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Help me understand this Florida over Kentucky ranking

© Kim Klement | USATSI

Kim Klement | USATSI

Maybe I’m missing something here, but the College Football Playoff committee’s explanation for ranking Florida six spots ahead of Kentucky just isn’t registering in my brain. Maybe I’m an idiot (and many will say I am) but I’m not picking up what the committee is putting down here.

Rob Mullens, the chairman of the whole thing, said last night that “total body of work” outweighed Kentucky’s head-to-head win over Florida. He was quick to say, “Florida had the head-to-head over LSU,” in his defense of the Gators, but strengthening Florida’s resume for the LSU win only strengthens Kentucky’s resume because… KENTUCKY BEAT FLORIDA AND FLORIDA IS RANKED AHEAD OF LSU.

If Mullens and his fellow suits on the committee want to emphasize Florida’s win over No. 10 LSU, how is Kentucky’s win over No. 9 Florida not better? If the best win is so important, how on God’s green earth is a road win over No. 9 Florida not as good as a home win against No. 10 LSU?

It seems so obvious: Beat No. 9 on the road >>>>>>> Beat No. 10 at home.

If you’d rather ignore the head-to-head result and the best win argument, let’s look to “total body of work,” as Mullens put it. Florida has two top-25 wins, which is nice. KENTUCKY HAS THREE.

Maybe you want to point to Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee. Yes, that sucked. But Florida lost to Missouri at home that same weekend by 21 points. Is that any better?



Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

80 Comments for Help me understand this Florida over Kentucky ranking

  1. RackEmWillie
    11:16 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Tennessee is bad. They dominated UK. Missouri is better than Tennessee.

    Who you lose to matters much more than who you beat.

    • maximumscott
      12:09 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Then that should be the explanation not “total body of work”

    • CombatMedic_98
      4:40 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Rob Mullen and Dan Mullen are related!?

    • Lexingtonyn
      12:11 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      No it doesn’t. Just ask Ohio State over the years.

    • cats646
      12:13 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Good point lexingtonyn. Ohio state got completely destroyed by Purdue. I think by 50 something, and they lost to Iowa last year by more than 50, yet they’re still in the top ten every year. I hate OSU.

    • Booby Petrino
      12:19 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      TN had home field advantage. MO did not. And yeah, the whole total body of work thing.

    • Cole28
      12:34 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      It’s a combination of a couple things. The loss to UT was horrible – they we nearly Louisville bad all but 2 weekends this year, and finished with 5 wins, getting blown out in both outings trying to make bowl eligibility. Compare that to Florida’s loss. Sure, it was at home, and double digits, but Mizzou was a couple plays this year from being a 10 win team, in the SEC. The second factor is the eye test. Kentucky’s offense was painful to watch every single snap between Q3 against USC until the MTSU game. Before that game, UGA had exposed the defensive line, revealing that literally ANYONE (save Louisville) can run right at the defense and put up over 200 yards a game (not elite by any stretch of the imagination). So really, the back half of the season, Kentucky has looked pretty mediocre, yet somehow gotten wins against Mizzou and Vandy (Louisville and MTSU should have been foregone conclusions, yet MTSU almost wasn’t by the end).

      Yes, this team has done a lot, and I certainly agree that the head-to-head should matter, but I think the committee looked at “this team is consistently (much) worse than how they looked at their best (i.e. when the beat Florida, MSU, USC etc).”

      All that said, it makes no sense for the committee to do the exact opposite and reward Ohio State for a single game’s performance, when they repeatedly proved themselves to be ONLY slightly less trash than their opponent the remainder of the year (aside from Purdue where they were significantly more trash).

      Moral of the story is, we should have beaten UT.

    • Booby Petrino
      12:58 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Cole – “Mizzou was a couple plays this year from being a 10 win team”…well that would be changing the outcome of 2 games. We were 1 play away from being a 10 win team with just one game change. MO’s schedule is weak, the win over FL is really the only big win for them.

    • ukcamel
      3:25 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      So not only did we beat Florida, we also beat a really good Missouri team that was 2 plays from a ten-win season.

