Gators up to No. 11 in AP rankings

Florida players celebrate after defeating Vanderbilt 37-27 last year in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Florida, riding a five-game winning streak, three on the SEC road, moved up three spots to No. 11 Sunday in The Associated Press college football rankings.

The Gators (6-1, 4-1 SEC) overcame a 21-3 deficit Saturday to beat Vanderbilt for the 14th consecutive time in Nashville. The 18-point comeback matched the largest deficit in program history in a road win. The Gators surrendered 17 points on three turnovers and didn’t take the lead until the first play of the fourth quarter.

Alabama remains No.1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU. Then-No. 2 Georgia when it lost at LSU on Saturday dropped to eighth. LSU, which slid from fifth to 13th after losing 27-19 to the Gators eight days ago, are back at No. 5 following their 36-16 upset of Georgia.

The Gators have an open week before facing the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 in a key game to determine the SEC East Division title.

Other big plays Saturday for UF:

  • Freddie Swain: 33-yard punt return, 2nd quarter
  • Jordan Scarlett: 11-yard rush, 2nd quarter
  • Lamical Perine:63-yard reception, 2nd quarter
  • Tommy Townsend:18-yard rush,3rd quarter (fake punt)
  • Van Jefferson: 38-yard touchdown reception
  • Moral Stephens: 26-yard reception, 3rd quarter
  • Jordan Scarlett: 48-yard touchdown rush, 4th quarter
  • Kadarius Toney: 27-yard rush, 4th quarter
  • Lamical Perine: 10-yard rush,4th quarter
  • Lamical Perine: 25-yard rush,4th quarter


    • Chip. Not if Alabama wins the West and the Gators play them in Atlanta, because no team in this entire country is going to beat Alabama this year based on what I have witnessed with that team. Every team in the country is simply playing for second place somewhere.

        • Dude, I agree…I don’t think it’s likely, but it can happen. UGly was so certain they would be undefeated that Feinbaum’s two assistants dressed up in their UGly gear and were taunting LSU and the rest of the East. We still have to get past UGly, and that is not a high probability, but LSU has given us the blueprint for beating them, if we can only execute it.

        • After having examined Bama’s wins they dont have any strong wins. They have yet to play anyone really good. Alot of teams look great playing scrubs, check everyones records. You get exposed when playing quality or you prove your worth. Bama has given up alot of points to lower caliber SEC teams indicating their defense isnt all that! A great defense can shut down that high flying offense and then score on their suspect defense with a good offense. Why do people continually not examine a teams record and who theyve played. It make s a world of difference in analysis. They appear to me to be beatable. Cant wait till LSU shows me what Bama is REALLY made of. Bama has a very soft schedule up to now.

          • Alabama is averaging 53.6 points a game this year, no team has even made a game close, and the Tide’s starting QB has hardly played more than one half of every game all year. And they beat Texas A&M 45 to 23, and A&M is the #17 ranked team in the country and beat Kentucky, a team that beat Florida in The Swamp. I would say all that is very impressive. And if you watch Alabama, your football eye tells you that they are much better than any team in the country. Yes, Bama could lose to LSU is they turn the ball over 5 times in that game, their starting QB and backup QB get hurt, and they lose 5 or 6 more starters before they play LSU. And that would be a maybe loss if all that happens. They have that much high quality depth on that team.

      • Okie Dokie. Bama hasn’t played anyone yet. Florida could be undefeated with Bama’s schedule. Louisville is 2-5 in the weakest of the power fives. Arkansas State, please, Ol Miss and eATMe are their two signature wins, then Louisiana, Hawgs, and Mizzou. Bama hasn’t had to prove themselves. They actually have quite a weak schedule. OSU, OU, there are teams that could be Bama on any given day.

  1. I am wondering if Florida beats Georgia in two weeks that maybe the Gators will move up to #10, right behind LSU at #7 (after they are upset by MSU), Georgia at #8 (who just lost to Florida), and Mississippi State at #9 (who just beat LSU and jumped a Florida team that beat LSU). And Kentucky will be at #11 a team that beat Florida). Makes perfect sense if you are a voter in either the coaches or AP poll. No doubt helped out by the votes by Pat and Robbie.

    • These votes are indeed subjective. Voters also operate with the assumption that winning one game against someone shows that a team was better in that instance, but not necessarily in a more general sense. I believe that this is true (witness how return match-ups often go in the NFL), so I can understand the reasoning. Still, it is a head-scratcher that LSU is ranked so much higher than the Gators.

      • It’s basically like the loss never happened as they’re right back in the spot they were before it happened, and it’s only been a week. Definitely a head scratcher. But as people have already said, all the Gators gave to do is keep winning.

