Florida Favoritism Similar to USC
Florida received 58 of the 60 first place votes in the AP Preseason poll which is the highest percentage ever. I have been comparing their level of favoritism to that of USC in 2005. USC that year had just 60 of 77 1st place votes in the AP poll. Interestingly USC that year had 60 of 62 votes in the coaches poll which was a greater % than that of Florida this year which only had 53 of 59. Also USC steamrolled thru the 2005 season unbeaten averaging 49.1 ppg on offense. Prior to their Rose Bowl game with Texas, ESPN ran a series asking the question if they were the greatest team ever and the answer was basically, yes. That USC team played Texas in Pasadena and lost. Ironically I am projecting Texas to play this year’s Florida team in the title game and that game will be held in…Pasadena. USC in 2007 also had 62 of 65 first place votes in the AP poll but that year they lost to Stanford in arguably the biggest upset in NCAA history and also to Oregon on the road.
The Gators have been the preseason #1 team two previous times. In 1994 the Gators were #1 in the preseason but after winning their first 5 games by an average of 51-12 they were upset by #6 Auburn, were tied by #7 Florida St and lost to Florida St in the bowl to finish #7. In 2001 they were #1 in the preseason in Spurrier’s final year and they won their first 5 games by an amazing average of 49-5 but they were upset by unranked Auburn in week 6 and later by #5 Tennessee 34-32 and did not even make the SEC title game and finished #3.