The Full Week 7 College Football BlogPoll: Where The Florida Gators Go Up, But There First-Place Votes Go Down

Monday, my ballot. Today, the full Week 7 SB Nation College Football BlogPoll.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 7

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (62) 24.64 0.84
2 Oregon Ducks (3) 23.32 2.15
3 Florida Gators (5) 22.51 1.40 Arrow_up 2
4 Kansas St. Wildcats (1) 21.99 1.36 Arrow_up 2
5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4) 21.30 1.81 Arrow_up 2
6 LSU Tigers 18.41 2.62 Arrow_up 3
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 17.05 2.44 Arrow_down -4
8 Oregon St. Beavers 16.89 3.84 Arrow_up 2
9 Oklahoma Sooners 16.18 3.44 Arrow_up 5
10 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 16.05 5.49 Arrow_down -2
11 Florida St. Seminoles 13.70 3.69
12 USC Trojans 13.09 4.69
13 Georgia Bulldogs 11.82 3.12
14 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 10.21 3.80 Arrow_up 5
15 Louisville Cardinals 9.88 3.84 Arrow_up 3
16 Clemson Tigers 9.49 4.56
17 West Virginia Mountaineers 9.29 3.46 Arrow_down -13
18 Texas Tech Red Raiders 8.32 4.52 Arrow_up 13
19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 7.33 3.61 Arrow_up 1
20 Texas A&M Aggies 6.36 3.70 Arrow_up 4
21 Cincinnati Bearcats 6.24 3.87
22 Stanford Cardinal 4.83 4.42 Arrow_down -5
23 Ohio Bobcats 3.96 4.92
24 TCU Horned Frogs 2.11 2.61 Arrow_up 4
25 Michigan Wolverines 1.76 2.58 Arrow_up 4
Others Receiving Votes: Boise St. Broncos | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Iowa St. Cyclones | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Northwestern Wildcats | Nevada Wolf Pack | Texas Longhorns | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Northern Illinois Huskies | Toledo Rockets | North Carolina Tar Heels | UCLA Bruins | Wisconsin Badgers | Virginia Tech Hokies | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Ball St. Cardinals | Utah State Aggies | Kent St. Golden Flashes
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

A few points:

• The Florida Gators lost four first-place votes, but moved up two spots. Basically, less believe the Gators are the nation’s top team, but more believe they should be near that No. 1 spot. It really came down to South Carolina and West Virginia losing. The two dropped and the Gators started their climb.

• Alabama is the overwhelming No. 1, as expected. Both Oregon and Florida received first-place votes, along with Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. I’m assuming the Buckeyes ranking didn’t take their defense into account.

• LSU is the top one-loss team, but I disagree. The Tigers’ win over the Gamecocks’ was impressive and a check in the positives column. Their three outings before that showed that they may not be as good as many want to believe. I put them back in my top 10, but I’m not thinking this is an elite LSU team. I could see them losing again before all is said and done.

• Texas Tech one spot below West Virginia? Nope. That’s wrong. That wasn’t an upset, it was a destructive blowout. Plus, the Red Raiders one loss is to Oklahoma, who has one loss to Kansas State. Texas Tech deserves to be the higher team.

• Stanford belongs, but two losses already hurts. Especially when one of those losses isn’t to USC.

Week 7 BlogPoll: Where The Florida Gators Become (A Justified) Top-3 Team

We’ve come to the week where the college football landscape is taking shape. Teams are halfway (or more) through their regular seasons and, while some are dead in the water, others still hold on to national championship hopes. Suddenly – and rather abruptly – our own Florida Gators are among those that remain in the discussion. You may not believe it, but the polls say so, and now so does the first official BCS rankings of the 2012 season. But that’s not this; this is my ballot in the week 7 SB Nation College Football BlogPoll.

A few points:

• I don’t have Florida No. 2. I don’t have them far behind at No. 3, but Oregon is my No. 2. Tell me I’m wrong. That’s fine, but the Ducks’ ability to score in bunches makes me believe that if the two played right now, the Gators would struggle to keep up. It would be the best defense Oregon would face by far, but they match Florida when it comes to speed. It would be a great game and in a couple of weeks I’d imagine I may change my stance on that, but for now, the Ducks are No. 2. Of course, I also have the feeling this matchup could very easily become West Virginia/Texas Tech.

