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.
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.
• 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.
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