GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida football got the bounce-back performance it needed Saturday, and consequently saw a boost in its standing in the weekly SEC Country Power Poll.
With their 20-7 win over South Carolina, the Gators (7-2, 5-2 SEC) jumped up two spots to No. 4, receiving votes anywhere from No. 2 to No. 8.
The poll this week consisted of 26 voters, including ones from SEC Country and around the nation.
With Auburn getting upset by Georgia, Texas A&M reeling with losses in its last three conference games and Arkansas getting run over by LSU, the pecking order is jumbled after consensus No. 1 Alabama.
Meanwhile, Florida also moved up one spot in the AP Top 25 to No. 21 after delivering that highly-encouraging performance against the Gamecocks despite an almost unbelievable rash of injuries.
By the end of the game, the Gators were down nine starters from the last two weeks. That included three offensive linemen as they were left turning to their third-string center.
Backup quarterback Austin Appleby gave the offense a spark, though, leading touchdown drives on two of the team’s first four possessions and then playing a competent game manager role after halftime. He finished 17-of-21 passing for 201 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and a costly botched snap fumble.
The offense at least moved the football, though.
Defensively, freshman David Reese and redshirt freshman Kylan Johnson made a statement at linebacker in their first collegiate starts while filling in for injured stars Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone.
Florida held South Carolina (5-5, 3-5) to 256 yards, and 141 of those came on the Gamecocks’ final two possessions once the game was in hand.
While the Gators regained some confidence Saturday, it may be short-lived as they go on the road the next two weekends at LSU for their SEC finale and at Florida State for their annual non-conference rivalry showdown.
Florida football can clinch the SEC East title for a second straight season with a win over the Tigers. If not, it will need Tennessee to trip up against either Missouri or Vanderbilt these next two weeks.
Check back next week to see the Week 12 installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 11 Power Poll rankingsResults are below:
|1||Alabama (14 - 1)||338||26||1||1||1|
|2||LSU (8 - 4)||302||0||4||2||6|
|3||Auburn (8 - 5)||271||0||2||2||7|
|4||Florida (9 - 4)||242||0||6||2||8|
|5||Texas A&M (8 - 5)||220||0||3||2||9|
|6||Tennessee (9 - 4)||208||0||7||4||10|
|7||Arkansas (7 - 6)||181||0||5||4||11|
|8||Georgia (8 - 5)||168||0||9||4||10|
|9||Ole Miss (5 - 7)||165||0||8||5||11|
|10||Kentucky (7 - 6)||111||0||11||7||11|
|11||Mississippi State (6 - 7)||68||0||10||9||14|
|12||South Carolina (6 - 7)||60||0||12||10||14|
|13||Missouri (4 - 8)||23||0||14||11||14|
|14||Vanderbilt (6 - 7)||9||0||13||13||14|
This week's voters:
Adam Sparks (The Tennessean)
Alec Shirkey (SEC Country)
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Barrett Sallee (Bleacher Report)
Ben Wait (Columbus Commercial Dispatch)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Cory McCartney (Fox Sports)
David Caraviello (Post & Courier)
Jason Kersey (SEC Country)
Jeff Drummond (AllWildcats.com)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Michael Bonner (Clarion-Ledger)
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Mike Wilson (SEC Country)
Otis Kirk (Hawgs 247)
Parrish Alford (Daily Journal)
Pat Dooley (Gainesville Sun)
Patrick Brown (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Shehan Jeyarajah (SEC Country)
Suzanne Halliburton (Austin American-Statesman)
Travis Reier (BamaOnline)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)