Programs

Florida Gators, FSU football and Miami Hurricanes no longer in top 10 programs

The Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, and Miami Hurricanes all emerged from college football’s ruling class, according to Stewart Mandel of The Athletic.

Mandel divided major programs into tiers every five years, beginning in 2007. Subjective tiers are based on performance on the pitch and which brands “have the most national flair.” And the Florida Big Three no longer rank at the top.

The three programs fell from the “king” level (along with the likes of Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Texas, and USC) to the next level, “baron.” Penn State made the same drop. Although Mandel did not rank them one by one, he had nine programs listed as king and one (Alabama) as emperor. This means that no team in the state is considered a top 10 program. Instead, the Gators, Hurricanes and Seminoles are in the same group with Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Oregon and Iowa, among others.

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mandel writing: As a child of the 1980s and early 1990s, it’s surreal to see Florida’s three powerhouses now relegated to second-tier status. But I’m probably five years behind Miami. Florida was at the top of the sport as recently as 2008, but Alabama, LSU and Georgia have long since stolen the Gators’ SEC thunder. And Florida State, less than a decade away from its last national championship, has smeared its mark immensely in recent years. Viewers don’t even tune in to see the train wreck like they do in Texas or USC.

It’s hard ? Maybe a little bit. But that’s not wrong.

Dan Mullen is one of three consecutive Gators coaches who failed to last four full seasons. [ Times (2019) ]

Since last Mandel updated his list, Florida has ousted two coaches and had two losing seasons. The Gators mark remains strong, but three consecutive coaches have failed to last four full seasons, and all three have had at least one year with a losing record. I can rationalize keeping UF as king, but a drop is also justifiable.

Miami has finished unranked in three of the last five seasons and has fallen even further from its final top-10 season (2003). Although I think the Hurricanes have the best short-term future of the three, it makes sense to move them to a lower tier.

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The Seminoles hold the trio’s most recent national title (2013). But since Mandel’s last update, FSU hasn’t finished better than 7-6. The national perception of FSU as a program is worse than the other two due to the extent of failures, financial problems, and dilapidated facilities. This slide is also defensible.

As Mandel wrote, it’s surreal to see Florida’s big three relegated to best. But given how much the Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes have all struggled recently, it’s hard to say any of them remain among the sport’s current royals.

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