Gators remain No. 2 in BCS rankings, sweep No. 3 in Week 9 polls

Chris Trotman

Florida didn't just hold on to its spot at No. 2 in the Week 9 BCS rankings — it gained ground on Alabama.

This much is clear: Florida isn't falling out of the BCS picture without a loss. The Gators stayed No. 2 behind Alabama in the BCS rankings released Sunday night, and both made up ground on their SEC rival and put distance on the rest of the field.

Florida's No. 2 spot comes with a .931 in the average of the the two human polls and the computer component that is comprised of six rankings that makes up the BCS standings. The Gators narrowed the gap on 'Bama (.963), which led by more than .06 last week, when Florida was a surprising No. 2 last week in the initial BCS standings of 2012, notching a .909 to the Tide's .9761.

Florida now has a consensus in the human polls, too: The Week 9 USA TODAY coaches poll, Harris Interactive poll, and AP Poll all slate the Gators as the No. 3 team in the college football rankings. Florida earned over .900 of the maximum 1.00 value for both human poll components of the formula, the only team other than Alabama to do so.

The Gators walloped South Carolina 44-11 on Saturday, and moved up from No. 4 in the USA TODAY poll as a result, displacing Kansas State despite the Wildcats' 55-14 demolition of West Virginia in Morgantown.

Florida earned one first-place vote in the Harris Poll, which does not have transparent balloting, but also got one from Cleveland Plain Dealer Ohio State beat writer Doug Lesmerises, who explained his vote thus:

I vote based on results, but I also leave room for subjectivity. So Alabama held on to No. 1 for me last week. But Florida's 44-11 home win over South Carolina on Saturday did the trick. That gave the Gators three wins over very good opponents, while Alabama still has that opening win over Michigan and then blowouts of lesser teams. The Gators didn't do much on offense Saturday, but found a way to control a game with defense and special teams.

Since beating the Wolverines, who are now 5-2 and now ranked No. 20, and a solid Sun Belt team in 5-2 Western Kentucky, Alabama's other wins are against teams that are a combined 14-21. Overall, the record for Alabama's opponents is 24-25. For Florida's opponents, it's 30-23.

That's not a huge difference, but Florida does have wins over No. 6 LSU, No. 17 South Carolina and No. 22 Texas A&M.

Florida fans may remember Lesmerises' name: He slid Alabama ahead of Florida in 2009, earning a fair bit of scorn for bucking the conventional wisdom then.

He was also proved right, eventually.

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