Gators up to No. 9 in College Football Playoff rankings

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Florida players warm up before a game this season. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida moved up two spots to No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday, all but assuring a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Gators (9-3) will learn their bowl destination Sunday and hope to play in a New Year’s Six bowl for the first time since the conclusion of the 2012 season, when they faced Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.

“If teams we expect to win do win (this weekend), Florida is in the Peach (bowl). If UCF loses, chance Gators go to Fiesta. If Georgia beats Alabama, Florida goes to Sugar,” Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley said after talking to sources.

Florida debuted at No. 11 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, but fell to No. 15 after its 38-17 loss to the Missouri Tigers three weeks ago. Two weeks ago, Florida bumped up to No. 13 after its come-from-behind victory over South Carolina and the Gators moved up to No. 11 after its thrashing of Idaho.

2018 College Football Playoff Rankings

Record
1. Alabama 12-0
2. Clemson 12-0
3. Notre Dame 12-0
4. Georgia 11-1
5. Oklahoma 11-1
6. Ohio St. 11-1
7. Michigan 10-2
8. UCF 11-0
9. Florida 9-3
10. LSU 9-3
11. Washington 9-3
12. Penn St. 9-3
13. Washington St. 10-2
14. Texas 9-3
15. Kentucky 9-3
16. West Virginia 8-3
17. Utah 9-3
18. Mississippi St. 8-4
19. Texas A&M 8-4
20. Syracuse 9-3
21. Northwestern 8-4
22. Boise St. 10-2
23. Iowa St. 7-4
24. Missouri 8-4
25. Fresno St. 10-2

The playoff semifinals match the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 4 seed, and No. 2 will face No. 3. The semifinals will be hosted at the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl on Dec. 29. The championship game will be played on Jan. 7, 2019 at Santa Clara, Calif.

59 COMMENTS

  1. If Bama beats Georgia, Oklahoma beats Texas, and UCF beats Memphis, it seems to me that the following would take place:
    Alabama vs. Oklahoma and Clemson vs. Notre Dame in the playoffs
    Ohio State vs. Washington in the Rose
    Georgia vs. Michigan in the Sugar
    Washington State or Penn State vs. UCF in the Fiesta
    Florida vs. Penn State or Washington State in the Chick Fil A

    If UCF loses to Memphis, it would be Florida vs. Washington State or Penn State in the Fiesta and LSU vs. Penn State or Washington State in the Chick Fil A

    And all goes to heck if Georgia beat Bama in Atlanta.

      • Daz. Maybe, but it also throws everything else I mentioned previously into disarray as a result of the number one team getting upset and not just if Bama gets in or not, which will be a huge debate nationwide by the media and fans. I have no doubt that the committee is pulling for Bama to win their game vs. Georgia. Most bowls as well.

    • Swampy, what if Bama beats UGA like a redheaded step child, OU and OSU both lose, and UCF wins? Do you think there’s any possibility that UCF would jump ahead of UM into the fourth playoff spot? I’d like to see that just to avoid another year of self-bestowed national championships. UCF would either prove themselves worthy by being competitive, or be exposed as second tier.

      • Joe, I’d agree with this assessment. However, we should all keep in mind that IF this came to pass and UCF got their chance and got beat by Bama or Clemson…there would be no shame in that nor necessarily 2nd tier status. Unless of course Bama rolled them 70-3. But what if the score was respectable… what if Bama beat UCF 31-21…..would we all agree that UCF belonged in that discussion? Just food for thought.

          • ALL – do not forget that UCF has lost their starting QB to injury. This could have huge consequences on the ending of their season. We will have to wait for these playoff games to come to a close, and then we will know for sure who plays who. I know it can be fun to speculate because it keeps us conversing with each other about our football team. But as I get older, I find speculation sort of a waste of my time when I know the answer is coming soon. I was never this patient when I was younger…LOL. I know that whoever we play, our GATORS earned the right to be there! We all know they played better then any of us thought. Thank you Coach Dan Mullens for your leadership and ability to bring out the best in our GATOR players! GO GATORS!!!

