Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators open at No. 10 in College Football Playoff rankings

Florida is a factor in this year’s College Football Playoff.

The Gators came in at No. 10 in the College Football Playoff committee rankings that debuted on Tuesday night.

No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama were the two Southeastern Conference teams that ranked ahead of Florida. The Tigers and Crimson Tide meet on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. Other SEC teams in the rankings are No. 18 Ole Miss, No. 19 Texas A&M and No. 20 Mississippi State The only team in the rankings on the rest of Florida’s regular season schedule is No. 16 Florida State, who plays at No. 1 Clemson on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Gators host the Seminoles on November 28.

Florida has been one of the biggest surprises in college football this season, riding a 7-1 record into the month of November. The Gators only loss of the season came in a night game at LSU where the Tigers used a fourth-quarter fake field goal to secure a 35-28 win. Florida bounced back on Saturday by blowing out Georgia 27-3 on Saturday in Jacksonville.

The month of October was supposed to be the toughest one on the Florida schedule coming into the season. The Gators opened it with a win over then-ranked No. 3 Ole Miss before beating Missouri on the road the following week. They split the final two games against LSU and Georgia to end the month with a 3-1 record and the heavy favorites to represent the SEC East in the league title game.

Florida can remove any doubt and clinch the SEC East with a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday at 12 p.m. The Commodores are the only team that could be in Atlanta other than Florida, but it would require the Gators to lose to South Carolina and Vanderbilt while the Commodores sweep through their remaining league schedule of Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas A&M.

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