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Miami is state’s top team, ESPN numbers say. Gators aren’t far behind.

The latest numbers from ESPN’s Football Power Index put two state teams in the top 12.
Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes are the state's top team in ESPN's Football Power Index.
Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes are the state's top team in ESPN's Football Power Index. [ Tribune News Service ]
Published Jul. 9

The Miami Hurricanes are the state’s top team this fall, but the Gators aren’t far behind.

That’s one of the takeaways from the latest update to ESPN’s Football Power Index. The numbers have changed significantly since April after ESPN found some errors in its initial release (which didn’t have a single state school in the top 10).

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Miami comes in 10th in these analytics with a 6-percent chance to make the College Football Playoff. The Hurricanes’ odds of winning the national title? Less than 1 percent. Either way, ESPN’s numbers are a little higher on Miami than most places I’ve seen (where the Hurricanes are in the 11-20 range).

Florida is just behind Miami at No. 11, just ahead of Oregon and Penn State. That’s on the high end of where I’ve seen the Gators in preseason projections and magazines. ESPN’s SP+ analytics put UF at No. 12, but Phil Steele’s preseason top 40 has them at 27th.

UCF is 34th (second in the AAC, behind No. 22 Cincinnati), while the Seminoles are 44th. USF is 95th.

You can see all of ESPN’s FPI figures and analysis here.

Related: Florida’s early 2021 college football viewing guide

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