Up until #BeatFSU week, the Gators were the team to beat in the state. Granted, this was more due to the poor play of their in-state peers than their actual talent. Miami claimed the number one spot after stringing together a three-game winning streak, but lost a devastating game in Tallahassee this past Saturday. The game appeared to be the last nail in the coffin for Miami’s athletic director, Blake James, who is parting ways with the Canes.
Now, as it stands, there is a cluster of mediocre talent in the state as FSU takes over the top spot, barely ahead of Miami, Florida, and UCF. Florida escaped lowly Samford while UCF got demolished by SMU. Matters are even getting worse for cellar dwellers as coach, Butch Davis, is leaving the FIU Panthers and states FIU is “sabotaging” the football program. USF expectedly lost to Cincinnati, but saw former Miami quarterback, Jarren Williams, enter the Transfer Portal. Another former Miami quarterback, N’Kosi Perry, was part of a 30-16 losing effort to Old Dominion.
Canes spike the ball with 0:02 left on the clock, but by rule there has to be 0:03 to spike...— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 14, 2021
Game over. FSU 31, Miami 28 pic.twitter.com/UnhgGjStiz
Below is the current state of the state of Florida football Week 11 rankings:
1: Florida State Seminoles (4-6) (Previous: 4th)
Ranking: 54th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 76th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 31-28 Win over Miami
Week 12 Matchup: @ Boston College (6-4) (+2.0)
If Jermaine Johnson II was not a known commodity across the nation (lone Bednarik Award Semifinalist in the ACC), then he certainly is now. Johnson has had a rise similar to Jaelan Phillips for the Canes last year and should warrant an early round grade for the 2022 NFL Draft.
As for the Noles, they earn this first seed in the state placement more due to the lack of luster across other programs/win over Miami, rather than their own actual success. FSU still needs to win out at both Boston College and Gainesville to become bowl-eligible, Mike Norvell and company could come crashing down from this spot. It does appear they have retained their recruiting class.
2: Miami Hurricanes (5-5) (Previous: 1st)
Ranking: 55th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 53rd (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 31-28 Loss to Florida State
Week 12 Matchup: vs. Virginia Tech (5-5) (-7.0)
Even in a heartbreaking losing effort, there was some silver lining from Saturday’s results against FSU: Blake James is gone. More administrative moves appear to be forthcoming. Regardless, the players want to finish strong and there is reason for optimism from the young cohort. Quarterback, Tyler Van Dyke, showed some mental toughness by rallying his team back in the second half, which also came in part thanks to big plays from running back, Jaylan Knighton, and tight end, Will Mallory, who is returning next season.
The Canes will look to finish this season strong but shouldn’t get their hopes up for a premiere bowl matchup this season. It will be back to the drawing board this offseason as the administration seeks to retain as much talent within the state to get the U back on the map.
BREAKING: Miami has parted ways with Athletic Director Blake James. pic.twitter.com/wr8xD1Sx2O— Canes Access (@CanesAccess) November 15, 2021
3: Florida Gators (5-5) (Previous: 2nd)
Ranking: 56th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 68th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 70-52 Win over Samford
Week 12 Matchup: @ Missouri (5-5) (-9.0)
Samford paid the Gators $525,000 to play at Gainesville this Saturday and ended up putting up 52 points, which works out to $10,000 a point. The Gators did put up 70 points and Emory Jones had a career day (28-for-34 for 464 yards and 6 touchdowns; 10 carries for 86 yards and a rushing touchdown). Obviously, this is beyond the point.
To that end, head coach, Dan Mullen, continues to make a fool of himself in post-game pressers as he called Saturday’s performance a “big win” and stated that “calling a win disappointing is disrespectful to the game.” The Gators came into this season ranked in the top-15 so to not understand the disappointing nature of the performance - which included giving up 42 points in the first half (most surrendered by Florida since they started playing football in 1906) - point more toward Mullen’s lack of general awareness than issues with the Gators fanbase.
