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Gators rewarded, Seminoles dissed in AP Top 25 poll

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For those paying attention to polls, Florida Gators fans should be glad while Florida State Seminoles followers should be mad. The Gators surged to the No. 17 position in the AP Top 25 poll, while Florida State moved up one spot to the 14th position.

Both teams won their two games since the last poll, but only one appears to have impressed poll voters.

The Gators had two huge wins over the week. A 39-point win over Missouri and a 22-point blowout of former No. 8 Kentucky facilitated Florida’s seven position climb in the poll. They are still two spots behind the Wildcats.

Florida is on an incredible run of four straight wins of at least 22 points, three of which were by more than 30. They are playing like a strong NCAA Tournament contender.

Florida State, on the other hand, was not rewarded for an impressive week. An 18-point blowout at Miami, followed by a nearly-perfect 48-point dismantling of Clemson, apparently made the voters yawn.

Despite having a better conference record (8-3 vs. 7-3), overall record (20-4 vs. 19-5) and a victory over Louisville, the Seminoles are ranked 10 spots below the Cardinals! Despite having a better conference record (8-3 vs. 7-3), overall record (20-4 vs. 17-5) AND a victory at Virginia, the Seminoles are ranked two spots below the Cavaliers!

Virginia also lost at Syracuse this week.

Gators’ Coach Mike White and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton both understand they have outstanding teams and further understand polls will take care of themselves as long as they keep winning. Hamilton, however, may have the better short-term motivational tool with the obvious lack of respect shown for his team.

Gonzaga shot to the top of the poll followed by Villanova and Kansas. They Jayhawks maintained their position despite losing at home to unranked Iowa State.

Florida State is one of five ACC teams ranked this week while Florida is among only three SEC teams in the top 25.  The Big East had four teams, while the Big 12, Big 10 and Pac 12 had three each. The West Coast Conference and American Athletic Conference each had two.

The Top 25 poll can be found here.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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