      You can’t downplay Florida getting whooped by Missouri at home by saying Missouri was actually really good so it isn’t that bad, without giving a corresponding level of credit to us for beating them on the road.

    • Cole28
      3:26 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Booby Petrino – Mizzou played at Alabama this year. While getting Arkansas kind of makes up for that, I don’t think you can say Kentucky’s schedule was much (if at all) more difficult. And Mizzou really was only two total plays away from being a 10 win team: (1) a FG with 2 seconds left when leading South Carolina; and (2) a TD pass in extra time when leading Kentucky at the end of regulation.

      I’m not comparing Mizzou to Kentucky, but Mizzou to Tennessee. Our loss was much much worse.

    • Cole28
      3:28 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      That’s a fair point, ukcamel, and I agree that UK should get that credit. However, I was just comparing the losses. Ours was much worse.

    • Luether
      8:17 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. Ky got punked by a bad Tenn Team.

      Can’t complain about the poll consequences when you don’t beat the bad teams you’re supposed to beat…

    • uknowino
      10:51 am November 29, 2018 Permalink

      uknowino 1 MIN AGO
      As far as Florida ranked higher than Kentucky.There is more to it than fading down the stretch,yes that was a ugly loss to a very bad Tenn. team.
      Kentucky at least put themselves in a position to win the sec east and Florida didn’t. For a team on this rise at the end of the year they sure took a beatdown at home to Missouri late in the year ,a team we beat, although lucky , a win is a win and it was not at home. I just don’t understand the theory ,It’s the whole body of work,no it’s not, it’s what have you done for me lately.Florida ranked that high above us just makes no sense, no matter how they slice it.In any other given year neither one should be worthy of a New Years Six.
      But what makes me mad worse than anything Kentucky fans accept the fact and move on. Florida fans keep their mouth shut because they know they don’t belong .

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:25 pm November 29, 2018 Permalink

      56-10 Luether. U MAD

  2. davis2319
    11:20 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Drew I have been trying to wrap my head around this topic for the past 2 weeks and I cannot understand it. No matter how hard I try to see the situation with an unbiased opinion. Even with my unbiased opinion it is ABSURD that Florida is rated 6 spots ahead of Kentucky after having similar schedules, and us winning the head to head on the road by 11 POINTS. Look at the tape and we manhandled them for the entirety of the game. Such a joke. It’s all about who you are I guess. The dumbass committee member that said “it’s an overall body of work” is such a coward. He simply should’ve said “they are Florida and you are Kentucky”. It’s an injustice. We laid an egg at Tennessee so what??? Florida loses to Missouri by 21 at home. No one bats an eye?? Oh yeah we beat Missouri on the road!! It does not make any sense. No one on this chat will be able to change my mind on this either.

    • Wade
      11:48 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

      They also didn’t have Cece jefferson or run well that game. Hell the guy for fl had 6 carries and Scarlett didn’t play I don’t think it it was another!

    • notFromhere
      4:16 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      The reason this all is the way it is is money. If they didnt have to make ND look so good to put them in the CFP, the rest of this would fall into place more. Michigan is their only “big” win, but they beat them by a bigger margin thn they beat Vandy who barely made the post-season. Ohio state LOST to Purdue who barely made the post-season.

      They also have to pump up the Stanford win by pumping up the other pac12 schools that beat no one. The big12 looks like the big10 west. Nebraska might have been a bowl team in that conference this year.

      Take ND out ofthis equation for winning a weak schedule and it sorts itself out. (They’d still screw kentucky in favor of Florida, but they’d have UK ranked much higher.)

  3. eyebleedblue
    11:21 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Espn is predicting Ohio St will leap over Oklahoma this weekend.
    They were blown out by a 6-6 Purdue team. So please go on about how who you lost to matters more than who you beat.

    • eyebleedblue
      11:22 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

      This was a reply to #1… but the interwebs got me. I agree with Drew.

    • RackEmWillie
      11:59 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Well, I guess until they play the games this weekend, we won’t know for sure then, will we? But bad losses mean more than good wins. Look at the playoffs last year. And the year before. It’s a correct statement.

