CFA Top 30: Florida Fails to Nudge Alabama Out of No. 1

Nick Saban, Alabama head coach

In one of the games that could ultimately help determine the College Football Playoff field, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide started fast and then held on for dear life against the CFA No. 8 Florida Gators.

Alabama raced out to a 21-3 first-quarter lead at The Swamp, but Florida consistently outplayed the Tide at home over the final three quarters, outscoring Nick Saban’s crew 26-10 the rest of the way. Unfortunately for the Gators, that first quarter still counted, and the deficit proved to be too much to overcome in a 31-29 loss.

The key play came when the Gators were forced to go for two with just over three minutes left in a bid to tie the game at 31-all. The Gators had missed an extra point earlier in the game that left them in the unenviable position of needing the deuce against the Tide’s stingy defense. On an option play, Gator quarterback Emory Jones put the ball in the hands of his running back, Malik Davis, who came up short inside the 1-yard line. In Jones’ defense, his only route had he kept it would have been to the right side of the field, where at least two Alabama defenders were in position to keep him out of the end zone.

The College Football America Top 30

Even with the loss, Florida more than justified their No. 8 position in our weekly rankings, and they stand pat this week. The rest of the Top 12 all won, making CFA No. 13 Miami (FL) the highest-ranked team to take a tumble after losing to Michigan State at home in a 38-17 rout. Miami’s two losses are to No. 1 Alabama and the undefeated Spartans, who jumped from No. 36 to No. 19 with the win. In between is a win over a salty App State squad that pushed the Hurricanes to the limit in a 25-23 Miami win just a little over a week ago. Settling into Miami’s No. 13 position is Cincinnati, the highest ranking for the Bearcats since we moved to a weekly format in 2017.

No. 14 Oklahoma State is the week’s biggest mover inside the Top 30, jumping five spots after a gutsy 21-20 win at No. 24 Boise State, which hangs onto that position after losing to the higher-ranked Cowboys. Meanwhile, CFA No. 27 North Carolina rejoins the Top 30 after a 59-39 romp past Virginia. Minnesota also cracks our Top 30 for the first time this season following a dominating performance at Boulder in a 30-0 route of the Colorado Buffaloes.

1. Alabama (3-0)

2. Georgia (3-0)

3. Oregon (3-0)

4. Oklahoma (3-0)

5. Clemson (2-1)

6. Texas A&M (3-0)

7. Notre Dame (3-0)

8. Florida (2-1)

9. Iowa (3-0)

10. Penn State (3-0)

11. Ohio State (2-1)

12. Michigan (3-0)

13. Cincinnati (3-0)

14. Oklahoma State (3-0)

15. Wisconsin (1-1)

16. Auburn (2-1)

17. Kentucky (3-0)

18. Iowa State (2-1)

19. Michigan State (3-0)

20. Indiana (1-2)

21. TCU (2-0)

22. Miami [FL] (1-2)

23. Arkansas (3-0)

24. Boise State (1-2)

25. Missouri (2-1)

26. Ole Miss (3-0)

27. North Carolina (2-1)

28. Stanford (2-1)

29. BYU (3-0)

30. Minnesota (2-1)

Published by Kendall Webb

Kendall Webb is a sports writer and photographer based in Middle Tennessee. He is a graduate of Kilgore College (A.A., 1992), the University of Texas at Austin (B.J., 1995) and Middle Tennessee State University (B.S., 2000), and is currently a master's candidate (A.L.M.) in Harvard University's extension studies program with a major in journalism.

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