          • You’re right about the UCF QB, Ed. His loss would certainly change the CFP Committee’s view of UCF even if all of those upsets occur. It’s certainly not likely, just one Gator’s Christmas wish. Your advice to be patient, and content with where our Gators are right now is solid. Go Gators!

          • OK – After some reading, I believe that we will be invited to the Citrus Bowl to play either OSU, UM, or UCF. I base this on the Citrus Bowl having first shot at securing the SEC team of their choice. Why would they select anyone outside of the State of Florida (with the exception of their opponent)? We will find out soon. GO GATORS!!!

      • Joe. That would create total chaos. UCF would get in if that happens for sure. I think the four would be Bama, Clemson, UCF, and (you pick ’em for the fourth spot). In that scenario, Florida would even get some consideration for the fourth spot but would likely not get it due to losing to Georgia. Georgia would likely get eliminated because of the beating by Bama and the committee not wanting that repeat. Same with Michigan because of being killed by OSU. I therefore could see the committee putting Washington in as the fourth team as the Pac 10 champ, who would immediate get steam rolled by Bama. And all this really does not matter, as they should go ahead and schedule the national title game between Bama and Clemson.

        • Yes, it would create chaos, and it’s only a pipe dream anyway. Probably a moot point, since Milton is injured. I wasn’t thinking about UF getting consideration in that scenario, just trying to figure a way to get UCF in so they can put up or shut up. But without Milton, they’d have a legitimate argument that they weren’t able to truly show what they’re capable of doing even if they did get in.

  2. I simply want to say…….who could have possibly seen this Gator season and this result back in July? If you say it was you……I think I’d have to call you on it. Even with Dan Mullen’s arrival…who could’ve seen going from a 4-7 trainwreck season and nightmare program to being ranked 9th, and possibly better by weeks end, in the CFP rankings. Amazing job Gator Coaches, Staff, and most of all, Players!!!! You’ve made this Gator grad proud 🙂

    • Yea, anybody say they saw this coming would be a liar, especially since the team at #15 and #24 both beat us. Stinks for them but clearly the committee ranked the teams as they believe they are not as they played all the time. LSU is 10 but TAMU is 19 and they Just beat them, stinks to be TAMU too. Personally I think we are a bit overanked and UK and Mo are underanked. I think we are closer to #15. Not complaining at all though, definitely not! Im one who believed in Mullen from the start and supported him but I had hoped for 7 wins this year, along the way thought it could be 10, very happy for 9; Christmas came early!

      • gatorgi70x7 commented on the post, Mullen: QB call won’t be game-time decision 3 months agoView Discussion

        Which ever Q.B. starts, this I’m certain of: I’m more excited for this season than I have been in a long time. This team’s comradery, their friendship, their closeness and loyalty to each other will go a long way, and pay dividends this season. They may go 9-3 (my best case scenario), or they made end up 7-5 (my worst case scenario), in my…[Read more]
        I Commented here, ‘3’ months ago…
        Don’t BELIEVE ME? ”Liar”!?!? Well, check out my gatorgi70x7 page here at Gatorsports.com. and SCROLL DOWN.
        Nobody is ”lying”, and it wasn’t that difficult too see, either. The TALENT is here in HOGTOWN, we just NEED MORE!
        Go Gators!

          • Thank you G-6! I voted for Trump, but I hate his ”absolute talk”, and I hate it here, too. ”You must be a liar…” But my pre-season comment is here, I just scrolled down on my page here and ‘copied and pasted it” above. It is quite nice to have PROOF! Go Gators!

        • And sadly I thought: ‘IF’ Florida lost to UGA, which they did, I thought they’d let the Dawgs BEAT U.F. TWICE, and LOSE to Mizzou again. That I never typed out or spoke about (little-stitious, not super). But I was right. However, I didn’t see the UK loss coming, but I didn’t see them with the season they had, either.
          GO GATORS! Win your BOWL GAME and give yourselves a TEN WIN SEASON, and some sweet swag!

          • I don’t think Daz meant it literally GI — but totally agree with you on “absolutes”, be it from POTUS or sports fans. I’m getting a little tired of tweets too, but that’s just me I guess.