    • notFromhere
      4:06 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Exactly. No matter way they slice it, theyre choosing florida because of their history, just like the SEC officials have done for years

  4. UKLugo
    11:26 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Theyre basing it all on their win over LSU. Which is BS. In reality, their name is getting them that ranking.

    • Wade
      11:51 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Do you think we beat LSU? That’s the question in minds!idk. They stunk bad against Alabama and got beat by A&M who we should have beat! That was ours and tn loss was a blowout and hurt us bad. Not to mention we were boring to watch lately besides the Louisville game!

    • cats646
      12:59 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Us and LSU would be a hell of a game.

    • Wade
      5:26 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I’d like that bowl game. Win and Move ahead of another powerhouse in the sec!

  5. mgwolfe
    11:28 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Makes no sense. Someone or more than one on the committee is a FL fanboy. It’s could also be more about this isn’t normal for UK so FL is really probably better which they can’t say and is crap.

    • cathatter
      11:38 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

      If UK played Florida this weekend, with serious money on the line, who would you pick? btw – the committee is thinking the same thing!

    • Middy
      1:40 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I’d pick UK because the our boys would be savage over the disrespect being shown to them. You talk about motivated! I’d actually take a second opportunity to beat UF’s ass again over any bowl right now!

    • Wade
      5:26 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I take us Felipe don’t scare me!

    • cats646
      1:00 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I’d pick UK. With the play calling we had against Louisville how would they stop us? I know Louisvilles defense sucks but seriously if Gran would’ve been doin that all year I’d be his #1 fan.

  6. BluKudzu
    11:45 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    I would have thought the Georgia game, for both UK and Florida, would have been more telling to those which rate these teams.
    Truth be told, going all the way back to the South Carolina game, is where the steady fall in the level of our performance began.
    There are other teams besides Florida that are rated higher than UK which have no business being there.
    However, remember, it was not that long ago a conversation like this was for other teams and not UK.
    We have arrived folks. We finished second in our division in the SEC, to a team likely playing for the national championship.
    How often has that happened?
    Go Cats.

  7. Ben27
    11:46 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    It is probably because Kentucky’s offense trailed off in the second half of the year, while Florida’s improved greatly! As a Kentucky fan, I would hate to have to play Florida again right now.

    Florida is getting the name advantage that UK and Michigan State got in basketball this year. Both were highly over rated to start the season.

    No one really knows the true ranking, it is all based on what you have done in the past! unfortunately for UK the past has been bleak to say the least

    • ibescootch
      12:21 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I’d have to agree, I think although they aren’t saying it, it about who’s trending up and down when these rankings are released. I’m not sure why they’re not saying it though, if that’s the case. I really think we’d get smacked in the face if we played FL right now.

    • notFromhere
      4:04 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Nope. Same outcome

  8. Wade
    11:47 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    We lost to Texas a&m and didn’t beat tn!One of those had to change ! Fl beat lsu who got beat by a&m ,the ga game was the same outcome for both fl and ky and I think fl had a better showing. We should have got waxed if we didn’t get those 2 fumbles that they caused themselves. We should be ahead but fl is better than a&m and lsu and we aren’t in their eyes! Our game was floridas flop game in their opinion and ours was to tn who is terrible so that’s the kicker we needed the a&m and the tn game killed any chance even with the same record! Listen we are equal to Florida people 9-3 hell of a season now let’s win a bowl and hopefully the seniors play half.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:36 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      How can losing to us be more of a flop than getting pounded by Mizzou at home, though?

    • Wade
      5:31 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      We lost to fl for forever . It just don’t happen we win at the swamp. That’s what the committee thought, just a bad game for fl. Do you think tn is better than us! That was our flip game. Played crappy with bad everything! Shot ourself in the foot. They think fl did the same bc they beat LSU and a&m!

    • cats646
      1:03 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Have to agree with clutch, the mizzou game was a way bigger flop than ours. We’ve been a better team than Fla for the past 2 years. History aside I expected to win against them. That’s why I made the drive down there.