• Maybe I’m subconsciously keeping the Gators away from the top spot or getting them too close to it. Look what I did to South Carolina. Gave them the top spot and now they need some luck to put themselves back into title contention.

• Oklahoma didn’t just impress me; the Sooners impressed a lot of people. That’s a defining win if there ever was one. The one loss hurts, but Oklahoma looks like they’ve rebounded nicely. No, much more than nicely. Tremendously.

• I don’t know what happened to West Virginia, but it was ugly, ugly, and a whole lot more ugly. Texas Tech enters the poll, although the delta doesn’t reflect that. No they weren’t No. 17 last week; they weren’t ranked.

• Duke didn’t last long at all. They lasted one entire week. My jinx is alive and well y’all. (Taking “y’all” out for a spin there. It didn’t work, did it? No. Moving on.)

Florida Gators Athletics Schedule: August 29-September 4, 2011

We knew it would happen eventually, but hoped it would last a little longer. Florida teams were undefeated until Sunday when UCLA took down the soccer team. But there’s a bright light ahead. Many in fact. The athletics schedule is starting to hit high gear as both cross country teams get going this week and so does, yes, Florida Gator football. That time of year is upon us. Rejoice. Don’t think Wednesday and Thursday will be quiet. We’ll have plenty on our minds.
Tuesday, August 30
Volleyball – FSU – Gainesville, FL – GatorVision, Sportsradio 850 – 7:00pm
Friday, September 2
Volleyball – Jacksonville (Campus USA Credit Union Invite) – Gainesville, FL – GatorVision, GatorZone – 12:00pm
Women’s Cross Country – Western Carolina Invitational – Cullowhee, NC – 6:30pm
Men’s Cross Country – Western Carolina Invitational – Cullowhee, NC – 6:55pm
Soccer – Texas Tech – Gainesville, FL – GatorVision, Sportsradio 850 – 7:00pm
Volleyball – FAU (Campus USA Credit Union Invite) – Gainesville, FL – GatorVision, 103.7 – The Gator – 7:30pm
Saturday, September 3
Volleyball – Clemson (Campus USA Credit Union Invite) – Gainesville, FL – GatorVision, GatorZone – 4:00pm
Football – FAU – Gainesville, FL – ESPNU, Gator Radio Network, GatorZone, XM 205 – 7:00pm

You can check out all past and future schedules at GatorZone, of course, and even see who else is playing in all those various tournaments, challenges and invites.

No. 15 UCLA Hands No. 8 Gators Soccer First Loss Of Season

Better late than never. Or maybe not when it’s a game recap of a loss.
On Sunday, no. 15 UCLA ended No. 8 Florida’s hopes of holding on to a perfect season any longer. The Gators soccer team couldn’t find the back of the net and fell 2-0 to the Bruins.
UCLA scored once in each half and netted their second off of a Florida turnover. That’s something the Gators have to work on going forward. They need to be confident in their ability to get the ball out after an opponent’s attack.  The Bruins were able to take advantage of the situation and that was something head coach Becky Burleigh mentioned the team needs to improve: “One goal was off a turnover once again so that is obviously something that we’ve got to spend some time on.”
Although a loss is never something to be pleased about, this game was a learning experience for the Gators early in the season. Florida had its chances, but was unable to capitalize. Losing to a quality UCLA team can happen, but the Gators need to bury shots like they were able to during the first few matches of the season. The season is still young, but how Florida bounces back will tell a lot about what this team can do going forward.
Next up for the Gators: Texas Tech visits Gainesville on Friday at 7:00.

Javares McRoy to Leave Florida for Texas Tech

Rivals.com is reporting that freshman wide receiver Javares McRoy will transfer from Florida and has been granted his release.  McRoy is reported to be headed to Texas Tech where he will join his brother on the Red Raiders’ roster.

