Final Ranking about Right

The final Associated Press college football poll gives the Florida Gators the No. 13 spot among the nation's best teams.

I figure that's about what the Gators deserved. Sure, you can be annoyed at Florida being one slot below Tennessee, considering the Gators pummeled the Vols 59-20. That would be a valid criticism. But it would be just as valid to criticize the voters having the Gators ahead of Auburn (No. 15) and Michigan (No. 18) when both schools beat Florida and finished with the exact same record (9-4).

Taking a look at the final poll shows the Florida team has a great deal to be proud of despite a record that most consider to be disappointing. The Gators ended up with four losses this season. All of those losses came to teams that won bowl games and finished in the top 20 in the final poll. The four teams that beat the Gators included the National Champion (LSU) and the number two team (Georgia) as well. The four teams that topped Urban Meyer's squad finished with a combined record of 41-12).

According to the latest numbers put together by the NCAA, Florida faced the fourth toughest schedule in the nation this year. They faced eight teams that played in bowl games and seven of those teams WON their bowls. Florida opponents won 103 games this season while losing just 63. Only two Gators opponents had losing records and one of them (Vanderbilt) would have been bowl eligible if Florida hadn't beaten them.

It remains to be seen if Florida ending the season at the unlucky number "13" turns out to be a bad omen. Expectations for next season are going to be through the roof, but keep this in mind. Florida's schedule will be even tougher with Hawaii and Miami replacing Western Kentucky and Troy in the first two weeks of the season.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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