The Florida Gators are barely in the top 50 in USA TODAY Sports’ latest re-rating of all FBS college football teams. They land in 49th place, down seven places since the last update.
The Gators had their ups and downs in the first half of the season. They came out of the gate with an upset victory over defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes in Billy Napier’s first game as Florida’s head coach. They rose from unrated to No. 19 after winning the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. They then lost to Kentucky and barely won against in-state rival USF, dropping them entirely out of the top 25. Their narrow loss to Tennessee coupled with their win over Eastern Washington ensured expectations stabilized.
What felt like positive momentum after home wins over Washington East and Missouri quickly evaporated. LSU’s 45-35 win over the Gators stunned the fanbase, and the defense didn’t live up to Florida fans’ standards. Bye week and 17 unanswered points in the third quarter weren’t enough for the Gators to upset their SEC East rival Georgia. Her recent drop in the new rank put her behind programs like South Alabama, East Carolina and the University of Texas-San Antonio, three programs the Gators should be better at.
The Gators, sitting at 4-4 with almost no chance of winning their division, are now shifting their goal to bowl eligibility. The additional bowl practice would go a long way for Napier and his staff to prepare for the 2023 season. Florida travels to College Station on Saturday to take on Texas A&M. Kick-off is scheduled for noon EDT and the game will be televised on ESPN.
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