Florida had its chance Saturday to sway some opinions nationally, stake its claim as the team to beat in the SEC East and build some momentum heading into the middle of its schedule.
And sitting on a three-touchdown lead late in the second quarter while having quieted the usually rowdy crowd inside Neyland Stadium, it looked like the Gators were on their way to accomplishing all of that.
Until Tennessee scored the next 38 points, that is.
In a stunning turnabout, the Vols seized the game in the second half while sending the stunned Gators to a 38-28 loss that suddenly raised questions about what had been a dominant defense through three weeks.
With that missed opportunity, Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) remained at No. 5 in the weekly SEC Country Power Poll.
The poll consists of 22 voters, including ones from SEC Country and around the nation.
The Gators’ loss after leading 21-0 late in the first half marked their biggest collapse since squandering a 23-point lead in a loss at Miami in 2003.
The offense went flat after halftime, rattling of five three-and-outs and a costly interception in the span of six straight series. That didn’t help the defense, nor did the defense help itself. Throw in a couple of special teams miscues for good measure, and the Gators have plenty of issues to address this week before visiting Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday in Nashville.
Florida has won 24 of the last 25 meetings with the Commodores, who are last in the SEC Country Power Poll and needed overtime this weekend to slip past Western Kentucky.
The Gators will hope to get back on track before hosting LSU the following week in The Swamp.
Check back next week to see the Week 5 installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Through Week 4Results are below:
|1||Alabama (14 - 1)||286||22||1||1||1|
|2||Texas A&M (8 - 5)||262||0||2||2||3|
|3||Tennessee (9 - 4)||234||0||4||2||5|
|4||Ole Miss (5 - 7)||227||0||7||2||5|
|5||Florida (9 - 4)||182||0||5||4||8|
|6||Arkansas (7 - 6)||176||0||3||4||9|
|7||Auburn (8 - 5)||147||0||9||5||9|
|8||Georgia (8 - 5)||137||0||6||6||9|
|9||LSU (8 - 4)||131||0||8||6||9|
|10||Mississippi State (6 - 7)||72||0||10||10||12|
|11||Missouri (4 - 8)||69||0||11||10||14|
|12||Kentucky (7 - 6)||46||0||13||10||14|
|13||South Carolina (6 - 7)||23||0||12||11||14|
|14||Vanderbilt (6 - 7)||10||0||14||11||14|
This week's voters:
Adam Sparks (The Tennessean)
Alec Shirkey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Barrett Sallee (Bleacher Report)
Ben Wait (Columbus Commercial Dispatch)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Cory McCartney (Fox Sports)
Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
David Caraviello (Post & Courier)
Jason Kersey (SEC Country)
Jeff Drummond (AllWildcats.com)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Michael Bonner (Clarion-Ledger)
Mike Wilson (SEC Country)
Parrish Alford (Daily Journal)
Patrick Brown (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Shehan Jeyarajah (SEC Country)
Suzanne Halliburton (Austin American-Statesman)
Travis Reier (BamaOnline)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)