    • Wade
      5:33 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I didn’t say anything about missouri I just said they have 3 losses and we do and I think they put fl in front bc the committee thinks they beat LSU and a&m and we wouldn’t. We’re good but they think there better and by flip I mean they just had a bad game not that we’re crappy. We lost to ten! That’s crap and we should have lost to Missouri to be honest.

    • notFromhere
      4:03 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Wade didnt watch college football for several weeks…

    • Wade
      5:35 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      I watched that boring crap every week but we got 9 wins so I’ll take them! And we beat fl! You go join the committee and change it. I think we’re better.

    11:48 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Love me some CATS..but UK’s inability to score on any team above a “middle-school level” (looking at your UoLoL) has probably hurt their reputation in the polls.

  10. TheAssman
    11:49 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe it’s because our offense all but disappeared for 5 or 6 games and STRUGGLED to put any points on the board.

  11. Mathlete
    11:54 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    It’s a textbook case of severe case of cranial-rectal inversion

    • notFromhere
      4:02 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      With a massive hemorrhoid flare up that cuts off all oxygen to the brain

  12. gokycats33
    12:04 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe here is the reason… Just look at who is on the selection committee: Scott Stricklin is also the AD at Florida!

    • runningunnin.454
      12:15 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      And I know Mullens was at UK; but, he’s been at Oregon for several years. He’s probably a bit sore about Terrence Jones, Jamal Murray, and, now, Jared Casey (even tho’ we don’t have him yet).

    • Nickerbocker05
      1:01 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Terrence Jones? Jones committed to Washington before switching to UK. Jared Casey is still unclear where he is going?

    • runningunnin.454
      1:05 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Ooops, sorry. I get those weak west coats conference teams confused sometimes.

    • runningunnin.454
      1:06 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      COAST, ha ha.

    • notFromhere
      3:59 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Terry Wilson was an Oregon transfer to JUCO… maybe that’s where the rift is, but Mullens didn’t seem to like UK when he was here. Was just doing a job, not like he ever bled blue or anything.

    • notFromhere
      4:01 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Mullen and Strickland were peas and carrots, too. Hope they choke on their choice big time

  13. az1006
    12:04 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    It’s simple, Drew. Their jerseys say “Florida.” Ours say “Kentucky.” That’s why.

    • notFromhere
      3:58 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Boom. Them trying to justify it just makes it worse

  14. Shively1978
    12:08 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Another fact Florida beat Miss state in the road but only scored 10 pts and the one Td on a trick play. We beat them down 28-7. Im right there with Drew. My problem with it is this. If they get the new year’s six bowl instead of us. We are second in the east because of the win over Fla. So the bowl should be ours if it came down to that

  15. chrisg18
    12:10 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    It’s gotta be the Tennessee loss. Yes Florida lost to Missouri by a bit, but Missouri is actually a good team. Tennessee is terrible. So our worst loss is much worse then Florida’s worst loss. Otherwise resumes are extremely even. That is the one big thing that stands out to me though.

    • Booby Petrino
      12:26 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Missouri made it to a bowl but other than the win over FL they didn’t beat any quality opponents…okay maybe Purdue is low quality. And FL lost to MO buy a lot at home, we lost by a lot on the road. Bad loss to a bad team v bad loss to decent team. But then when you consider total body of work, UK has the edge.

  16. KYjellyRoll
    12:12 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Fact of the matter is, we can’t do a darn thing about it!

  17. gasman01
    12:16 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    We need to take care of business in our bowl game this year. It would make our case much stronger come final poll results.

  18. da5id
    12:22 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Florida loss to Mizzou (on 11/03) was the weekend before UK loss to Tenn (on 11/10), not the same weekend.

    So perhaps some recency bias.
    Still BS, though.

  19. Nickerbocker05
    12:29 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Lsu beat Georgia…

    • notFromhere
      3:56 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Uh… yeah…Florida beat LSU, we beat Florida…. everybody else knows that. Did you just step out of a coma?

