Connect with us

Florida Gators

Gators and UCF both take small tumble in first AP Poll

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Even in victory both the Gators and UCF Knights were “knocked down a peg or two” in the first regular-season Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The rankings were released on Tuesday afternoon, waiting an extra day after Notre Dame beat Louisville in prime time Monday night.

Before we even begin writing about this, it is obvious that the AP Poll has lost almost all of its relevance and impact with the recent creation of the College Football Playoff and their ranking. That ranking is the only one that truly matters for the final four games and ultimately the National Title Game.

Nonetheless, the AP poll has been around forever and has prestige. So, here we go:

Despite their sloppy victory two Saturdays ago over Miami, the Gators who were preseason #8, dropped down to  #11 in the first regular-season ranking. This is often a ridiculous part of the poll, where voters will drop teams (in this case three spots) despite them not losing.

Florida will have an easy time with UT-Martin coming up this week, but judging by this week could take another dip, depending on who else wins big games around them.

UCF debuted by annihilating FAMU 62 – 0 last Thursday night at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, but it still dropped the Knights from 17 in the preseason rankings to 18 in the initial AP poll. UCF will travel to Boca Raton and FAU for Saturday’s matchup in primetime that may be challenging. The Knights will play Stanford and Pitt later in September to bolster their resume.

The Boise State Broncos, who rolled into Tallahassee in the displaced opening game with Florida State that was moved from Jacksonville due to Hurricane Dorian, upset FSU 36 – 31 and therefore, have debuted at number 24 in the rankings.

True freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier from California was a sensational 30 – 51 for 407 yards a TD and an INT, and lead the 23 unanswered point comeback in the second half for the Broncos.

Auburn’s dramatic last second win on Saturday night in Arlington, TX over Oregon moved the Tigers up to the biggest jump at six spots from #16 to #10.

Meanwhile, the top five the poll went as planned with Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State all winning easily and all maintaining their 1 – 5 slots this week.

Florida Gators

Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

Florida Football Insiders



Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

Continue Reading

Florida Gators

Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

Continue Reading