McRoy came in as part of the 2011 recruiting class.  Out of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL), he was rated as the nation’s #28 wide receiver and the #39 player from the state of Florida according to Rivals.  McRoy is a smaller receiver at 5’9”, 170 lbs., but was expected to be able to contribute at the position once given a time to develop and become accustomed to the college game.
Florida has had every possible kind of luck with players from Lakeland over the past few years – good, bad, and indifferent.  Ahmad Black and Maurkice Pouncey were stars.  Mike Pouncey was well on his way to becoming one until a position change prompted questions.  Chris Rainey has played well when healthy and eligible.  Unfortunately, Steve Wilks and Paul Wilson weren’t able to finish their careers.  And John Brown, well, didn’t pan out.  There’s also T.J. Lawrence – although he went to Kathleen and not Lakeland – who transferred from the program.
McRoy joins Adrian Coxson and Jordan Haden (both from the 2010 recruiting class) as players who voluntarily left the program before making it to their first fall semester.

Morning Reading: The Future of the Big 12

Skeptical about the future of the Big 12?  You aren’t alone.  One the conference’s head coaches is right there with you in thinking the Big 12 doesn’t have the staying power it might think it does.
Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville doesn’t believe the Big 12 can maintain itself like it’s currently set up.  The problem he says has to do with the difference between the big boys and the rest of the conference.  In conferences like the SEC, revenues brought in from television deals are split equally among the schools.  Alabama and Florida get just as much as everyone else.
That isn’t the case in the Big 12.  Texas is treated differently than the other schools and the other powers have a different deal than everyone else.  A school like Baylor doesn’t have the opportunity to earn as much.
That may or may not be right depending on your feelings about equality or performance, but Tuberville believes it’s what will drive some schools away eventually.  While those schools are fine with sticking with the Big 12 for now, they may always be looking for that better deal.  What if the Big Ten came calling in the future for an Iowa State or a Missouri?  What about the SEC going after Tuberville’s Red Raiders?  Those schools may always be looking for a better opportunity.

The Long Snapper (6/16/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
If USF head coach Skip Holtz is standing on Dale Mabry with a sign reading “Need running backs! Will provide room and board!” it’s working.  The Bulls added their third member to the 2011 recruiting classWillie Davis from Stephenson (Stone Mountain, GA) who rushed for 700 yards last season as a junior.  Davis is a complete running back who at 5’11”, 190 pounds has speed and power and catches the ball well out of the backfield.  USF will continue to work on Stephenson who has a good number of FBS prospects.  The school sent 12 players to FBS schools last year and had another 17 go off to play college football.  Davis comes to a team continue to try to build depth at the running back position.
Notre Dame cornerback Spencer Boyd gave the Fighting Irish a chance, albeit a very small one.  Boyd enrolled at ND early back in January, but after he finishes summer classes, he will transfer.  It seems extremely likely that Boyd will end up a Bull as long as USF can find a place for him in their class.  But if Boyd does come to the Bulls, it might be as a wide receiver.  Boyd is familiar with the offensive side of the ball.  He played running back on offense as well as spending time as a defensive back.  USF believes he can make the transition easily after only spending one spring as a cornerback with the Irish.  Boyd is likely to redshirt this fall and will then have a full four years of eligibility remaining.
If you answered Texas when asked “Who rules the Big 12?” you’d be right.  But Oklahoma and Texas A&M would also be acceptable secondary answers.  As part of the package put together to keep the Longhorns, Sooners, and Aggies around, the other Big 12 schools (minus Texas Tech) decided they would give their shares of the Colorado and Nebraska buyouts to the big three.  For those keeping tally, the package now includes the buyout money, guarantees that one of the big three will be awarded the conference championship two out of every three years regardless of record, bags of unmarked bills, promises of television deals bringing in more money, and the prestige of being in a conference with a name that proves counting is optional.
Something glorious happens on July 13.  NCAA ’11 is released.  If there’s one thing that keeps me going in the video game world, it’s the annual release on NCAA.  This year’s release promises to improve game play dynamics while providing gamers with more of an experience away from the console as well.  The running game has been improved, making it more than just mashing buttons and getting behind the defense.  The defense has been enhanced to make tackling seem more like the real thing.  And now you can manage dynasties from your computer.  The NCAA ’11 demo was released this week and by all accounts is a step forward for the series.  I’ve never been a demo person, but head here if you want to learn more about what it offers and how this year’s game looks.

