USA TODAY Sports has Florida playing in this December bowl game

USA TODAY Sports has the Florida Gators playing a Pac-12 program in their latest bowl projections after Week 6 of the football season.

According to USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith, the Florida Gators are projected to play in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17, against the Washington Huskies.

Washington shares one big similarity with the Gators. Kalen DeBoer is in his first year as head coach of the Huskies, just like [autotag]Billy Napier[/autotag] is in his first year as head coach for the Gators. DeBoer comes to Washington after a successful two-year stint as Fresno State head coach. He went 12-6 in his time there. Paired with his time as head coach of Division II Sioux Falls, he held a 79-9 career record as a head coach prior to his hiring at Washington.

The Huskies are currently 4-1 and are coming off their lone loss of the season against UCLA. Transfer quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is having a resurgent season, coming off an injury in his time at Indiana. Their hot start is a stark contrast to the 4-8 record they had last season.

The Gators’ first season with Napier at the helm has been up and down so far. The season started with an upset victory over the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes. They then lost to Kentucky at home to open up SEC play and snuck out a win against an inferior USF team to get to 2-1. They then lost to Tennessee in a game that saw [autotag]Anthony Richardson[/autotag] throw for over 500 yards.

Last week, the Gators beat Eastern Washington in a game that was moved to Sunday due to the impact of Hurricane Ian. The Gators will continue their SEC schedule this Saturday when they take on the Missouri Tigers in their Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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Here’s where Florida landed in latest USA TODAY Sports re-rank

The Florida Gators are ranked outside the Top 25 in USA TODAY’s latest re-rank of all FBS college football teams after Week 5 of the season.

The Florida Gators are still outside the top 25 in USA TODAY Sports’s latest re-rank of all FBS college football teams. They come in at No. 35, an increase of three spots since the last re-rank.

The Gators had an up-and-down first half of the season. They came out of the gate swinging with an upset win over the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes in [autotag]Billy Napier[/autotag]’s first game as Florida’s head coach. They went from unranked to No. 19 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll after the victory. They then lost to Kentucky and barely got a win over in-state rival USF, leaving them out of the top 25 entirely. Their close loss to Tennessee paired with their win over Eastern Washington caused expectations to stabilize.

The Gators will have plenty of opportunities to improve their positions for future re-ranks. They play LSU, Georgia, and Texas A&M in a four-week stretch, with the Georgia game being played in Jacksonville and the Texas A&M game being played in College Station.

Before that, Florida will have to get past Missouri on Saturday in the Swamp. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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Changes atop the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll

1-7 all won but there was still a change atop the rankings this week…

Despite each team in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll’s top seven from a week ago winning this weekend, it was another crazy weekend of college football that resulted in changes atop the poll that was released on Sunday.  There is a new number-one after a threat of an upset of the previous number-one last night, while ten ranked teams losing over the past few days meant for changes elsewhere.

Notre Dame landed outside the poll again and understandably so, receiving five total votes while sitting at 2-2 through the season’s first third.  BYU, who the Irish play this coming weekend in Las Vegas, is up four spots to number 20 following a win over Utah State.

Here is the entire USA TODAY Coaches Poll Top 25 starting with the teams who fell out of the poll and those receiving votes.

Who and where is Alabama expected to play in the College Football Playoff?

Who will Alabama face in the CFP according to latest predictions?

The Alabama Crimson Tide are undefeated through the first four weeks of the college football season, however, they face their toughest task to date this week when they travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. In 2021, the Razorbacks traveled to Tuscaloosa and nearly pulled off the upset of the season before coming up a touchdown short.

After Alabama narrowly escaped with a victory over the Texas Longhorns in Week 2, the Georgia Bulldogs jumped the Tide for the No. 1 overall spot in the country. The Bulldogs haven’t given up the No. 1 spot yet, but the Tide are hot on their trail after a poor showing against Kent State.

USA TODAY Sports released their updated bowl projections and the Crimson Tide are still on pace to make the CFP semifinal. As of right now, USA TODAY Sports predicts that Alabama will meet up with Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl. While Clemson and Georgia will meet in the other semifinal, the Peach Bowl.

Clemson replaces the Oklahoma Sooners who were upset by Kansas State this past weekend in the updated playoff projections. However, the biggest change this week as that they no longer predict the Crimson Tide to play for a national title. They now have the Buckeyes taking on Georgia for the national title on Jan. 9.

