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Florida is the Best Team in The Worst Power-5 Division

According to Football Perspective (@fbgchase), the SEC East is now the worst rated division out of all the power-5 conferences.

Key: TMs=Teams, SOS= Stength of Schedule, MOV=Margin of Victory, SRS=Simple Ranking System

 

It is important to note that SRS is better used to predict games, rather than recollect a team’s past. The SRS ranking can tell you that Team A is that many points better than Team B. Since Florida is at the top of the SEC East, they are obviously above the average SRS for the division. The Gator’s SRS after week 12 is 50.7, good for 20th nationally. However, they do not rank first in the SEC East based on SRS. In fact, 7-4 Tennessee leads the division with a SRS of 51.8, good for 17th nationally. Strength of schedule plays a large part on why Tennessee is ahead of Florida. Using SRS, Tennessee is a point better than Florida. When the two played back in September, Florida won 28-27 off of a miracle 4th and 14 touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. If the two were to play again, SRS says Tennessee would win by a point.

Now comes the fun part. Florida State’s SRS is 54.4, which ranks 10th nationally. The ‘Noles SOS is 40.6, which is slightly higher than the Gators which is 38.7. Not much to read into based on SOS, because the numbers are very even. The only real takeaway is that the two fan bases should stop bashing each others SOS because it is so even. But when you look at SRS, FSU is nearly four points better than Florida. Utilizing SRS as a predictor, FSU would win by three or four points. This reflects the Vegas line, which originally favored the Gators but has since moved the line to -2 favoring Florida State. The reason Florida State has the advantage based on numbers is because it has faced much better defenses than Florida has, including Boston College’s number one ranked defense. In what should be a very defensive-oriented game, the ‘Noles offense will have a slight edge. The top two defenses the ‘Noles have faced this year (Boston College and Clemson) were both on the road. Come Saturday, FSU faces yet another good defense away from home. This is shaping up to be a real close ball game in the Swamp.

 

(Thanks to Football Perspective for the Stats and charts. A better explanation of SRS can be found here.)


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