Who’s the best college football team in the state of Florida?

MONICA HERNDON   |   TimesFlorida Gators running back Dameon Pierce (29) celebrates after stopping Charleston Southern Buccaneers running back Taz Lindsey (14) during a kick off return in the third quarter of the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on September 1, 2018 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
MONICA HERNDON | TimesFlorida Gators running back Dameon Pierce (29) celebrates after stopping Charleston Southern Buccaneers running back Taz Lindsey (14) during a kick off return in the third quarter of the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on September 1, 2018 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Published September 5 2018

When compiling my AP Top 25 ballot Tuesday morning, I was stuck with a question that was tougher than I expected:

Who's the best team in the state?

Two weeks ago, I thought the answer was Miami, easily. The Hurricanes have a great defensive front plus some returning skill talent (led by receiver Ahmmon Richards). Then the 'Canes got drilled by LSU.

Maybe the answer is UCF. McKenzie Milton is the best quarterback in the state, after all. But how much do you want to read into a demolition of lowly UConn (even if it was on the road)?

Florida ended up ranked this week (although not on my ballot). Florida State fell out. USF found itself a quarterback.

I put Miami ahead of UCF, because I think the 'Canes would have had a similar showing against UConn. If I were to extend my rankings, I think I'd put the Gators third, followed by the Seminoles and Bulls. But I don't feel very confident in that order. I'm also undecided on whether Florida Atlantic belongs in the top five, because I still think the Owls can be good, even if they looked awful at Oklahoma.

So what do you think? Who's the best team in the state, and why?

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