Even after their test against Arkansas on Saturday, the Tide have some tough matchups in the next few weeks. They face the No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies, No. 8 Tennessee, Mississippi State, @LSU and to cap it off @ No. 14 Ole Miss.

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ESPN projects Gators to play in this bowl after Week 4 loss to Tennessee

The Gators are projected to play this historic program in ESPN’s latest bowl projections.

According to ESPN, the Florida Gators have been projected to take on the Texas Longhorns in the Birmingham Bowl.

Currently, the Birmingham Bowl is slated to take place on Dec. 27 in Birmingham, Alabama. ESPN’s projection comes after both teams suffered conference losses on the road. Texas fell to Texas Tech 37-34 in overtime while the Gators fell to Tennessee 38-33 in a game that was not as close as the scoreline indicates.

Texas is going through some injury troubles at the quarterback position. High-profile transfer Quinn Ewers injured his shoulder in the Longhorn’s 20-19 loss to Alabama a few weeks ago. Despite suiting up the past two weeks, Ewers has not played a snap since suffering the injury. The earliest he has been projected to return is in the Red River Rivalry game against longtime rival Oklahoma on Oct. 8.

The Gators have the bulk of their SEC schedule coming up, with six of their last eight games against conference foes. While playing in Atlanta for the SEC championship might not be realistic this season, it’s still possible for the Gators to improve their standings and bowl projection, given their tough conference schedule.

The Gators will be hosting Eastern Washington on Sunday. The game is expected to kick off at 12 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast on SECN+/ESPN+ and can be heard on the Gators Radio Network.

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Arkansas falls out of the New Years Six in latest bowl projections

Arkansas drops out of the NY6 with the lastest bowl projections from USA TODAY Sports.

It wasn’t the best time for the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday after falling to Texas A&M 23-21. Fortunately for the good guys, there is still plenty of time for Sam Pittman and company to reach all of their goals.

Week 4 saw Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina getting nonconference wins. In conference action, the Auburn Tigers survived a matchup with Missouri that required overtime.

The Florida Gators’ late rally fell short as the Tennessee Vols were able to hold them off to keep their perfect season intact. Alabama hosted Vanderbilt in a game that wasn’t close, as expected.

With Week 4 action in the books, USA TODAY Sports released its latest bowl projections. Here is how it shakes out for the SEC:

Iowa Hawkeyes climb to No. 40 in USA TODAY Sports’ 1-131 re-rank after win over Rutgers

Coming off a strong showing against Rutgers, the Iowa Hawkeyes are climbing USA TODAY Sports’ 1-131 re-rank heading into Michigan.

Last Saturday showed us a strong outing from the Iowa Hawkeyes. It may have been the most complete showing from them yet thus far in the season. There was the always outstanding defensive play contributing two touchdowns. The special teams once again performed as one of the best units in the country. More importantly, the offense had a little juice in the run game and downfield passing attack.

That performance showed enough to earn the Hawkeyes a respectable climb in the latest USA TODAY Sports NCAA 1-131 re-rank courtesy of Paul Myerberg. Last week the Hawkeyes were sitting at No. 48 in the rankings.

Their performance on all three phases this week has earned them an eight-spot climb up to the No. 40 team in the re-rank. The Hawkeyes’ upcoming opponent, the Michigan Wolverines, held steady at No. 4 in the rankings.

The performance was classic Iowa. They had turnovers offensively and took well-timed chances, played sound special teams by winning the field position game, and made the opposing offense have to drive long fields. Iowa bet on their defense and it paid off once again with a lights out performance.

The climb for Iowa was modest, but gives them their first step to working their way back towards the top 25. Should Iowa knock off Michigan, or even make the game interesting and hang tough, another climb up the rankings could be in store for the Hawkeyes.

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Oklahoma among USA TODAY Sports ‘losers’ from week 4 after Kansas State loss

After a disappointing loss to Kansas State, the Oklahoma Sooners were included among USA TODAY Sports’ week 4 losers.

There were few times in the Oklahoma Sooners’ 41-34 loss to Kansas State that they looked “right.” On both sides of the ball, Kansas State’s toughness and physicality frustrated the Sooners, and mental mistakes kept them from mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter.

