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Florida FBS Power Rankings—End of Regular Season

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NCAA Football: Miami at Duke
Miami Hurricanes backup quarterback N’Kosi Perry throws a pass during Miami’s 27-17 loss to Duke on November 30.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the college football regular season summed up almost perfectly the state of the seven FBS programs in the state of Florida right now.

Florida, UCF and FAU each scored fairly easy wins and played to their strengths very well in doing so. Those teams are a combined 28-8 on the season and one those losses is FAU’s loss to UCF.

Florida International, Miami, Florida State and USF all suffered regular season-ending losses, the final three of which were embarrassing to once proud programs. In the words of former NFL head coach Dennis Green, these programs “are who we thought they were” right now after these performances this past weekend.

These four schools finished the season with a combined record of 22-26, and that resulted in the firing of Florida State’s Willie Taggart and USF’s Charlie Strong.

In total, state of Florida FBS programs finished the season with a combined record of 50-34 and six of the seven programs finished the regular season bowl eligible.

Keep reading for the final regular season standings and a look at where each program stands heading into the postseason.

#1. Florida Gators (10-2, No.7 in AP Poll)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 9 (Over, +1)

Best Win: Florida 24, No.7 Auburn 13, October 5

Worst Loss: No.8 Georgia 24, Florida 17, November 2

Where Things Stand: It’s hardly fair to put Georgia into Florida’s “worst loss” slot but you can’t put the Gators only other loss (LSU in Death Valley) there, so it has to be Georgia by default. All in all, this was a very good regular season for Dan Mullen and the Gators. They got wins over rivals Miami and Florida State, and got six SEC wins despite not having much of a running game. They also did a lot of this without starting quarterback Feleipe Franks, who announced on Sunday he will not be back with the program in 2020. If the Gators are able to win their bowl game, which likely will be a New Year’s Six bowl, they very easily could finish the season in the top five of the AP poll.

#2. Central Florida Knights (9-3)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 9 (Even)

Best Win: UCF 45, Stanford 27, September 14

Worst Loss: Tulsa 34, UCF 31, November 8

Where Things Stand: UCF finally came back down to earth as a program after entering the 2019 season having won 25 of its last 26 games. The loss to Tulsa was inexcusable as that wound up being one of two AAC wins for the Golden Hurricane. UCF did get a great power five victory over Stanford in September but failed to follow that up with an additional power five victory as it lost to Pittsburgh on the road the next week. UCF seems to have found its quarterback of the future in Dillon Gabriel, who did not perform up to typical UCF quarterbacking standards in the Knights’ three road losses this season. A win in the bowl game gets UCF to 10 wins and some momentum heading into the offseason.

#3. Florida Atlantic Owls (9-3)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 7 (Over, +2)

Best Win: Florida Atlantic 35, Western Kentucky 24, November 2

Worst Loss: Marshall 36, Florida Atlantic 31, October 18

Where Things Stand: The Owls won nine of their final 10 games after starting the season 0-2 to earn a spot in Saturday’s Conference USA championship game against UAB in Boca Raton. Season opening losses to Ohio State and UCF surely prepared FAU for much lesser opponents down the stretch. The lone C-USA slip up at home to Marshall in October came thanks in large part to quarterback Chris Robison being sacked seven times. FAU’s defense has been much improved this season and the offense did not score 28 points or less in any of its final 10 games. Blasting rival Florida International 37-7 on November 9 will help recruiting locally, as would beating UAB on Saturday.

#4. Florida International Panthers (6-6)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 7.5 (Under, -1.5)

Best Win: Florida International 30, Miami 24, November 23

Worst Loss: Middle Tennessee State 50, Florida International 17, October 26

Where Things Stand: What an up and down season for FIU. Many who follow the Panthers’ program closely would call a 6-6 season with what FIU had coming back a disappointment. But then there’s that program-changing victory over Miami at Marlins Park on November 23 that made the Panthers bowl-eligible again. That covers up a multitude of sins for Butch Davis and the Panthers this season. It is by far the biggest win in school history and gets the Panthers a lot of respect on the recruiting trail in South Florida and beyond. Blowout losses to Middle Tennessee State and rival Florida Atlantic still hurt but people will remember 2019 FIU football for its win over Miami, not its 3-5 Conference USA record.

#5. Miami Hurricanes (6-6)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 8.5 (Under, -2.5)

Best Win: Miami 17, No. 20 Virginia 9, October 11

Worst Loss: Florida International 30, Miami 24, November 23

Where Things Stand: What an abysmal season for the Hurricanes in Manny Diaz’s first season as head coach. Miami concluded the season with two inexcusable losses to Florida International and Duke, and struggled all season with teams it should have beaten easily. The Hurricanes beat the ACC Coastal champion for the second consecutive year, yet for the second straight year don’t even sniff qualifying for the title game. Road wins at Florida State and Pittsburgh were positives but losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina spoiled the ACC campaign for Miami. Diaz has a long way to go to right the ship for Miami and may want to consider coaching staff changes to do so, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

#6. Florida State Seminoles (6-6)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 7.5 (Under, -1.5)

Best Win: Florida State 35, Louisville 24, September 21

Worst Loss: Miami 27, Florida State 10, November 2

Where Things Stand: This was the third straight disappointing season for Florida State and it resulted in the firing of head coach Willie Taggart. The Seminoles struggled defensively all season and never made the jump offensively under new offensive coordinator Kendall Briles that many hoped they would. The 27-10 loss to Miami on November 2 was the last straw for Taggart, who was fired the next day. FSU’s 35-24 victory over Louisville in mid-September proved to be their best win as only two of FSU’s six victories came over teams that are currently bowl eligible. The Seminoles were 0-3 against ranked teams in 2019 with an average margin of loss of just under 24 points. It does not seem like FSU is close at all to being back to competing in the ACC.

#7. South Florida Bulls (4-8)

Preseason O/U Win Total: 7 (Under, -3)

Best Win: South Florida 27, BYU 23, October 12

Worst Loss: Navy 35, South Florida 3, October 19

Where Things Stand: The Bulls opted to fire coach Charlie Strong on Sunday as he was 4-14 in his final 18 games as USF’s head coach. The Bulls were only able to get AAC victories over conference bottom dwellers Connecticut and East Carolina and struggled offensively all season. The schedule was immensely difficult for USF this year but the results just weren’t good enough. The Bulls may need to look for an offensive-minded head coach to fix things on that side of the ball as they averaged just 9.3 points per game in their eight losses this season.

Note: A final power rankings will be released after bowl season.