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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Everyone seems pretty excited that UF is ranked No. 3 in the AP and USA Today polls, but you shouldn't be.

Instead, you should be angry.

The Gators received seven first-place votes in the USA Today poll, just behind LSU's eight and USC's 44, but got zero nods for the top spot from the AP.

So why aren't the undefeated, defending national champs with the unstoppable offense getting any love?

Honestly, it doesn't really matter where the Gators are ranked this week. They will get their shot at No. 2 LSU in a few weeks, and if they win they will receive plenty of accolades.

The rankings now won't have too much of a bearing on UF's chances of a repeat - if the Gators go undefeated, they will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game.

Still, it's pretty insulting that they aren't getting respect in the polls.

Sure, the defense is suspect, but after holding then-No. 22 Tennessee to less than 300 yards of total offense and just 37 yards on the ground, I think it's safe to say it's serviceable.

Meanwhile, the offense is on another planet. The Gators are No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense, and quarterback Tim Tebow is the second most efficient passer in the nation and the No. 10-ranked player in terms of total offense.

UF has already made it clear that its offense is a force to be reckoned with, having the ability to react to almost any defense and boasting more weapons than a bad action movie.

To be fair, the Trojans and Tigers have talented offenses as well, and LSU boasts the nation's top defense in two out of four categories.

UF, LSU and USC finished last year as Nos. 1, 3 and 4, respectively.

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So with all three undefeated and clearly national contenders, why has the order been flipped?

The Gators deserve more respect than they are getting.

They should at least get as much as much as defending champions have received in the past.

Other than UF, every national champion since 2002 has gotten first-place votes in the AP's preseason poll - even 2005 champ Texas, which lost quarterback Vince Young, its leading rusher and passer who almost single-handedly defeated USC in the Rose Bowl.

The Longhorns may not have had as many question marks on defense as UF had coming into this year, but they wound up out of the top-10 with three losses, not even making the Big-12 Championship Game.

The same fate could befall the Gators, but at this point they have earned at least a few No. 1 votes.

I'm not saying that UF is the best team in the nation right now, but since when does anything other than losses remove a team from the top spot?

Until they lose a game, the Gators should be viewed as the team to beat.

They have the national championship trophy, as well as the talent and coaching to add another one to the trophy case after this season.

All it takes is one loss to end their chance to repeat, but until that happens they shouldn't be satisfied with No. 3.

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