The Gators dropped one spot to No. 11 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings that were released on Tuesday night.
Florida has one ranked opponent left on its regular season schedule -- No. 16 Florida State. The other Southeastern Conference teams ranked are No. 2 Alabama, No. 9 LSU and No. 17 Mississippi State.
The move down for Florida came after an unimpressive 9-7 win over Vanderbilt. The Gators struggled on offense throughout the game and needed a game-winning field goal from Austin Hardin with 2:22 left in the game. The passing game struggled, as Treon Harris went 12-24 for 158 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
The Vanderbilt defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage and pressured Harris throughout the game. Their penetration also impacted the Florida rushing attack, holding the Gators’ running back to 21 carries for 55 yards, averaging 2.6 yards per carry.
Florida hits the road this weekend for a road challenge. The Gators locked up the SEC East with the win over Vanderbilt, so this weekend’s SEC finale at South Carolina doesn’t have any impact on the league standings. The berth in Atlanta for the championship is already locked up. However, the College Football Playoff remains in the conversation for Florida despite its struggles against Vanderbilt.
The Gators said after Tuesday’s practice that their motivation is internal and they still have a long way to go to reach their goals. With three regular season games remaining at South Carolina and at home against Florida Atlantic and Florida State, the players insist that finishing with three straight wins is high on their list of things to accomplish.