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Gators join AP Top 25; Florida State drops while idle

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For the first time in two years, the Florida Gators are back in the AP 25. Following their thrilling 28-27 come from behind win over Tennessee, Coach Jim McElwain’s Gators slid into the Number 25 slot.

In a week where Southeastern Conference teams otherwise made little to no movement, Florida vaulted from the “also receiving votes” group into the rankings. The Gators are one of 6 SEC schools represented in the Top 25, including Mississippi State, who also jumped into the rankings, coming in at Number 21.

Unlike the previous week, SEC ranked teams either stayed put or dropped a spot despite winning. Ole Miss remained at Number 3, but Georgia, LSU and Alabama each lost a position after a victory.

The ACC fared no better. Florida State fell out of the top 10 after a bye week while Clemson also trended downward following their bye week. The conference in the spotlight this week was the Pacific 12.

Replacing Florida State at Number 10 was Utah, who fared 81 points better against the Oregon Ducks on Saturday than FSU did in January. As a reward for their 62-20 humiliation of the Ducks (FSU lost 59-20 in the Rose Bowl), the Utes rocketed eight spots from the previous week.

The Pac 12’s UCLA, USC and Stanford all moved up multiple spots with road wins while the California Golden Bears crashed the Top 25 after a close win at Washington.

Ohio State and Michigan State, two of 5 Big 10 teams in the Top 25, remained first and second. The SEC is represented by 6 teams, the Pac 12 and Big 12 have 5. The ACC has two.

The entire poll is available here.

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

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