Week 2 was better for the State of Florida overall than week one with the total record coming out to 6-1 for the week. The State of Florida is now 9-5 on the year and every team who lost week 1 picked up a win last week. In addition to that, USF and UCF picked up their second straight win and are now the only two undefeated teams in the state. With the recap out of the way, let’s dive into this week’s rankings.
1. Central Florida Knights (2-0, 1-0 AAC) (Last Week: 1)
Last week: vs SC State (0-2) W 38-0
Next opponent: at North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2) (Postponed)
Central Florida looks like they have not missed a beat since losing their head coach at the end of last season. Despite poor QB play from Mackenzie Milton, UCF’s running game and defense were more than enough to carry the Knights to a 38-0 victory. UCF has a very manageable schedule and it would take a pretty big upset to loosen UCF’s hold on the number one spot.
2. Miami Hurricanes (1-1, 0-0 ACC) (Last Week: 2)
Last Week: vs Savannah State (0-2) W 77-0
Next opponent: at Toledo Rockets (1-0)
Miami was coming off of a brutal loss to LSU but bounced back with a blowout win against Savannah State. Obviously, Savannah State is a low caliber team, but Miami did what they were supposed to do against a team like that. Miami’s schedule is pretty light and they do not play another ranked team until November 17th when they play Virginia Tech. Due to this weak schedule, Miami will have to hope UCF slips up if they are to move up to the number 1 spot.
3. South Florida Bulls (2-0, 0-0 AAC) (Last Week: 5)
Last week: vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1) W 49-38
Next opponent: at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)
South Florida is now 2-0 on the year and coming off of a win vs Georgia Tech. Say what you will about Georgia Tech, but they are still a power five team. USF is not the most talented team by any means, but they are now number three in these ranking due to other Florida teams struggling through the first two weeks. USF plays UCF the final week of the regular season, but there are not a lot of opportunities for them to rise up in the rankings on their own between now and then.
These next three spots in the rankings were by far the toughest to rank. FAU had a nice bounce back win last week beating Air Force by a score of 33-27, but that alone is not enough to move you up to number 4 in these rankings. Luckily for the Owls, Florida and Florida State looked terrible last week allowing Lane Kiffin and his squad to jump up two spots. FAU plays UCF in two weeks which will be their best chance to move up in the rankings.
5. Florida Gators (1-1, 0-1 SEC) (Last Week: 3)
Last Week: vs Kentucky Wildcats (2-0) L 27-16
Next Opponent: vs Colorado State Rams (1-2)
That was ugly. The Gators were the only team in the State of Florida to lose last week, as a 31 year streak of UF beating Kentucky came to an end. The Gators lost their SEC opener at home and managed to score less against Kentucky than Central Michigan did the week before. In addition to that, the Gators defense gave up 203 rushing yards and nearly 5 yards per rush. The only good news for UF is that FSU looked just as bad or worse so they slot in at number 5 in these rankings.
6. Florida State Seminoles (1-1, 0-1 ACC) (Last Week: 4)
Last Week: vs Samford Bulldogs (1-1) W 36-26
Next Opponent: at Syracuse Orange (2-0)
After last weeks horrible performance against Virginia Tech, many people thought it could not get any worse for the Seminoles. Those many people were wrong; it got worse in so many ways. Yes, the Seminoles were able to beat Samford, but it took a 4th quarter comeback to do it. The FSU defense looked atrocious as they gave up over 500 yards of total offense and 475 passing yards to an FCS team. FSU has a road game against Syracuse waiting for them this week and are in serious danger of dropping to the number 7 spot on these rankings with a loss.
7. Florida International Panthers (1-1, 1-0 CUSA) (Last Week: 7)
Last Week: at Old Dominion Monarchs (0-2) W 28-20
Next Opponent: vs Massachusetts Minutemen (1-2)
After two FIU football players were injured in an off-campus shooting last Thursday, Butch Davis and the rest of his team still had to suit up and play Old Dominion. Despite being down two offensive players, the Golden Panthers went on the road and scored 28 points and had nearly 500 yards of total offense. While this was a great team win and the gap between 6 and 7 on this list is narrow, I need to see more from FIU before Butch Davis and crew can say goodbye to the number 7 spot.