For a program that has lacked any semblance of cohesion and discipline, the last two games against Missouri and especially FSU are more a point of pride than chance to save themselves in 2021.
Samford paid $525,000 to play at Florida today. Ironically, that will work out to $1 for every yard Samford gains against Gators.— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 13, 2021
3:17 left in 2nd quarter
4: UCF Knights (6-4) (Previous: 3rd)
Ranking: 52nd (The Athletic Power Rankings); 57th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 55-28 Loss to SMU
Week 12 Matchup: vs. UConn (1-9) (-30.5)
Peppered with injuries this season, UCF has tried to make the most of a poor situation as true freshman quarterback, Mikey Keene, has been able to get significant exposure. He had no interceptions thrown against offensive-powerhouse, SMU, but only mustered up a 20.9 QBR. Keene came out the gates strong with a 14-7 lead, but the Knights ended up losing 55-28. This was a tough loss against a team that they were only a touchdown underdog against.
UCF plays one of FBS’s worst in UConn this week where they attempt to get a rhythm back.
chasing season! Good luck to all! pic.twitter.com/evuSjbhMex— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 8, 2021
5: Florida Atlantic Owls (5-5) (Previous: 5th)
Ranking: 80th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 88th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 30-16 Loss to Old Dominion
Week 12 Matchup: @ Western Kentucky (6-4) (+10.0)
FAU Quarterback, N’Kosi Perry, maintained a close game against Old Dominion until the final five minutes as turnovers/quasi-turnovers. That is, Old Dominion had scored via two(!) safeties as they jumped out to a 4-3 lead, a 2-point conversion, and a blocked PAT returned for a score, as well as two fumble recoveries. Former Miami quarterback, N’Kosi Perry, has help return FAU to relevance, but losing games in that manner is definitely difficult to overcome.
The Owls are 10-point underdogs against Western Kentucky as they seek to punch a bowl bid.
6: South Florida Bulls (2-8) (Previous: 6th)
Ranking: 114th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 113th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 45-28 Loss to Cincinnati #6
Week 12 Matchup: @ Tulane (1-9) (+5.5)
On primetime this past Friday against undefeated playoff candidate, Cincinnati, the Bulls covered the 23-point spread by losing 45-28. South Florida has done a good job of keep games close, in part due to the connection between freshman quarterback, Timmy McClain, and freshman receiver, Jimmy Horn Jr. The running game has also shown flashes led by junior, Jaren Mangham, who had two rushing scores Friday.
McClain stepped in after UNC transfer, Cade Fortin, was benched. The lack of opportunities has seemingly resulted in another former Cane quarterback, Jarren Williams, entering the transfer portal.
2021 3-star JUCO signee QB Jarren Williams has entered the transfer portal; did not see the field this fall at USF; signed with Miami coming out of high school @rivalsmike @USFBulls_Rivals https://t.co/qmZusq7tVU— NCAA Transfer Portal (@RivalsPortal) November 10, 2021
7: Florida International Panthers (1-9) (Previous: 7th)
Ranking: 127th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 128th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week 11 Result: 50-10 Loss to Middle Tennessee
Week 12 Matchup: vs. North Texas (4-6) (+10.0)
The one bright spot in a disastrous week under the Butch Davis regime is that 2022 NFL Draft eligible running back prospect, D’Vonte Price, appears to have been added to the Senior Bowl Roster.
Besides that, Davis is now out as coach and claims FIU is “sabotaging” the Panthers’ football program.
As for the Panthers on the field, since beating Miami 30-24 in 2019 at Marlins Park, they are 1-16 overall and 0-14 against Major/Mid-Major opponents - most recently losing 50-10 against Middle Tennessee.
FIU’s Butch Davis told @ActionNetworkHQ he will not return next year. “The administration has been sabotaging the program." FIU not allowed to recruit on road last 2 years, had to use Miss St’s old shoulder pads (because of no $) & uniforms are 9 years old https://t.co/RwEouTTOPz— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 15, 2021