        • GI I remember your post and there was debate with some saying we would not do better than 6 with others saying 8. Someone confronted me when I said all were winnable saying I was saying we’d go undefeated. I said I didn’t think we would as the team wasn’t ready for that. But we had three coaching and talent to do so. Further said we wouldn’t but UGA would be toughest game. And Missou seems to have our number. Kentucky seems to have been like a reverse trap game and while they are having a good season I don’t think they’d beat us twice. LSU was a toss up. So yes there were more of us that felt we had the gumption. (work from 6). Fact is nobody most would have been satisfied with measurable improvement. I think that the coaches and the team delivered that. IMO they have earned the right to again be called with pride GATORS!

        • I’m certainly not doubting you GI or calling you a liar. Before the season, and this too is well documented in these pages, I had this team down for maybe 8 wins. So 9 wins beats that expectation.

          And I too thought this team had talent that had just not been utilized last year. I just didn’t think the culture of the team could be improved so quickly (also well documented). Now I still think the entire program culture shift is a year or three away, but we’ve seen an amazing transformation in a short time.

          I guess another thing I’m saying though, is even at 8-9 wins, I don’t think many had realistic expectations that we would be in Playoff conversations this year. And being ranked #9 is certainly in the conversation and a few weeks ago we were more seriously in the conversation. If you or anyone else expected that…then kudos to your confidence and foresight with this team.

          • GI, Rog, and Joe Shiver — let’s just say, based on our history over the last 7 years or so, that we would have been satisfied with considerably less than where we are today. Let’s all remember that next year if Mveal is correct about us taking a small step back…..because we all know this is a multi-year process. I say 2021 is the magical year, but it’s still pretty fine leading up to that. Go Gators!

      • Good point Daz, although not the party line. I think if most of us really admitted it, we’d say we might be a bit over-ranked….but what the hell, among all the 9-3 teams we deserve to be ranked where we are just as much as they might. It is what it is, but I think we can defend the ranking on the field, and that’s where it really counts!

      • Just curious Daz, do you believe if the Gators played either UK or Missouri tomorrow that they’d lose? I’m confused as to why you think they’re under-ranked. Missouri lost to every ranked team they faced except the one they faced at the perfect time, since we now see everyone admitting that they weren’t into that game mentally after the UGA loss. We all know UK played the Gators at the perfect time without 2 of their best defenders and they just got curb stomped by a bad UT team a couple weeks ago. Of all the 3 loss teams, the Gators easily have the best resume, with LSU right there with them, but the head-to-head gives them the edge. After 3 straight games with over 500 yards of offense, it’s obvious to the committee that they’re playing some great football right now. They definitely deserve to be the highest ranked 3 loss team.

    • Rog.
      Here was my 10 – 2 preseason prediction for Florida (and you can call me on it all you like):
      I had Florida only losing to Mississippi State and Georgia.
      Charleston Southern – win because it was CSU (win)
      Colorado State – win because it was a different CSU (win)
      Kentucky – win because it was the same old Kentucky, I thought (loss)
      Tennessee – win because the Vols had no QB and a new offense under a new coach (win)
      Mississippi State – loss because I did not think MSU would struggle so much on offense early (win)
      Vandy – win because it is Vandy in Nashville (win)
      LSU – win (win because I did not see LSU beating Florida in The Swamp two times in a row)
      Georgia – loss because I did not think Franks could play well in the game and I was correct (loss)
      Missouri – win because I did not see how Florida would lose two in a row to Missouri and I was wrong (loss)
      South Carolina – win because the game was in The Swamp (win)
      Idaho – win because Florida should never play a FCS team (win)
      FSU – win because I hate the Noles and would never pick them against Florida….EVER (win)

      • And my prediction above is one I made on a piece of paper at home before the season. I have no idea if that may have changed posting on here before the season. But I doubt it did. I did not see Florida losing more than 2 games until they lost to both Georgia and Missouri. I must say that I lost a lot of confidence after the Missouri game that Florida would win more than 7 or 8 games at best. Glad I was proven wrong because of the great coaching and leadership provided by Mullen.

      • Tampa – Well, number one, I’d never call you on it because I take you at your word. I don’t have a beef with you and I always enjoy your insights. Maybe your style is a little rough around the edges but you come here and talk serious football talk. I’m good with that.

