After Saturday’s defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Volunteers, Florida football has dropped one more spot in ESPN’s latest FPI rankings. They come in at No. 45 nationally and as the No. 10 team in the SEC.
ESPN’s FPI rankings were developed in 2013 as a way to measure the overall strength of each team and to predict results as the season goes on. As the season goes on, the data used to determine a team’s FPI will come from the games played. At the beginning of the season, the previous season’s data is used to determine the rankings. Now that we have data for the 2022 season, the FPI will pull from that instead of last season.
The Gators’ offense got back on track after two underwhelming performances against Kentucky and USF. Despite the win against the Bulls, the lackluster offensive stat line did not benefit Florida in the FPI rankings. Because the FPI rankings are rooted in data, the stagnant offensive performance played a role in the rankings drop.
Florida had a great opportunity to improve its rankings against Tennessee. The offense showed up, with Anthony Richardson having a career day in terms of passing yards with 453. According to the eye test, the offense looked much better than it did in the Kentucky and USF games. Billy Napier’s affection for going for it on fourth down also could have helped the Gators’ statistics. Unfortunately, the defense did not perform as well as the offense, thus the Gators dropped a spot in the FPI rankings.
The next chance for Florida to improve upon their rankings comes Saturday against Eastern Washington. This should be a game where the Gators rack up statistics and let the backups get some playing time. This is a much-needed game for a Florida team dealing with depth issues.
Kick-off for the Florida-Eastern Washington game will be at 12 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcast on SECN+/ESPN+ and played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.
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