After opening the season with three straight 30-point wins, it seemed like the Sooners were on a roll. And then Adrian Martinez played the game of his life, and we’re left scratching our heads, wondering what’s in store for the Oklahoma Sooners moving forward.

In his weekly piece over at USA TODAY Sports, Paul Myerberg included Oklahoma among his “losers” from week four. Obviously, they lost the game, but more than that, it was how they lost the game.

The Big 12 is up for grabs after the Sooners’ sloppy loss at Kansas State. While the offense was able to move ball against the Wildcats, a number of drives were stalled due to untimely penalties, mostly false starts that set the Sooners behind the chains. After an uneventful non-conference slate, Oklahoma heads out of the opening month as an enigma. Are the Sooners the best team in the conference? Will the defense reach a higher level under Brent Venables? For Oklahoma, the defeat removes all room for error with conference games ahead against Texas, No. 8 Oklahoma State and Baylor.  – Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Oklahoma moving forward. They’ll have to play much better if they want to survive the Big 12 schedule and make it to the conference title game.

It starts this week on the road vs. TCU, and then Oklahoma will return to the DFW Metroplex for the Red River Showdown.

As Myerberg says, there’s no room for error for the Sooners for the remainder of 2022. Time to rise to the pressure and embrace the strain.

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Florida plummets in USA TODAY Sports college football re-rank

After falling to Tennessee, Florida dropped over 20 spots in the latest USA TODAY Sports NCAA Re-Rank

Florida still found itself inside the top 20 of the USA TODAY Sports NCAA re-rank after a narrow victory over USF a week ago, but falling to Tennessee in Week 4 sent the Gators plummeting down 21 spots to No. 38.

A lackluster showing on defense overshadowed a bounce-back week for Florida’s high-power offense and put the Gators at 2-2 overall and 0-2 against the SEC. Those numbers simply won’t compete for a top-25 ranking early in the season.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama and Georgia lead the way at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Kentucky is the next highest-ranked SEC team at No. 8 and Tennessee rounds out the top 10 after moving up 13 spots with the home win. Florida obviously lost to both of those teams, so it’s a bit surprising to see the Gators punished so severely for losing to a pair of top-10 opponents by a combined 15 points. Utah, Florida’s Week 1 opponent is ranked No. 22 as well.

As far as the rest of the SEC, Texas A&M‘s victory over Arkansas on Saturday put the Aggies at No. 16 and the Razorbacks at No. 17. LSU is the only other SEC program ranked ahead of Florida at No. 32, and Mississippi State is just behind at No. 42.

Florida State, which UF has a matchup with at the end of the season, currently ranks 23rd in the nation, and UCF is also ahead at No. 36. If it’s any sort of silver lining, Miami dropped 22 spots (one more than Florida did) to No. 71 overall after an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee.

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USA TODAY Sports wonders if Gators can keep up with Vols’ offense

USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith has some grave concerns about Florida’s ability to slow Heupel’s high-powered offense.

Kickoff between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers is merely hours away and ahead of the marquee Week 4 matchup, the media is getting in its last takes before the toe meets the leather. Be it betting odds and predictions, or any other prognostication that sports writers are wont to give, there is a palpable excitement growing as game time nears.

USA TODAY Sports is among the publications getting in its last predictions and expectations, with Eddie Timanus having already declared the SEC East showdown as his top matchup this weekend. His colleague Erick Smith also chimed in on Saturday morning with his five biggest questions in Week 4 of college football, including his concerns over Florida’s ability to slow down Tennessee’s high-powered offense. Take a look below at what Smith had to offer.

The Volunteers are going to score. That’s been proven through one-plus years with Josh Heupel in charge of the offense. The Gators haven’t been particularly explosive in their three opening home games with quarterback [autotag]Anthony Richardson[/autotag] yet to throw for a touchdown and the passing offense ranking 121st in the country with an average of 141 yards per game. That will have to change Saturday in Knoxville. Yes, Florida can run successfully in this game, however, it can’t be the only method of moving the ball consistently. And if the Gators are punting too frequently and not keeping the Tennessee offense and quarterback Hendon Hooker off the field, then it is going to be a long day and the score could get ugly in a hurry.

Florida and Tennessee are slated to face off in Neyland Stadium on Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m. EDT and can be watched on CBS Sports as well as heard on the Gators Radio Network.

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