Florida Gators finish No. 9 in Final AP Top 25 poll
Florida's dismal showing in its 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl proved costly for the Gators in the season's final rankings.
The Gators finished No. 9 in the Final AP Top 25 poll, one spot ahead of Florida State, and one of five SEC teams to finish among the top 10.
Prior to the Sugar Bowl, the Gators (11-2) were ranked No. 4.
The SEC is the first conference to have five of the top 10 teams in the final AP rankings, including No. 1 Alabama which defeated Notre Dame Monday night to earn its second consecutive BCS National Championship - its third in four years.
Here are the final top 10 rankings: 1. Alabama; 2. Oregon, 3. Ohio State; 4. Notre Dame; 5. Georgia/Texas A&M (tied); 7. Stanford; 8. South Carolina; 9. Florida; 10. Florida State.
Still, there were some positives for the Gators. Coach Will Muschamp became the only first time head coach at a BCS-conference school to win 11 regular-season games in his second season after finishing .500 or worse the previous regular season in records back to 1996. Florida improved from a 6-6 regular season in 2011 to an 11-1 regular season in 2012. The five-game turnaround in the regular season marked the biggest one-year leap for the program in 32 years (0-10-1 in 1979, 7-4 regular season in 1980).
The Gators finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the BCS Standings, marking their third-highest finish in the final BCS poll. UF finished No. 2 in 2006 and 2008 - winning the BCS National Championship both times.
Florida defeated three top-10 opponents this season for the second time in school history and was 4-2 against ranked opponents.