecocks so far this year and look good most of the rest of the season. Of course Florida plays the bulldogs on a neutral turf in Jacksonville.

Florida State is ranked number 14 and the Gators will finish with them as the last game of the regular season. The two square off in Tallahassee.

Along with the win against LSU, Florida already holds another win against a team residing in the initial BCS poll. Florida went to College Station, Texas and defeated Texas A&M 20-17 in the Gators second contest of the season. It was the season opener for the Aggies after having their schedule messed up by weather and the Aggies have been on a roll ever since.

All in all, half of the SEC's member institutions are pegged in the initial BCS poll for 2012. Mississippi State is the other one we haven't mentioned and they come in at number 12 overall.

I think it is safe to say that any SEC squad that goes undefeated through the regular season and in the championship game would represent one half of the BCS title game. Even if the number 12 Bulldogs were to be that team, they would have to scale so many tall mountains to get to that point, they would certainly be deemed worthy of a chance to play in the game.

The Gators have already crossed the toughest road to get to the point they are at, but they still have the remaining schedule to boost their rankings. Georgia seems to have the easiest road to winning out in the conference having only still to play the Gators among teams in the top 25 of the poll.

The West is totally untamed at this point. Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M all have a total of two losses among them, but none have played any of the others. They will have three of their remaining six games against teams from their division in the conference and ranked in this first poll.

A closer look at the individual pieces of the BCS ranking shows that Florida is the computer darlings. Of the six computer equations used to calculate the rankings, Florida is ranked one or two in five of the six. Only the Billingsley computer poll has the Gators outside of the top two and at number five. In the BCS formula, the top computer ranking and the bottom computer ranking for each team is thrown out and so Florida would have a number one, and three number two computer rankings making it the highest average in the computer scenario. Notre Dame is second among the computers.

The coaches' poll comprises one third of the vote as well and the Gators get their lowest ranking in that poll. The coaches rank Florida fourth overall with Alabama, Oregon, and Kansas State all finishing ahead of the Gators among the votes from coaches.

The other portion of the BCS poll is the Harris human poll. The gators are ranked third in the Harris and significantly behind Alabama and Oregon in that poll.

A year ago, there weren't many that followed the orange and blue that even cared about the initial BCS poll. The significant strides of this team have made everyone take notice. The fan that watches every week can also see the weaknesses of this squad and understand the ranking is probably fair if not a bit more positive than expected, but they also know that this Gator team is one that will likely continue on its upward trend through the season.

Oh what a difference a year makes.

The initial BCS rankings (Oct. 14, 2012)

#1 Alabama (6-0)
#2 Florida (6-0)
#3 Oregon (6-0)
#4 Kansas State (6-0)
#5 Notre Dame (6-0)
#6 LSU (6-1)
#7 South Carolina (6-1)
#8 Oregon State (5-0)
#9 Oklahoma (4-1)
#10 USC (5-1)
#11 Georgia (5-1)
#12 Miss. State (6-0)
#13 West Virginia (5-1)
#14 Florida State (6-1)
#15 Rutgers (6-0)
#16 Louisville (6-0)
#17 Texas Tech (5-1)
#18 Texas A&M (5-1)
#19 Clemson (5-1)
#20 Stanford (4-2)
#21 Cincinnati (5-0)
#22 Boise State (5-1)
#23 TCU (5-1)
#24 Iowa State (4-2)
#25 Texas (4-2)

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