          • Kentucky lost to a two-loss team (Tex A&M) who only beat South Carolina by 3 pts. UF”s road victory at MSU and upset of LSU (both ranked) look more impressive than the Cats’ wins even though they beat the Gators on the road.

          • Why is that a bigger head scratcher? Or do you just make statements without reason? The Gator’s resume is far better than Kentucky’s. Their resume is arguably better than LSU’s too. The Auburn and Miami wins are clearly not that great anymore and their best win is against a top 5 UGA. The Gators have a win against ranked MSU on the road and a top 5 win. The biggest difference being the Gators top 5 win was head to head against LSU. There’s absolutely no justification to be 6 spots higher. There is for being a few spots higher than UK.

          • Joe. Florida’s resume is better than Georgia’s, Alabama’s, Ohio State’s, Clemson’s, and even Notre Dame’s. The only team with a better resume that Florida I can think of right now is LSU, and Florida beat LSU.

          • Kevin, it may not be such a head scratcher when you consider that the polls are subjective rankings, not standings. Rankings are intended to identify the best team at the moment, while standings identify who has the best record. A less talented team can beat a better team and be ahead in the standings, as UK is ahead of UF in the SEC East by virtue of the head-to-head win, and still be considered by many knowledgeable commentators to be the lesser team in the polls.

          • Better question, is Kentucky a better team now? UK came in with a more experienced team, a better o-line, and a better d-line, and won the game in September. When you consider players UF did not have for that game, the fact that it was Florida’s second game with a new coach at the wheel, and how much Florida’s play has improved since that game, is Kentucky stlll the better team? Actually if neither team will be playing in SEC championship, I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch in a bowl game.

          • Florida should be ranked ahead of LSU, but then KY did beat us on our home field, give credit where credit it due, and please TampaGator, don’t even try to compare Florida to Alabama at this time, they would destroy us.

          • Probably they would win, Kevin….but I think their days of destroying us are in the past. Who knows tho? Maybe….just maybe…..we’ll get a chance to find out.

          • Kevin do you really believe UK would beat the Gators if they played today? It’s blatantly obvious how much this team missed Reese in that game, and I’m pretty sure the pollsters understand that. No way UK beats LSU even if they’re playing at home. I’ll give UK credit for winning a game against a depleted defense in the second game of the season under a new regime with a 31 game losing streak providing extra motivation, but I refuse to claim they’re the better team and deserve to be ranked higher. Better teams lose games all the time. I’m sure every member of the 96 Gator team would tell you that after the FSU loss. Same with the 08 Gator team after the Ole Miss loss. I can go on and on with other examples, but I’ll just leave it at that.

          • Kevin Patrick. I did not compare Florida to Alabama. In fact, I clearly stated on here that no team in the country could beat Alabama. But I did say that Florida’s resume (teams that they have played) is better than Alabama’s resume so far. And it is and will be when the regular season ends. Florida has a much tougher schedule than Bama does this year. No doubt about that. But they are not a better team now, and they will not be a better team when the season ends. And I am so sorry that I have to explain all that to you.

      • Not a head scratcher at all. They just beat the #2 team. That has pull. Yes UF beat them(in the swamp-home field advantage) and UF’s rise to #11 is a direct result of beating LSU. You really think we should be ranked ahead of LSU and GA(who we haven’t even played) when we lost to UK? Don’t worry, we beat Ga and THEN we will be ranked ahead of LSU and they will put the lost to UK as an early season bump in the road. Lose to Ga and they will put LSU’s loss to UF as a home field advantage and LSU overlooking UF. It will all work out in the end!

        • So home field advantage downgrades the Gator win over LSU, but LSU having home field advantage against UGA is a moot point? No one said LSU being ranked higher was the head scratcher, it’s the fact that they’re 6 spots higher that is. Pretty sure no one said we should be ranked higher than UGA either. UGA was only #2 because of what happened last season and their recruiting class. LSU actually deserved to be ranked higher than them before the Gator loss because of what happened on the field this season. Their win against #2 at home is not a far better win than the Gators beating #5 at home with a better resume. You’re right, if the Gators beat UGA they’ll more than likely move ahead of LSU, but for the sake of the argument, LSU being 6 spots higher at this point is a head scratcher. You don’t go from 5 to 13 and then back to 5 in 2 weeks with 1 loss. There’s no justification for that. It just proves the polls are a joke.

        • Dazle is right. There is no media plot to rank UF too lowly. Why would they? What the media has a bias against are teams that had a bad previous year or years, or teams that are not traditional football powers. Keep winning and we will pass those teams. Finish the season strong and we will be ranked higher next season before the next season even starts. A lot of this is based on where teams were ranked preseason too, as well as big victories early in the season against teams that were ranked highly early (i.e. LSU defeat of Miami). UF had a horrible season last year and was not even ranked. Then we lost to UK, who at the time was not ranked. The polls take time to work themselves out.

