Monday, November 8, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
For a state that has had three teams combine to win a full third of the national championships awarded in the past 30 years, the college football teams of Florida are having a weird, wild and ultimately all-around disappointing year. Well, every team but the UCF Knights that is. According to the USA Today Coaches' poll they're the best damned team in the state. Let that sink in.
Yep, the Coaches have UCF at number 23, one spot higher than the Florida Gators. Miami sits at the unranked equivalent of 26 poised for a possible return if they beat Georgia Tech next week, while after their second loss in a row FSU got six pity points.
It's a slightly different story in the AP Poll. UCF snuck in at 25 behind Florida at 24. Miami and FSU got votes, but not enough to crack the rankings. Over in the BCS standing, the Gators are the only ranked team in Florida at 22.
The USF Bulls had recently been trying to make the case that they belonged with the big boys and wanted "the big three" expanded to "the big four." Indeed in 2007 they once held claim to be the highest ranked team in the state by capturing a brief #2 ranking in the AP.
Now do we have to start talking about the big five? Hell, if we do we better start restoring the pecking order. If the five teams of college football were members of NSYNC, UCF should be Joey Fatone. If they were the starting lineup of the Miami Heat, UCF should be Joel Anthony. If they were the current sitcoms of NBC, UCF should be Outsourced. Yet, according to the Coaches they are friggin' Justin Timberlake, LeBron James and 30 Rock this week.
Of course, UCF has not and will not play another Florida team this regular season, but if they did it's hard to imagine that they could beat any of the big three, or even USF. They're playing ball in Conference-USA. True, they're undefeated in conference play, but their two losses come at the hands of AQ conference opponents.
The other four teams have three losses a piece, and UCF's remaining schedule is a tour of the bottom of their conference. It's very likely they could end the season with the best record in the state.
This feat of being the highest ranked team in the state is just an anomaly of a weird year for the other teams, and yet with talks that they may be targets for Big East expansion we could one day soon be talking about Florida's "big five" with out a tinge of "wtf is happening here?"