        Number two….. I guess I stand corrected. I sure didn’t see this season coming. I hoped for it, but I would not have put a dime down in Vegas on a 9+ win season with being in the college playoff discussion. You and GI and others apparently had more confidence than I. And I’m glad you were right…because this season has been fun and its been a LONG time since I could say that.

        • Rog. Back when Mullen was here the first time, I was very involved with going to both games in The Swamp and elsewhere, including going to the NC game in 2006/7 when Florida blew out Ohio State with Mullen’s game planning and play calling on offense (and Florida’s great defense as a result of Mullen’s input). I knew what a great coach he was and had faith in him for a lot of reasons, including how he coached up Leak and Tebow at Florida. I knew Florida would be a lot better because the abundance of talent at Florida would be so better coached under Mullen. The only concern I had was Franks, and that concerned turned out true in the Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri games. But Mullen has developed Franks to the point now that I believe he will not only be the starter next year but a potential all-SEC type QB under Mullen in 2019. The throws and execution in the FSU game was very much all-SEC type. He now may realize his enormous potential based purely on his physical skills because Franks now seems to be finally getting it innately on the football field as well. Due mostly to Mullen and staff.

          • And I get “rough on the edges” on here mostly when people post things that either state or imply racial, social, and political nonsense, which seems to be engulfing our society at the moment from all directions, unfortunately. And how was that for a rough edge?

          • I think Rog might have been referring to your own racist, social, and somewhat political, nonsensical tirade about the citizens of Jacksonville, Tampa. Just a guess, since that was in fact pretty “rough around the edges” to say the least.

          • Swampy and 6 ……… I see my work as a peacemaker is not yet done. But as a US Marine, just know that I won’t give up and I’ve faced bigger challenges before.

            Semper Fi

          • Hypocrisy knows no bounds, Rog. I’d be just as happy if “our friend” didn’t mention me at all, but he’s apparently somehow addicted to it.

            I know Marines face a big challenge every day — fitting your heads in a jar can’t be all that easy! 😀 (seriously, you have my undying respect as a brother in arms — you guys do more with less than any other branch of service; been to too many courses with gunnies and Marine officers not to know that) Now, Go Gators darn it, and I’ll try harder to restrain myself!

  3. Dig that Jalon Jones highlight reel to the right! He’s exciting, has a good view of the field, quick yet odd release, like a flicker(definitely no wind up) and electric to see him run, WOW!!! We have us a QB on the way!!!!! Im pumped, it was a long highlight reel! Very accurate passer!!!!!!……… Could he break the mold? and be a freshman starter???? Stay tuned!!!!

    • I sure am glad I watched that highlight reel, think I will watch it several more times, it really got me psyched, cant wait for spring ball now, would never have believed a video could have done that to me, wasnt expecting that tonight! Thanks Graham!!!!! I bet Mullen is just as excited inside but all cool on the outside!!! That is just what Ive waited 10 years for, a QB that excites me, the missing piece of the puzzle! If he turns out to be all that at the next level and can absorb the playbook fast enough, next year can be very special! If he cant get the playbook, then the next year.
      I remember when Tebow was coming, the media and the expectations were sky high, ridiculously so. I was telling everybody(to no avail) to temper it so he and we wouldnt be disappointed, it was way too much pressure for a young man…… then…… he came in and …. EXCEEDED it!!!! I remember Tebow with halo’s, Tebow with wings, saint Tebow, it was off the charts and an exciting time to be a Gator! Thank goodness this guy is slipping in here silently!

    • Daz. I think Franks will start next year and be even better than he is now. E. Jones will be a quality back up. Trask will likely transfer. And J. Jones will redshirt. Then the kid from Gainesville comes in the next year and redshirts. I definitely think Florida’s QB problems are over under Mullen.

      • I agree with this scenario 100%. I know this is a different age and patience is for old guys like me, but under that scenario I’d sure hope that E Jones and J Jones could be patient and wait their turn. Franks has certainly earned the benefit of a doubt in my mind with his development this year. Kudos to Coach Mullen and Feleipe.

