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USF crashes AP Top 25; Seminoles 12th, Gators 15th

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For the first time in several weeks, three Florida teams are in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Florida and Florida State have been included every week, but now the South Florida Bulls have joined the club.

USF is the 24th ranked team in the country according to AP. With Saturday’s victory over Central Florida, the Bulls finished the season at 10-2.

The 10 wins are the most in a season in USF history and the Bulls are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since week six of the 2011 season. Their only losses came against Temple and Florida State.

The Seminoles improved from 15th to 12th this week following Saturday’s 31-13 win over the Florida Gators. Florida State was ranked as high as second this season before the huge loss to Louisville. Following their shocking loss to Kentucky, the Cardinals are now ranked behind FSU at No. 16.

Florida fell only two spots to 15th with the loss to FSU. The Gators were ranked as high as tenth earlier this season.

Florida State and South Florida have only their bowl games remaining while Florida must play top-ranked Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, followed by their bowl game.

The Crimson Tide is again a unanimous selection at number one, earning all 61 first place votes. Ohio State, Clemson, Washington and Michigan round out the top five.

In addition to USF, the American Conference has Navy in the top 25, who is ranked 20th. The Bulls beat the Midshipmen on October 29, but the voters were apparently impressed by Navy scoring 75 and 66 points the past two weeks.

While Alabama is clearly the top team, the SEC is falling on hard times. The league once had eight teams in the top 25, but only four this week. LSU and Auburn are the other two.

The ACC, who argues they are equal to the SEC from top to bottom, placed five teams in the top 25. The Big 10 placed the most teams with six, followed by the Pac 12 with four, the Big 12 with three, the American with two and the Mid-American with one.

Western Michigan of the Mid-American is the only other unbeaten FBS/Division I team. The 12-0 Broncos are ranked 13th.

The four College Football Playoff teams will be selected next Sunday. Two of those four will be in Tampa on January 9 for the national championship game.

The Top 25 poll is 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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