GAINESVILLE, Fla. — While Florida is building momentum with three straight wins heading into the final stretch of the season, the Gators got their first glimpse at where they are slotted in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The Gators are No. 11 in the first CFP rankings of the season, which were unveiled Tuesday night, leaving some work to do if they want to get into the four-team playoff.
The top four has Alabama at No. 1, Clemson at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and Texas A&M at No. 4.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said it was “shocking” to see undefeated Washington (8-0) behind a one-loss Texas A&M team.
Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) has only had one stumble with a second-half collapse at Tennessee in Week 4 and is coming off back-to-back lopsided wins over Missouri (40-14) and Georgia (24-10).
Where Florida is ranked
Florida is just outside the top 10 at No. 11, one spot lower than the Gators’ ranking in the AP top-25 poll
The Gators are behind three other SEC teams with Alabama and Texas A&M each in the top four and Auburn at No. 9.
What it means
The Gators have ample opportunity to raise their stock over the final month of the regular season with road games at Arkansas this week, home against South Carolina, at LSU (No. 13 in the CFP rankings) and at Florida State (No. 22).
Florida is also in control of its destiny in the SEC East. A return to the conference championship game would provide another huge opportunity to make an impression.
The players said this week they feel the national respect for the team is lacking, so this might further feed into that mindset.
ESPN analyst Joey Galloway said he thought Florida’s offense was “awful” in that Georgia game, but he does see a path for the Gators to make the playoff.
“They do control their own destiny, so if they win out and they win the SEC they are getting in,” he said.
Florida’s next game
Florida travels to Fayetteville, Ark., this Saturday to face an Arkansas team that sits 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.
The Razorbacks had a bye last week, giving them a chance to regroup from a humbling 56-3 loss at Auburn.