Selection committee chair explains why Florida only dropped one spot in CFP rankings
Based on social media reaction, the biggest story of the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings was Florida dropping just one spot to No. 7 despite losing at home to unranked LSU, a 23-point underdog.
CFP selection committee chair Gary Barta appeared on a media teleconference after the rankings reveal. He was asked about the Gators being No. 7 with an 8-2 record ahead of an undefeated Cincinnati and a Georgia team that has shown improvement since making a quarterback change.
Barta shared that Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia played a factor in keeping the Gators ahead of the Dawgs. The committee also took note of the absence of UF standout Kyle Pitts in the loss to LSU.
Here is the official transcript of the question and answer:
If I could follow up with Florida, a lot of people are surprised they didn’t fall further after the home loss to LSU. How much of it was the fact that Georgia is sitting there and that they have the head-to-head over them?
GARY BARTA: Well, you definitely hit on one of the factors. The committee this last two days spent a great deal of time talking about the grouping of Iowa State, Florida, Georgia and Cincinnati, and inside of that you had Iowa State who was idle, Cincinnati that was idle, so a lot of conversation about Florida and Georgia, and I can tell you it was back and forth, a tough loss for Florida. We did note that Kyle Pitts was out and the committee recognizes when a player is unavailable.
So it was back and forth. Georgia on the other hand, ever since they added J.T. Daniels at quarterback, their offense has taken off. Watched them, they’re averaging over 40 points a game now in the last three games since Daniels came in, but Florida beat Georgia head-to-head. So when it came down to it, you had Georgia moving up, Florida moving down, and they came in at 7 and 8 probably because of that combination, but with Florida having the head-to-head.
The No. 7 ranking suggests Florida will still get a New Year’s Six bowl even if the Gators drop to 8-3 after the SEC Championship Game. NY6 bids are typically awarded to the top 12 teams. Dan Mullen has taken UF to NY6 bowls in each of his first two seasons.