    • Why will the Gators be #10 behind LSU #7 and MSU at #9, according to your fantasy? What you are saying makes no sense at all, when UF beat those two teams… asinine comment. TampaGator, you need to chill out.

      • Rolando. I think it is “asinine” that you took that post seriously. Clearly, as many people have repeatedly previously posted, I have no sense of humor or any ability to be clearly sarcastic. I guess I will go back to being the “moronic”, “ignorant”, “asinine”, “idiot”, “tool” (please insert any other applicable insulting adjective you prefer here______________ person I usually am on here. SMILE.

  2. Tampa I usually think your comments are spot on, however I totally disagree with you about alabama. And most people beat themselves before they play them with that type of thinking. Bama has played nothing so far, and yes they are a great team but they have played nothing. They are quite beatable, and I don’t see them winning the national championship this season.

    • Some very good football minds — not the type who are paid for it — have seen vulnerabilities in all of the Top 6 teams so far. While it’s still way too early to be making playoff predictions just yet, it’s a fair bet that at least 3 of those teams will be “in” at the end of regular season play. Alabama will probably be one of them if they survive that far…..but they are indeed quite beatable and I think the eventual national champion will surprise everyone this year — especially those who think in terms of absolutes and certainties. There really are no such things in big league college football anymore.

    • It’s a conundrum to criticize Bama for not playing a tough schedule, after all they never have to play Bama. Their SEC east annual rivalry is Tennessee. Not Bama’s fault that UT is suffering through the worst football in the school’s history. Had Louisvlille on the schedule this year non-conference. Louisville tanked this year, but they were probably a respectable foe when Bama scheduled them. They’ve been following a very Florida like schedule, an ACC team out of conference, a couple of patsies who will travel for the economic benefit of extra home games in Tuscaloosa, and eight SEC games. Maybe in terms of Alabama’s history, this year’s team isn’t that great, but meh. I’d still bet on them to make the playoffs. Don’t like it. Would love it if ties could happen again, so alabama and auburn could both go 0-10-1 every year, but that’s not how it’s going down. alabama in the playoffs again. they have two quarterbacks who could win a national championship game. they pass the eye test, which imho is more important than the schedule test.

      • I dont think anyone is criticising Bama for a soft schedule, just merely pointing it out. That soft schedule makes it hard to analyse how good they actually are. Every decent team cremes scrubs but those scores are meaningless, other than they show us that lesser teams have scored alot of points on bama’s defense. A great defense should be able to really slow down Bama’s offense while a good offense should score well on bama’s defense. So LSU-AL game will tell us alot! Cant wait!

    • Derek. I have no problem with anyone disagree with me as long as they do not use insulting language to do so. Opinions are just that, opinions. My clearly theory on the matter will have a factual conclusion. And thanks for being civil. Appreciated.

      • Clearly, I drank too much coffee before making the above post. Sorry to the errors in a couple of my sentences. “disagree” should have been “disagreeing” and “clearly” should have been “clear”.

  3. IF the Gators get a W against UGA, they should/would/oughta jump in front of LSU. Got to beat the angry Dawgs first…BIG order of business but the Gators have found out how to win big games. Glad they have two weeeks to nurse bruises and get ready to scrap after a lot of hard faught battles. GO GATORS!

  4. A week ago all the experts were saying UGA and Bama was a given? I don’t think Smart is a great coach? And WE can beat anyone on any given Saturday! It’s football, what if Tua goes down with an injury? We are not a title worthy team yet? But are capable of winning out… and as CDM says…we are building!!! GO GATORS!!!

  5. I am not that interested in the comparison between the teams that won against other teams and where they land in the polls. It is crazier that LSU went from 5 to 13 to 5 in 2 weeks while going 1-1. Never heard of anything so obscure. Now if they would have done this in Athens, that would help the argument. The Gators are doing great, but we are still at least a year away. If we go to Atlanta this year, it won’t be any prettier than when McElwain did a few years back. I hope all the talking heads that praise the West, will start giving some notice to the East. UF – 2-0, UK – 1-1, UT – 1-0 and then the other guys. Think we are split 4-4.

  6. Why worry about the ranking now ? They only count at the end of the season. Right now I’m just enjoying the ride. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoy watching the Gators play. Yesterday is over with and it’s time to focus on the Dawgs. We have 2 weeks to prepare for them. Gives us enough time to heal our bumps and bruises. Should be a whale of a ball game. Looking forward to a big Gator win. Good Day……………..

  7. ‘Bama is yet to play its toughest opposition…namely LSU and MSU. After those matches we’ll actually know if they’re as good as they have loooked thus far… one high-powered offense with super talented qb and very good-to-great defense with DEPTH on both sides. I’m not buying that they’re undefeatable until they look that way against better teams. Lot of football left.