The Long Snapper (6/14/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
The next time I receive a text message from a friend that says “check out the mug shots on Gainesville.com I’m ignoring it.  In fact, I’m deleting it and pretending I never saw it.  Yesterday morning I followed through with the request and to my surprise found Frankie Hammond.  The Florida wide receiver was arrested on Sunday morning on charges of DUI and liquor possession.  Hammond was pulled over after driving recklessly.  In his car, police found two open bottles of Crown Royal (keep it classy Frankie).  Hammond’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.  This is a solid four out of five on the UGH! meter.
Switching to the positive side of the Gator wide receivers coin, Florida added another member to their 2011 recruiting class in the form of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL) wide receiver Javares McRoy.  McRoy was originally committed to Texas Tech – where he had hoped to play with his brother – but pulled the trigger on a switch to the Gators citing a desire to stay close to home.  McRoy is a legitimate star and is rated at the 148th-best prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com.  Although getting the opportunity to carry the ball a great deal in Lakeland’s offense, McRoy will use his speed at receiver at Florida.
With USC in a heap of trouble (Lane Kiffin…hehe), speculation will continue to build over where some of their better players may end up.  While upperclassmen can be contacted by other schools, underclassman cannot.  They are free to transfer if they wish, but would have to sit out a year before being eligible to play.  One of the bigger names in USC’s 2010 signing class is claiming he has been contacted by five schools all attempting to recruit him.  Dillon Baxter – who the Gators did indeed recruit previously – is claiming Florida is one of the schools after him again.  Baxter informed the Trojan’s director of compliance that he had received phone calls from the schools which of course would be against the rules (something USC might know a little something about).  Florida denies they made any such contact.
If the Big 12 does crumble (which after today’s rumors might not be as sure of a happening as it was late last week), where do the remaining teams go?  One thought is the Big East.  Depending on where all of this ends, Kansas and Missouri may be looking for new homes.  The Big East may be able to provide them a pretty good one.  The conference really has no idea what it is doing at this exact moment and may have to wait until the dust settles to finally make a move.  Making a play for the Jayhawks and Tigers might not be a bad idea.  Both add to the Big East’s television reach and both provide solid programs that should fit in fairly well.  And USF would get to consistently play the team it has one of its program’s defining wins over.

Tommy Tuberville Wants a Revote…and $300,000

USC was crowned the national champion following the 2004 season.  After yesterday’s announcement of the NCAA’s ruling regarding the Trojans and Reggie Bush, they might not be the 2004 national champion much longer.
Although the NCAA can’t force USC to vacate their title, the BCS can and they’re looking into it.  The Trojans will appeal the ruling, but if the sanctions are upheld, the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee may rule USC is no longer the best team in the land (well, you know, six years ago).  The BCS has said if that happens, there will be no champion for that season, but some believe there should be a revote.
One firmly on that side of the coin is former Auburn head coach (and current Texas Tech head coach) Tommy Tuberville.  Tubsy (does anyone call him that?…they should) believes that if there is no champion, the BCS should go through the same process they use to determine the champion all over again.  He’s says he’d be fine if the title was awarded to Oklahoma if that’s the way the vote went.  Uh, sure he would.
If the BCS does decide to award the title again, Auburn definitely deserves a shot, but I still fail to see the point in it all.  Again, it will not be “2004 National Champions: Auburn.”  It will be “2004 National Champions: Auburn* (USC was awarded the title after defeating Oklahoma in the 2005 Orange Bowl.  Years later – after he had also added Super Bowl Champion to his resume – Reggie Bush was found to be ineligible for the title game due to being a cheater.  Since cheaters never win, USC had to vacate the bowl victory, forcing the BCS to conduct a revote because PEOPLE HAVE SOME INSATIABLE NEED FOR CLOSURE! The BCS voted Auburn as the new champion because the SEC was, is, and always will be superior.).”
There’s also the little matter of $300,000.  As part of his contract with Auburn, Tuberville would have received a $300,000 bonus for leading the Tigers to a national title.  My guess is he never sees that money even if Auburn is named the 2004 champion, but you have to believe he’s thinking about it.

