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Florida FBS power rankings—Week 8

All seven state FBS teams now sport a .500 record or better

NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami
Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz celebrates his team’s victory over Virginia on October 11.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After a 4-2 week highlighted by Miami’s 17-9 victory over Virginia, every state of Florida FBS team now sports a .500 record or better heading into the second half of the season.

USF and FIU also grabbed victories last week to get to 3-3 like the Hurricanes did and FAU won its fourth consecutive game to get to 4-2 on the season.

Florida and Florida State each lost to an opponent ranked in the AP top five.

The seven FBS teams in the state now sport a 26-17 record overall, with numerous head-to-head games set for the month of November.

#1. Florida Gators (6-1, No.9 in AP Poll)

Week 7 Result: LSU 42, Florida 28

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, at South Carolina, Noon

Bovada Line: UF -6

Week 7 Positives: Florida’s offense kept pace with LSU’s high-powered attack for much of this game on Saturday night. Kyle Trask passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns and the Gator run game was the best it has been all season considering the strength of LSU’s run defense.

Week 7 Negatives: LSU rolled up 511 yards of total offense and Joe Burrow threw just three incomplete passes in a dominant offensive performance against UF’s defense. Jordan Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase each had over 100 receiving yards and Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 100+ yards as well. The Gator defense did not do close to enough to win a night game in Death Valley.

Where Things Stand: This is certainly a respectable loss for the Gators considering LSU’s prowess this season but nonetheless a frustrating one considering how well Florida played on offense. The LSU hangover cannot cost the Gators this week in their road game against South Carolina, who upset Georgia on the road last Saturday.

#2. Central Florida Knights (4-2)

Week 7 Result: Off.

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, vs. East Carolina, 7pm

Bovada Line: UCF -33

Where Things Stand: This should be no more than a tune-up game for the Knights road trip to undefeated Temple on October 26. It will be interesting to see how UCF looks coming out of a bye week after its first conference loss since 2016. The Knights must fix their turnover issues on offense and do a better job getting pressure with its defensive line on the other side of the ball.

#3. Miami Hurricanes (3-3)

Week 7 Result: Miami 17, Virginia 9.

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, vs. Georgia Tech, Noon

Bovada Line: UM -18

Week 7 Positives: Miami’s biggest win of the season was keyed by a passing and rushing touchdown by backup quarterback N’Kosi Perry. The Hurricane defense held Virginia to just 318 yards of total offense and allowed zero touchdowns to the Cavaliers. Walk-on kicker Turner Davidson made a short field goal and two extra points replacing Bubba Baxa.

Week 7 Negatives: Miami only managed 265 yards of total offense in the win and was just 2-for-10 on third down conversions. Miami had to punt six times since it managed just 14 first downs in the entire game.

Where Things Stand: This was a much-needed win over a ranked opponent for Miami. No ACC game will be easy for the Hurricanes this season but Georgia Tech at home certainly seems like an opportunity for Miami to grab its second ACC win in convincing fashion. The Hurricanes jump Florida State in this poll because the Seminoles lost to Virginia 31-24 and do not have a victory over a ranked team this year.

#4. Florida State Seminoles (3-3)

Week 7 Result: Clemson 45, Florida State 14.

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, at Wake Forest, 7:30pm

Bovada Line: FSU +2

Week 7 Positives: The Seminoles didn't quit after falling behind 42-0 as they outscored Clemson 14-3 in the game’s final 17:02. Khalan Laborn had a 40-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and Tamorrion Terry had a 64-yard touchdown catch from Alex Hornibrook. Those were the extent of FSU’s highlights in this game.

Week 7 Negatives: FSU was again embarrassed by Clemson and it is obvious the Seminoles are not anywhere close to being at the level to win the ACC. Clemson had over double the total yards (552-253) and three times as many first downs (31-10) as Florida State did. This was with the Tiger backups playing much of the time in the second half.

Where Things Stand: Most realistic Florida State fans weren’t expecting the Seminoles to beat Clemson on the road but many FSU fans were hoping for a better performance than this. Willie Taggart is now 8-10 in his first 18 games at Florida State with the Seminoles picked to be a road underdog at offensive juggernaut Wake Forest this week. Taggart needs a win in Winston-Salem this week.

#5. Florida Atlantic Owls (4-2)

Week 7 Result: Florida Atlantic 28, Middle Tennessee State 13.

Next Game: Friday 10/18, vs. Marshall, 6:30pm

Bovada Line: FAU -5.5

Week 7 Positives: FAU outscored MTSU 26-7 in the game’s final three quarters to seal the victory. Malcolm Davidson rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Owls. FAU also forced Middle Tennessee State into three turnovers.

Week 7 Negatives: The Owls were out-gained in this game by 95 yards and finished the game with 74 yards in penalties. The passing game never really got going for FAU in this one as it passed for just 161 yards as a team while allowing MTSU to amass 335 yards through the air.

Where Things Stand: The Owls just keep rolling. A win over Marshall this week would make it five in a row for Lane Kiffin and company heading into a road game with Old Dominion, who has just one victory this season. All indications seem to be leading to November 2nd’s game on the road against Western Kentucky deciding the Conference USA east division.

#6. Florida International Panthers (3-3)

Week 7 Result: Florida International 48, Charlotte 23.

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, vs. UTEP, 7pm

Bovada Line: FIU -24

Week 7 Positives: The Panthers rushed for 350 yards as a team, including 117 yards and three touchdowns from Anthony Jones and 114 yards and a touchdown from Napoleon Maxwell. Both of those players single-handedly outperformed Charlotte’s passing game as the 49ers managed just 113 passing yards against the Panther defense on 13 attempts. FIU converted nine of its 11 third-down attempts.

Week 7 Negatives: Not many in this performance. Kicker Jose Borregales missed one of his seven extra point attempts as his struggles kicking continue.

Where Things Stand: Has FIU turned the corner after its 1-3 start? Or have these last two dominant performances been the result of playing against lesser opponents? We may not find out this week as the Panthers are a huge 24-point favorite at home over lowly UTEP on Saturday. A trip to Middle Tennessee State on October 26 might give us a better idea of what to expect from the Panthers the rest of the season.

#7. South Florida Bulls (3-3)

Week 7 Result: South Florida 27, BYU 23.

Next Game: Saturday 10/19, at Navy, 3:30pm

Bovada Line: USF +14

Week 7 Positives: USF outscored the Cougars 13-0 in the fourth quarter to earn the come-from-behind victory at home. Jordan Cronkrite rushed for 158 yards and the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Week 7 Negatives: The Bulls managed just 72 passing yards in the win and had 105 penalty yards. BYU rolled up 439 yards of offense on USF and converted 12 third down opportunities.

Where Things Stand: You could argue that no coach in the country needed a win this past weekend as badly as Charlie Strong did and he got it. Can USF find three more wins to earn bowl eligibility? It would likely need an upset victory at Navy this week as arguably the top four teams in the AAC still remain on the schedule in Temple, Cincinnati, Memphis and rival UCF.