      • I sometimes wonder if people actually watch other teams play or if they just watch the Gators and believe what they read about the others ? GA certainly wasn’t unbeatable as many would have had you believe and neither is Bama ! I’m not saying we would beat them but I do think its possible and maybe even probable that somebody will. One thing that I WOULD be willing to bet my next paycheck on is that if we do somehow end up playing them in Atlanta for all the marbles, then we will make a heck of a lot better show of it than we ever did under MclNuss ! I would be the first to admit that this probably isn’t quite our time ” and yet” stranger things have happened in college football and that is why we all love it so passionately !

          • 6 I will be there at the FL GA game. Hope I have enough left to get home after the game. I have never walked from Jax to home. Ah who’s kidding I am not a big gambler and might only have to walk half way. Go Gators.

        • BC Gator. I have recorded and watched Bama multiple times this year. Bama played their worst game of the year last Saturday vs. Missouri, lost their starting QB to injury, and still won by 29 points. And they destroyed Texas A&M. Bama is damned good and damn deep at every single position. Someone gets injured and they do not miss a single beat.

          • So pretty much if the gators played Colorado st every week, that is what Alabama schedule has been.. how much did we put up on Colorado st again?.. exactly. They can and will be beaten before the year is over.

  8. Georgia is a run first team and when that is taken away it puts pressure on the qb. That contributed to their loss along with continuing to run the ball. They got of their game because LSU caused it. Plus, they did not throw the ball to their play maker, why? With loss of our LB for the game because of ejection May be a concern. We stop their run, we win!

      • daz. The thing that worries me is that Georgia has a huge and quick OL and Florida has a relatively small front seven on defense. That was exploited by Georgia last year. In addition, Reese and Joseph often shoot too far into gaps because of their quickness and speed and either overrun RBs and/or whiff on tackles in those gaps, allowing for big runs (as they did in the Vandy game and in the game vs. Georgia last year). And if you watch the first half of the Vandy game, multiple Florida defenders did not stay in their assigned gaps and zone coverages on defense on the explosive plays that Vandy had in the first half Reese, Joseph, and Dean were exploited when they wondered out of their coverage zones against Vandy or shot too far into gaps. LSU played mostly zone against Georgia and did not blitz that much. It will be interesting to see what Grantham does (the blitz king) after he watches the film of the GA/LSU game. I think Florida will be able to move the ball on Georgia. But, like you, I wonder if Florida will be able to stop the run and stop multiple explosive plays if Georgia comes out and just pounds and pounds the ball with their running game. One way to avoid that would be to get out to a good lead like LSU did vs. GA. That took GA out of their game plan and forced them to throw the ball much more than they had planned. It also allowed LSU to play much more zone coverages in pass protection. So a keys to watch will be how Florida can stop the GA run game early and if Florida can get out ahead of GA on the scoreboard early. Georgia clearly is a more talented team overall, but Florida is much better than most thought they would be. I would pick Georgia right now around 38 to 24. But that would be a lot better than the final score from last year. But, as always, fingers crossed or that score to be reversed.

        • Tampa one other thing is we are fit this year. We might not have the talent but we shouldn’t be gassed. Agreed, offense needs to score early and not go 3 and out. I watched a few UGA reruns they are Natalie.beatable but we have to not have mental errors. Over pursuit has been an issue. You’re trained to get off the ball and be quick and fast. Only to realize you’re too fast. Is bet Grantham and Mullen are working on this day and night. We’ll be ready to go.

    • Gary. The NCAA rule for a player being ejected from a game for two personal fouls is that the player will be only ejected for the remainder of the game he was ejected from only. Joseph will be able to play at the beginning of the Georgia game, although his strength is not stopping the run game. More of a weakness. The targeting rule states that an offending player will be immediately ejected from a game and must site out the next half of a game only. Joseph’s foul was not a targeting foul anyway. So he likely starts vs. Georgia unless Grantham wants to start a LB better against the run and play Joseph on passing downs only. That might be a good strategy vs. Georgia. Jackson on first and second down and Joseph on 3rd downs or 2nd and long downs.

  9. Both teams get 2 weeks to heal and prepare. I expect a low scoring slobber-knocker with turnovers, special teams, and trick plays being the difference makers. I think the tempo was a test to give Ugly something else to think about. Both squads are going to roll out wrinkles. CDM is the better in game mind. I have liked our chances against them for several weeks. I expect we’ll come away with a W.

  10. As Mullen said, the Gators are checking the checklist on all the ways to beat opponents.
    They are demonstrating continuous improvement and great resilience in the face of adversity.
    At this rate, and with two weeks rest, it shoud be a great game vs GA. and an even better one vs. Bama in Atlanta. Go Gators!