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How far did Florida fall on Matt Baker’s AP top 25 ballot?

Miami also dropped, too, after losing at No. 1 Clemson. But the Hurricanes didn’t tumble as far as you might think.
Justin Shorter and the Florida Gators obviously fell on Matt Baker's AP Top 25 ballot. But how far?
Justin Shorter and the Florida Gators obviously fell on Matt Baker's AP Top 25 ballot. But how far? [ SAM CRAFT | AP ]
Published Oct. 11, 2020|Updated Oct. 11, 2020

The biggest, most obvious question my Associated Press top 25 ballot this week was how far to drop the Florida Gators after their last-second 41-38 loss at Texas A&M. The answer led to me breaking one of my ranking rules.

Although I put a high premium on head-to-head results, I still had UF ahead of Texas A&M in the ballot I submitted Sunday morning.

There was nothing flukey about the Aggies' win, as I wrote yesterday. This Gators defense has serious holes up the middle, has struggled at times to tackle running backs and has failed to get off the field in crucial situations. That’s nothing new. And A&M, despite its history of underachieving, is a talented team.

Related: Of course Jimbo Fisher’s signature win comes against the Gators

So why are the Gators 10th and the Aggies 17th? Because I have to consider the other games, too. UF beat Ole Miss by two scores in the opener. Ole Miss was competitive with Alabama this weekend … the same Alabama team that blew out the Aggies. UF’s other win was a two-score victory over South Carolina. That’s the same Gamecocks team that trounced Vanderbilt … which A&M barely beat in its opener.

My general rule is that I rely on head-to-head results, unless I see a big difference in overall resumes. And right now, I think UF’s stronger resume gives them a trump card over a last-second road loss.

Texas A&M's Kyle Mond lit up the Gators' defense for 300+ yards and three passing touchdowns.
Texas A&M's Kyle Mond lit up the Gators' defense for 300+ yards and three passing touchdowns. [ SAM CRAFT | AP ]

Elsewhere on my ballot, Georgia rose to No. 2 after an impressive win over Tennessee. I’m not sure about much this year, but I do feel strongly that Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and still-idle Ohio State are the top four teams in some order. There’s a big gap between that quartet and everyone else, which is why I only dropped Miami to 12th. I don’t think many other teams will be able to hang with Clemson, either.

Florida State’s next opponent, North Carolina, rose to No. 6 on my ballot after a crazy win over Virginia Tech. I also moved BYU down to 18th despite the Cougars' win over Texas San Antonio. A super soft schedule doesn’t leave BYU with much wiggle room.

LSU was the only team that fell off my ballot this week, making room for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies. UCF, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Tulsa were among the other teams I considered.

Related: Florida Gators’ Dan Mullen wants 90,000 at the Swamp next week

Here’s the top 25 ballot I submitted Sunday morning;

1. Clemson

2. Georgia

3. Alabama

4. Ohio State

5. Notre Dame

6. North Carolina

7. Oregon

8. Penn State

9. Wisconsin

10. Florida

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11. Cincinnati

12. Miami

13. Auburn

14. Oklahoma State

15. SMU

16. Michigan

17. Texas A&M

18. BYU

19. Memphis

20. Virginia Tech

21. Tennessee

22. Minnesota

23. Louisiana Lafayette

24. Iowa State

25. USC