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Florida College Football Power Rankings: Week Nine

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The Gators Continue to Slip (losing 3 out of 4) as the Canes Gain Ground with Two Straight Ranked Wins

Syndication: Gainesville Sun Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

A few weeks ago, all appeared lost in Coral Gables while the Gators looked destined for a shot at competing with Georgia for the SEC crown. In fact, the gulf between Florida and other teams in the state was widening. Now, however, the gap is narrowing as the seat is on fire for administrative positions in Gainesville, but appears to be turning a positive corner for the Hurricanes.

Although Florida and Miami are the closest they have been since preseason, it is a far cry for a state that has struggled to date in FBS play as both teams were ranked in the teens prior to the start of the season. Thus, after the Gators and Canes, teams like UCF, FSU, and FAU are all also looking to maintain pace in the state of play.

Below is the current state of the state of Florida football Week Nine rankings:

1: Florida Gators (4-4) (Previous: 1st)

Ranking: 47th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 37th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 34-7 Loss to Georgia #1
Week Ten Matchup: @ South Carolina (4-4)(-18.5)

The issues did not end after a blowout loss to Georgia 34-7, which saw a dominant defensive performance from the Bulldogs but an even more embarrassing performance by Florida’s two quarterbacks, Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson. Head Coach, Dan Mullen, made matters even worse and enflamed his hot seat by coming up with a bonehead quote: “we’re in the season now. We’ll do recruiting after the season – when it gets to recruiting time we can talk about recruiting.”

With three out of four losses, the Gators are in a tough spot and could soon relinquish the top spot in the state if they continue to slide in SEC play.

2: Miami Hurricanes (4-4) (Previous: 2nd)

Ranking: 42nd (The Athletic Power Rankings); 48th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 38-34 Win over Pittsburgh #17
Week Ten Matchup: vs. Georgia Tech (3-5)(-10.0)

The U is back... in the hunt for the ACC. They are also finally back within striking distance of the pinnacle of state of Florida play for the first time since preseason (not to say that is a challenging achievement at this juncture). With the rise of Tyler Van Dyke and young players stepping up across the board, there could be a changing of the guard in Florida play, especially as the Gators have been in a precarious situation as of late.

3: UCF Knights (5-3) (Previous: 4th)

Ranking: 53rd (The Athletic Power Rankings); 57th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 49-7 Win over Temple
Week Ten Matchup: vs. Tulane (1-7)(-13.0)

Despite being decimated by injuries, UCF has found a bit of its groove. Namely, true freshman quarterback, Mikey Keene, had a solid performance against Temple (15-for-21, 229 yards, five touchdowns, one INT), as the Knights went on to win 49-7. Transfer running back, Isaiah Bowser, also had a strong performance with 89 yards on 19 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and a touchdown. Bowser started the season as a top running back in the nation before injury.

UCF should earn their third straight victory as they are a heavy favorite against Tulane this weekend.

4: Florida Atlantic Owls (5-3) (Previous: 5th)

Ranking: 69th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 64th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 28-25 Win over UTEP
Week Ten Matchup: vs. Marshall (5-3)(+1.5)

FAU almost blew a big lead this weekend as they led UTEP, 28-10, with almost ten minutes left. However, the Owls won by only three in a 28-25 victory. A win is a win but N’Kosi Perry did not have his best day as he completed over 50% of his passes. The 5-3 Owls have a tight matchup against Marshall where they are a 1.5-point underdog.

5: Florida State Seminoles (3-5) (Previous: 3rd)

Ranking: 67th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 79th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 30-20 Loss to Clemson
Week Ten Matchup: vs. North Carolina State (6-2)(+2.5)

FSU played strong against Clemson in Death Valley but could not quite pull off the win, which ended up being their first loss in four weeks. The Seminoles lost by 10 points, but had a 20-17 lead with three minutes left. They allowed a long Tigers rush and a garbage time touchdown - which ruined the 9.5-point spread.

Obviously, Clemson has not been the dominant powerhouse they have been in recent years, so FSU has a true test against North Carolina State this weekend.

6: South Florida Bulls (2-6) (Previous: 6th)

Ranking: 117th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 111th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 29-14 Loss to East Carolina
Week Ten Matchup: vs. Houston (7-1)(+13.0)

Due to an injury to freshman quarterback, Timmy McClain, the Bulls were left with sophomore, Katravis Marsh against East Carolina. Marsh experienced his fair share of bumps and bruises as he relinquished a 14-6 lead in part due to a pick-six. ECU went on to score 23 unanswered points in a 29-14 victory. The rushing attack of Jaren Mangham and Kelley Joiner, who accumulated 170 yards on 24 carries (7.1 yards/carry), will look to bounce back despite being big underdogs against Houston.

7: Florida International Panthers (1-7) (Previous: 7th)

Ranking: 125th (The Athletic Power Rankings); 128th (CBS Sports Power Rankings)
Week Nine Result: 38-0 Loss to Marshall
Week Ten Matchup: vs. Old Dominion (2-6)(+2.5)

Not good at FIU after a 38-0 loss to Marshall. Since beating Miami 30-24 in 2019 at Marlins Park, the Panthers are 1-14 overall and 0-12 against Major/Mid-Major opponents. Head coach, Butch Davis, has some young talent on its roster, assuming they can retain their recruits.