GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida has a grueling final stretch to its schedule after a bye this coming week, but the Gators are at least in control of their own destiny in the SEC East.
While Tennessee was taking a second straight loss in a blowout against Alabama on Saturday, the Gators were making a statement at The Swamp with a 40-14 win over Missouri.
That pushed Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) atop the east division standings and up one spot to No. 5 in the weekly SEC Country Power Poll.
The poll consisted of 20 voters, including ones from SEC Country and around the nation.
While the Gators were expected to take care of business against Missouri, it was impressive nonetheless as cornerbacks Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson covered for a slumping Florida offense with back-to-back interception returns for touchdowns in the second quarter.
Overall, the Florida defense held Missouri quarterback Drew Lock — who had entered the week as the SEC’s leading passer — to 39 yards and those 2 pick-6s on 4-of-18 passing.
The Gators still have plenty of rough edges to smooth out on offense, but they have a bye week to address all of that before heading into a gauntlet run through the rest of their schedule.
After the bye, Florida will meet Georgia in their annual rivalry showdown in Jacksonville, Fla., before a tough road test at Arkansas, a home game with South Carolina and back-to-back road trips to LSU and Florida State (non-conference game) to close the regular season.
That’s the path if the Gators want to return to the SEC championship game for a second straight season under coach Jim McElwain.
Check back next week to see the Week 8 installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 7 rankingsResults are below:
|1||Alabama (14 - 1)||260||20||1||1||1|
|2||Texas A&M (8 - 5)||240||0||2||2||2|
|3||Arkansas (7 - 6)||194||0||7||3||6|
|4||Florida (9 - 4)||181||0||6||3||8|
|5||Tennessee (9 - 4)||181||0||3||3||8|
|6||Auburn (8 - 5)||166||0||5||3||8|
|7||Ole Miss (5 - 7)||156||0||4||4||9|
|8||LSU (8 - 4)||141||0||8||3||8|
|9||Georgia (8 - 5)||88||0||9||9||13|
|10||Kentucky (7 - 6)||75||0||10||8||13|
|11||Mississippi State (6 - 7)||54||0||11||10||13|
|12||Vanderbilt (6 - 7)||51||0||14||9||14|
|13||Missouri (4 - 8)||17||0||12||10||14|
|14||South Carolina (6 - 7)||16||0||13||12||14|
This week's voters:
Alec Shirkey (SEC Country)
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Barrett Sallee (Bleacher Report)
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)
Mike Wilson (SEC Country)
Otis Krik (Hawgs 247)
Parrish Alford (Daily Journal)
Pat Dooley (Gainesville Sun)
Shehan Jeyarajah (SEC Country)
Suzanne Halliburton (Austin American-Statesman)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)