The Bull Gator (3/19/10)

A few years ago, you would have found Florida at the very top of these rankings.  In a 366-day span, the mighty Gators won three national championships in the two major sports.  Since then, the football team maintained its success.  After a 9-4 season in 2007, Florida rebounded with back-to-back 13-1 seasons and added another national title in 2008.  The basketball team however is a different story.  Back-to-back NIT appearances are the real reason the Gators slipped to seventh.  Even if those NIT seasons had been replaced by first-round NCAA Tournament losses, Florida would’ve probably been substantially higher.  But this year, the Gators made it back to the Big Dance and with that, cemented their status as one of the top 10 schools in the nation with football and basketball success.  With Urban Meyer continuing to lead the football squad and the basketball team looking like they are on the rise, the future is bright.  Seventh is probably as far as the Gators will dip for quite some time.
Michigan is breaking tradition in 2011 and will play under the lights at the Big House for the first time ever.  And the opponent is a familiar one: Notre Dame.  The Wolverines and Fighting Irish have played each other at night three previous times, but all of those games were at Notre Dame.  Michigan may look forward to the change in venue for the fourth nighttime matchup.  The Wolverines lost the previous three by an average of only four points.  With both programs struggling in recent years, this may not be the marquee matchup it used to be, but it’s still one that has college football diehards excited.  If money were no option, this would definitely be on the road trip list.  Of course the plan at the moment is to head to Notre Dame that season for the USF game.  I definitely hope that trip becomes a reality.
The pirate expects to be back in coaching sooner rather than later, but is definitely enjoy his time off.  After being fired by Texas Tech, Mike Leach moved his family to Key West, FL and is living the relaxing life.  Must be nice.  But he also knows that isn’t permanent and expects to find a program in the near future.  I think you have to believe the same of all of the three coaches fired under similar circumstances: Leach, Jim Leavitt, and Mark Mangino.  They were all successful coaches at one point and while their methods may not be desirable (and downright despicable to some), they will be able to convince some program to sign them on.  And any of them could definitely return to a BCS conference school as a head coach.  Think about those programs that have has some very off years as of late.  Washington State for instance comes to mind.  One of those programs that isn’t necessarily a championship contender, but needs a boost and could use a guy with fire to prove himself successful again.  Expect all three to be back in head coaching spots sooner than you may initially have thought.  They won’t be gone from the sport for long.
On the other side of the coaching spectrum, Ohio State has given the sweater vest an extension.  The extension gives Jim Tressel two additional years to coach the Buckeyes, having him signed through 2014.  There is also an interesting twist to the deal that says if Tressel steps down under good terms, he will be given an associate athletic director spot within the athletic department paying him $150,000 a year.  At the moment, Tressel makes somewhere in the ballpark of $3.5 million, so it’s a little bit of a pay cut, but keeps an extremely successful coach in touch with the program.  Something Ohio State would definitely want when he does eventually step down.  There is no valid reason for Tressel to leave the Buckeyes unless it’s to retire one day.  Odds are he sees the end of this contract and beyond.
The List: Today’s list isn’t meant to be a public-service announcement even if it seems that way.  Today marks the two-year anniversary of The Bull Gator.  I started this site on March 19, 2008 and am proud to have seen it grow into what it is today.  Last year, this date took on a very different meaning.  Someone very close to me began a battle with leukemia on that day.  A battle, sadly, they wouldn’t win.  That person was more than an inspiration to me and one of the greatest, most loving people I will ever know.  Over the last year, I have learned a great deal about leukemia and cancer in general and am happy to contribute to the fight against all cancer-related illnesses.  Here are just a few of the places you can visit to learn more and find out how you too can help.
The Sixth Man: Florida’s season is done and it finished in quite an exciting way.  The Gators took BYU to double overtime, before they could no longer hang on.  A first-round loss is never acceptable, but it’s much better than the alternative Florida fans are all too familiar with: the NIT.  If anything, the Gators can learn from this season and look forward to next year.  The one thing that probably needs to be addressed first and foremost has to be turnovers.  The Gators turned the ball over 21 times to the Cougars 12.  Leading the way was point guard Erving Walker who had 7 turnovers himself.  If Walker and company can hold on to the ball, this could be a Sweet 16 team next season.  The talent is there – as evidenced by Kenny Boynton’s second half – it just needs to all come together.  By making the tourney, Florida took a big step forward.  Now improve in a few areas and this will be a much better team.