        • The only thing that gives me any pause at all, Rog, is that Cody Alan and a few others that I trust remain unconvinced. In particular, Cody has Trask starting next year…..not certain what he sees, but I’m sure it’s something to give him the nod over Jones and Franks. Of course, everything is speculative right now — as for myself, I would be delighted beyond imagination if Felipe Franks does indeed progress to the level Tampa identifies…..and I do think it’s more than a hope by now.

          • I like Trask and I truly hopes he gets a chance…be it here or elsewhere. I’d love to see what he can do. But I wouldn’t put a plug nickel on him starting here next year simply because he is just not the runner that Coach Mullen needs to effectively run his offense.

            But I respect Cody Alan’s thoughts….so who knows how it will play out.

          • 6 Trask has looked good in glimpses but I’m concerned with his durability. Two season ending injuries in practice. Some just don’t have it in there make up. No fault of his. Would like to see him through a game though.

          • Both you guys make excellent points, first about running style and then about fragility. I disagree with Cody too, but out of respect for his opinion have been hoping he’ll come back on and give us a little more insight as to why he sees it that way.

    • Good stuff, Daz. I will say I don’t think UK is under ranked. Their QB is not good, and he’s the reason the Gators should’ve beaten them. Heck, Central Michigan should’ve beaten them for the same reason. It’s good to be able to be excited about next season already, but regarding Jalon Jones’ highlight reel, just remember, nobody ever shows a lowlight reel. Still, it’s great to be a Florida Gator!

  4. What a fantastic way to finish strong! Ninth in the country so far and possibly higher after we demolish UCF in the Bowl game. Congratulations to Dan Mullen, the staff and the team for relentless effort in the first year.
    Our seniors and the entire team deserve the New Years 6 Bowl game with its exciting sights and sounds.
    Let’s top it all off with some top recruits. It all happens on the front line so let’s get some top linemen in here. A deeper secondary would be next on my Christmas list.
    Go Gators!

  5. Swamp Mullen team a killer offense under Meyer and Strong ran killer defense. Seems the wheels were coming off when they left. So while Meyer is a great coach ethics aside these two seem to have been a bigger part of the staff at that time. I think you’re right that Mullen may have been a much bigger part.

    • 65, I get what you’re saying, but if Mullen made Meyer, then who was the brains behind Meyer and OSU beating Saban in the semis and Oregon in the finals of the first CFP, since Mullen and Strong weren’t there. I get that we want to build up our own coach and some want to take a stab at Urban, but the reality is that Meyer, as head coach, has won 3 NC’s at two different schools, and he’s gone through Saban for two of them. CDM is a good coach, no doubt, but he gets OC credit, not HC credit for the two NC’s at UF. Heck, Swampy’s even giving him credit for the ’06 defense in a post above. We’ve got a good coach; no need to over-hype it. Hopefully, he’ll prove himself with his own NC as an HC.

      • Joe not my point to jab Meyer. What makes a great coach great is an ability to select and lead great people. Again ethics aside he has done well there. Great leaders are someone people will follow. Used for good this is a powerful thing with good results. That is changed a little from it’s original saying. Saban has done so with different assistants too. What I feel with Mullen is he is this kind of person too. Maybe better. Time will tell.

  6. I just want to let everyone on the GATOR FOOTBALL TEAM THAT I AM VERY PROUD OF YALL AND HAVE NEVER TURN MY BACK ON THE GATORS AND NEVER WILL. I HAVE BEEN A GATOR FAN FOR AS LONG AS I KNEW WHAT FOOTBALL WAS AND THAT’S BEEN JUST ABOUT AS OLD AS DIRT, NO MATTER WHAT I WILL ALWAYS BE A GATOR FAN THROUGH THE GOOD AND THE BAD AND AS FAR AS THAT GOES Y’ALL ARE ALWAYS NUMBER 1 IN MY BOOK. GO GATORS AND MY KIDS ARE GATOR FANS TO, SO KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. Y’ALL WILL ALWAYS BE NUMBER 1 IN MY BOOK!!!!!!!! YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN!!!! GO GATORS AND Y’ALL ALWAYS IN MY PRAYERS AND GOD BLESS Y’ALL ALL I AM VERY PROUD TO BE A GATOR FAN!!!!