FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Florida quarterback Kyle Trask throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Gainesville, Fla. Florida coach Dan Mullen will take a few more days before settling on a starting quarterback against South Carolina. Trask or Feleipe Franks will get the nod when the 19th-ranked Gators host the Gamecocks on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Florida Ranked Eighth in First Coaches Poll

On Aug. 6, the first Coaches Poll for the 2020 College Football season came out. Rounding out the top five is Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and LSU. Florida ranked in the top ten at eighth.

Back Where They Were Last Year

This is the exact same ranking that Florida received in the preseason poll a year ago. Despite the improved record, despite the improved performance last season, preseason projections did not budge.

Recent schedule updates don’t seem to be a factor because the rankings look pretty standard for any year. Despite LSU losing Joe Burrow and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, they were ranked in the top five. Guess you got to give the defending national champs credit where it is due.

It will take actually playing out the season to expose any holes in top-ranked teams.

Not knowing every conference’s schedule makes it harder to predict how things might pan out for these teams. The new setup (conference-only schedules) will mean we will have to reevaluate how we judge teams following this poll. Can an SEC or Big Ten team get the usual two-loss punishment when cupcake teams are replaced with tougher competition on the schedule?

Maybe. Playing tougher teams doesn’t normally get rewarded. However, if everyone is losing a game or two because of the nature of this year’s schedule, maybe that changes. Can’t favor an undefeated team if there isn’t one. Strength of schedule is normally a tiebreaker when comparing records too.

In a year that is nothing short of weird, we can only expect the polls to get weird as well.

SEC Announces Initial Medical Protocols

Meanwhile, the SEC protocols for the fall have been announced. In football, players and staff will be tested twice a week during the season. The tests will be six days and three days before games.  Everyone will be required to wear a mask on the sidelines.
Lastly, each school will be required to designate a “COVID-19 Protocol Oversight Officer.” This person is responsible for COVID-19 education and making sure everyone complies with the rules.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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