1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Florida has a new top college football team for 2022 in these rankings

Updated SP+ advanced metrics had movement with the Gators, Hurricanes, Bulls and Seminoles.
Tyler Van Dyke and the Miami Hurricanes are the top team, according to ESPN SP+ advanced metrics.
Tyler Van Dyke and the Miami Hurricanes are the top team, according to ESPN SP+ advanced metrics. [ CHRIS SEWARD | Associated Press (2021) ]
Published May 23

The Florida Gators are no longer expected to be the state’s top team, according to updated preseason projections from ESPN.

According to its SP+ advanced metrics, Miami is on top of the state at No. 14 in the nation. That’s six spots higher than the Hurricanes were in February. The Gators are next at No. 23 (five spots lower than February), and Florida State dropped four spots to 28th.

ESPN updated the numbers because of all the player movement in and out of the transfer portal. The Hurricanes have been successful in the portal. Additions this spring include blue-chip recruit Akheem Mesidor (Clearwater Academy International) and three-star UCLA linebacker Caleb Johnson in April.

UCF remains the state’s top Group of Five team, according to SP+. The Knights are 39th, two spots down from where they were after the traditional signing day in February.

Related: Conference realignment: How UCF is preparing for Big 12 move

USF (89th) rose five positions. That’s ahead of only Navy (No. 113) and Temple (No. 118) in the AAC.

Other items of note:

• The Gators’ first opponent, Utah, is 12th. Expect the Utes to be at least that high in the AP top 25 poll when it comes out closer to the fall. In the first month, UF also faces No. 20 Kentucky and No. 9 Tennessee.

Related: Breaking down the state of Florida’s full 2022 college football schedule

• FSU’s first marquee game is against LSU, which comes in 36th. SP+ numbers would project the Seminoles to win by about two points on a neutral field (though we can debate whether their Week 1 game in New Orleans is a true neutral field).

• The Bulls’ first opponent, BYU, is 25th.

Check out the full rankings here.

• • •

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.


This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge