A UCF loss and a few other teams getting their seasons underway has changed the order of the power rankings a bit heading into the fifth week of the season.
1: No.4 Florida Gators (2-0, 2-0 SEC)
Previous: 1, Last Week: Won 38-24 over South Carolina
Florida has been one of college football’s most impressive teams through the first few weeks of the 2020 season. The Gators have a legitimate Heisman contender at quarterback in Kyle Trask, and his connection with TE Kyle Pitts, another contender for the award, has created one of the best offenses in the SEC so far. Defensively, the Gators still have a lot of room to improve, but their journey to an SEC title can not have gotten off to a better start.
This week, UF faces their first test of the season against Texas A&M. The Aggies are coming off a blowout loss to Alabama that showed how far they still have to go to be one of the SEC’s elite, but experienced QB Kellen Mond should provide a good test for UF’s defense.
2: No.7 Miami Hurricanes (3-0, 2-0 ACC)
Previous: 3, Last Week: Bye
Miami has looked much improved this season with QB D’Eriq King firmly establishing himself, and a new offense that is one of the best in the country through three games. There is still progress to be made for this program under Manny Diaz, but the start of his second year in charge has certainly been encouraging.
The Hurricanes will face one of their toughest challenges in recent memory this weekend though. A game on the road against the top-ranked Clemson Tigers will be a true test of just how far Miami has come, and how far the program still has to go.
3: UCF Knights (2-1, 1-1 AAC)
Previous: 2, Last Week: Lost 34-26 to Tulsa
A week after QB Dillon Gabriel said that UCF was, “the best team in Florida,” the Knights lost at home to Tulsa; in the process losing a 21 game home winning streak and any hope for the College Football Playoff. Fortunately, UCF has a bye to reset, and with a strong end to the season they could still appear in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
The Knights still have major issues to address, and a conference schedule that includes games against Memphis and No.11 Cincinnati suddenly looks a lot more challenging than it did a week ago.
4: Florida Atlantic Owls (1-0, 1-0 C-USA)
Previous: 4, Last Week: Won 21-17 over Charlotte
Florida Atlantic finally got their season underway last week against Charlotte. The Owls got off to a bit of a slow start, which was expected after multiple postponements delayed the start of their season, but in the second half they came back to beat Charlotte and start the season with a win.
This week FAU will have another challenging test. They’ll play a Southern Miss team that will be playing their fifth game, and another slow start could result in FAU dropping to 1-1.
5: Florida State Seminoles (1-2, 0-2 ACC)
Previous: 5, Last Week: Won 41-24 over Jacksonville State
FSU has had a rough start to the season. Two losses to Georgia Tech and Miami left questions all over the field for the Seminoles. Last Saturday, FSU was losing to Jacksonville State for a significant portion of the game, until a strong second half let the Seminoles pull away for a comfortable win. It also helped FSU find a starting quarterback in Jordan Travis, who will get the start this weekend against No.5 Notre Dame.
Florida State will be hoping to show improvement this weekend on the road against Notre Dame. Another loss similar to the 52-10 blowout against Miami a few weeks ago would give FSU one of their worst starts to a season in recent memory.
6: South Florida Bulls (1-2, 0-1 AAC)
Previous: 6, Last Week: Lost 28-7 against Cincinnati
USF has shown a lot of improvement over the first few weeks of the season. Last week on the road against a solid team in Cincinnati the Bulls held their own and didn’t let things turn into a blowout. Ball protection was an issue, however, as USF threw five interceptions that prevented the Bulls from having any chance at winning the game.
This week USF will have a solid chance at a conference win when they face East Carolina. If they get a win this week, the Bulls would have a really good win to build off through the rest of the season.
7: Florida International Panthers (0-1, 0-0 C-USA)
Previous: 7, Last Week: Lost 36-34 to Liberty
FIU, like FAU, finally got their season underway last week after several postponements. Unlike FAU, however, FIU did not come away with a win. The Panthers took advantage of their opportunities and kept the game close, but only gained 304 yards and gave up over 500 yards of offense.
This week, the Panthers play 0-4 Middle Tennessee, a team that has really struggled to start the season. A win would be a solid boost for the rest of the season for FIU after a disappointing loss in their first game.
The top two teams in the power rankings face their first big tests of the season this weekend which could cause these power rankings to shift by next week.