Gaining Gators

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This statistic is a good indicator to show what Florida football has accomplished over the last 20 years.

Because when the Associated Press poll comes out later this summer, we all expect the Gators to be ranked No. 1. The coaches overwhelmingly gave Urban Meyer’s team the nod on Friday.

So I looked it up and here are the all-time standings in the SEC for weeks being ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.

1. Alabama 39
2. Florida 27
3. LSU 19
4. Tennessee 18
5. Georgia 14
6. Auburn 7
7. Mississippi 4
8. Arkansas 1 (before joining the SEC)

Obviously, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State have never been No. 1 and I don’t think it will be coming soon for any of those teams.

But think about it. If Florida goes unbeaten into the SEC Championship Game it will be UF, not Alabama, that will have spent the most number of weeks of any SEC school ranked No. 1 in the country. That’s assuming the voters don’t drop Florida to No. 2 after a 70-21 win in the opener (see: 1994).

Of course, it’s not how you start but how you finish. So here are the standings in the SEC for the most times finishing in the top 10 in the final AP rankings.

1. Alabama 32
2. Tennessee 23
3. Georgia 19
4. LSU 18
5. Auburn 16
6. Florida 15
7. Mississippi 10
8. Kentucky 2
9. Mississippi State 1

Florida’s first top 10 finish didn’t occur until 1983. Arkansas and South Carolina have not finished in the top 10 since joining the league. Of course, neither has Kentucky and the Wildcats have had a lot longer to try.

Here’s another ranking for you. Since the league went to 12 teams in 1992, here are the most top 20 final AP rankings in the SEC:

1. Florida 14
2. Georgia 11
Tennessee 11
4. Auburn 9
5. Alabama 8
LSU 8
7. Mississippi 3
Arkansas 3
9. South Carolina 2

The only three years that Florida failed to be ranked in AP’s final Top 20 were the Ron Zook years. The bowl losses killed those teams.

As you can tell, I’m digging my brand new SEC media guide. It’s the best one yet. Stay tuned for more stats.

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