November 6, 2011. That is the last time all teams in the state of Florida are unranked. And, this year, the teams within the Sunshine State have represented more of a race to the bottom than one of the most competitive groupings in the nation, which it once was.
In this past week of play, the teams went 0-4 with three bye weeks. The state’s last hope, the Gators, were dropped from the rankings after a loss to LSU. The Gators did find a new quarterback in redshirt freshman, Anthony Richardson, who is just the latest young quarterback to take the helm. This includes true freshman quarterback, Mikey Keene, who took over for an injured Dillon Gabriel at UCF, second-year freshman, Tyler Van Dyke, who replaced Miami’s D’Eriq King, and even USF’s Timmy McClain, who has rose to the occasion over transfer, Cade Fortin.
Florida teams now try to find themselves after they are in a position they have not been in nearly a decade.
As the season moves forward with or without key signal-callers, below is the current state of the state of Florida football Week Seven rankings:
1: Florida Gators (4-3) (Previous: 1st)
Ranking: 33rd (AP Top 25 - 7 votes), 30th (USA Today Coaches Poll - 23 votes); 41st (The Athletic Power Rankings); 33rd (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: 49-42 Loss to LSU
Week Eight Matchup: BYE WEEK
Going into the bye week, Florida did not do enough across the board against LSU as they trailed the entire game and ended up losing. After throwing a hail mary, former blue chip recruit quarterback, Emory Jones, was benched in favor of uber-athletic Anthony Richardson. On the bright side, the Gators appear to have found their quarterback of the future in Richardson, who led impressive drives to keep the game close. Head coach, Dan Mullen, should likely roll with Richardson from here on out, including against Georgia in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.
I am a Florida Gator, through and through. Sorry if my response wasn’t clear enough, but I’m not worried about anything but maximizing my opportunity now! Don’t count us out… #GVO #GatorGang pic.twitter.com/zE5BeKCaTK— Anthony Richardson † (@GVOaant) October 17, 2021
2: Florida State Seminoles (2-4) (Previous: 4th)
Ranking: 76th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 81st (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: BYE WEEK
Week Eight Matchup: vs. UMass (1-5) (-35.0)
FSU somehow rode the momentum from an underwhelming 33-30 Syracuse victory to pull of the convincing 35-25 upset over UNC in Chapel Hill. Dual-threat QB, Jordan Travis, has apparently found his own as he went 11-for-13 for 145 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 14 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns. During the two-game win streak, Travis has accounted for ten total touchdowns (five passing and five rushing), as well as 510 total yards. Travis has at least one rushing and one passing touchdown in six of his eight games as starting quarterback.
After this week’s bye, the Seminoles have an easy matchup against UMass before they travel to Clemson.
Week 6 Performance— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) October 11, 2021
QB Jordan Travis - FSU
• 145 Passing yards 3 TDs
• 121 rushing yards 2 TDs pic.twitter.com/nsdknBBs9P
3: UCF Knights (3-3) (Previous: 3rd)
Ranking: 55th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 67th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: 56-21 Loss to Cincinnati (#3)
Week Eight Matchup: vs. Memphis (-2.0)
With a true freshman against the Cincinnati Bearcats, expectations needed to be lowered in Cincinnati. However, there is some reason for optimism as UCF returns running back, Isaiah Bowser, and wide receiver, Jaylon Robinson, from injuries. Linebacker, Tatum Bethune, continues to have an impressive season as he is all over the field. The Knights are slightly favored against Memphis on Friday night where they hope to get off the schneid after the Cincy blowout, East Carolina nailbiter, Navy loss, and Louisville loss.
Gus Malzahn On the Return of Tatum Bethune: "He's Turned Into a LEADER" https://t.co/RtbVYGmhlu— 96.9 The Game (@969thegame) October 15, 2021
4: Miami Hurricanes (2-4) (Previous: 2nd)
Ranking: 69th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 73rd (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: 45-42 Loss to UNC
Week Eight Matchup: vs. North Carolina State #18 (5-1) (+2.5)
After two straight tough losses on the opposite ends of a bye week, Miami now faces the first two ranked teams since they played Alabama in the opener (vs. NC State #18; @ Pittsburgh #23). The blows continue for Miami who lose veteran running back, Cam’Ron Harris, to the season. It’s a sad state of affairs in Coral Gables. Head Coach, Manny Diaz, will do all he can for the program as the season progresses - it just may be too little too late.
Mack Brown just maniacally laughing in Manny Diaz’s face pic.twitter.com/WbXTGotl8Z— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2021
5: Florida Atlantic Owls (3-3) (Previous: 5th)
Ranking: 102nd (The Athletic Power Rankings); 89th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: BYE WEEK
Week Eight Matchup: @ Charlotte (4-2)(-7.0)
Miami wide receivers, Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope, are expected to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal and a sensible landing spot to find their bearings would be FAU where they can re-unite with quarterback, N’Kosi Perry, who has experienced a resurgence along with head coach, Willie Taggart. Perry was limited last week due to an injury, but appears to have no limitations going into this week at Charlotte.
6: South Florida Bulls (1-5) (Previous: 6th)
Ranking: 126th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 115th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: 32-31 loss to Tulsa
Week Eight Matchup: vs. Temple (3-3) (-2.5)
USF lost a heartbreaker against Tulsa this past weekend, despite having a 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. It’s the latest close loss, which shows the Bulls are playing tight with a Freshman QB, Timmy McClain, who has built rapport with freshman WR, Jimmy Horn Jr. There is promise for the future.
They are favored for the first time this season against Temple.
USF was up 11 in the 4th quarter with its sights set on Jeff Scott’s first win over an FBS opponent… and they blew it.— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) October 16, 2021
It’s Tulsa’s 5th 4Q comeback since the start of last season (most in FBS).
Dabo’s former OCs (Scott, Morris) have now lost 35 of their last 39 FBS games.
7: Florida International Panthers (1-5) (Previous: 7th)
Ranking: 125th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 125th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Seven Result: BYE WEEK
Week Eight Matchup: vs. Western Kentucky (+15.0)
Since beating Miami 30-24 in 2019 at Marlins Park, the Panthers are 1-12 overall and 0-10 against Major/Mid-Major opponents. Charlotte was unable to cover the spread against Charlotte this past week but their QB, Max Bortenschlager, slung the ball around as he went 19-for-30 for 466, four touchdowns, and one interception, en route to 33 points. FIU heads into a much-needed bye week where they hope to build momentum to get out of the FBS cellar.
FIU has a solid offensive trio in Max Bortenschlager, D'vonte Price and Tyrese Chambers, but the Panthers' defense hasn't been the best in 2021.— Tyler Mansfield (@TMansfieldMedia) October 19, 2021
Comparing the offensive and defensive stats for WKU and FIU ahead of Saturday's game in Miami: https://t.co/ST5iP7FILH