  20. Jiminy Crickets
    1:33 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    This site wrote articles for a month, saying our offense was terrible, and calling for Gran to be on hot seat. We looked awful against Missouri, then UGA had their way, then TN destroyed us. We looked mediocre against MTSU ……and then scored 50 on a team that had 50 put on them 4 of their last 5 games, so you think we should be top 10? I think UK had an amazing season but stop wrapping your head around anything. UK is UK. Until we stay in the 8-9 wins column for 2-3 straight years, we will never get that name recognition respect you can’t wrap your head around

    2:08 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    They are Florida (a predominant football school) we are Kentucky (not known as a football school). Welcome back to the Music City Bowl Cat fans.

  22. StuckinLville
    2:18 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Our bad loss was on the road, theirs was at home. I’m like Drew. It doesn’t make sense.

    • WVCat
      2:25 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Kentucky has SKATED by teams late in season and Florida is cranking.. cry baby central

    • notFromhere
      3:53 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      It only makes sense to a nutjob that needs a handjob…Can’t fix crazy

  23. binarysolo
    2:27 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    *Walks over to Rob Mullens’s office*

    *the S in the last name comes loose*

    *rips mask off Rob’s face*

    It was Dan Mullen this whole time!!!!


  24. bradallen1
    2:29 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Head to head: Kentucky wins

    Vs rest of SEC East: UK 3-2; point differential of -12; UF 3-2; point differential of 0

    Vs Miss St: Kentucky at home +21; Florida on road +7

    Vs other West: UK loses @A&M in OT; UF Over LSU at home by 8. A&M and LSU after 7 OTs proved to be nearly equal

    Non conference UK over Central Michigan (1-11); I-AA Murray st(5-6) Middle Tn(8-4) and Louisville(2-10) by a combined 110 points; Florida beat I-AA Charleston Southern(5-5), Colorado St(3-9), Idaho(4-7) & @Florida St(5-7) by a combined 165pts.

    Damn never even to me. Florida’s non conference was a little better; in conference even, but we have head to head, which should be the ultimate tie breaker!

    • isaacs
      3:22 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s talk “total body of work” & Mullens stated criteria (head-to-head/common opponents)…
      Pre-season FPI had UK #59 (1.7)…13th in SEC-6th in East & projected to go 5-7…UK went 9-3 (5-3 & # 2 in SEC East -#25 FPI – which is 9th in the SEC????)…UK went 4-2 against the FPI top 30 & beat a MTSU team playing for the CUSA Championship…(per final WK13 rankings – SEC Wins against final FPI rankings #9/12/13/27 w/ Lto # 3/18… UGA by 17 – TAM by 6 in OT)…(UK back-to-back 17pt losses to #3 UGA & @ #65 UT)

      UK Scoring OFF: 24.6pts/gm
      UK Scoring DEF: 16.8pts/gm
      7.8pt differential

      UF (Pre-season FPI #21…8-4 / 12.5)…went 9-3 (5-3 3rd in East – #13 FPI)…3-3 against FPI top 30 (W=9/16/27 – L=3/12/25-UK who was rated as FPI #62 at the time!! UF has three losses at home by double digits – UK by 11 / UGA by 19 / Mizzu by 18…UF also played 2 FCS schools (Char Southern/Idaho) – to UK’s 1(Murray St.)…Plus, UF had it’s own late season back-to-back home blow-out losses to UGA by 19 & Mizzu by 21 – which is very comparable to the UGA/UT for UK….As wash)

      UF Scoring OFF: 29.8pts/gm
      UF Scoring DEF: 22.9pts/gm
      6.9pt differential is less than UK’s 7.8.

      (IE…UK has an historical season, better full-body-results, Benny, Josh & the # 7 scoring DEF in the nation…But little respect from the committee…UF has Mullen, a QB controversy & favorable bias based off of name recognition.)

      Relevant WK13 FPI Ranks: UGA #3 / MState #9 / Mizzu #12 / UF #13 / LSU #16 / TAM #18 / UK #25 / SCar #27.

      And JFYI…Final FPI “Strength of Record” calculations as follows:
      #9 – UCF – ZERO FPI Top30 OPP…vs #71 SOS
      #10 – UK vs #14 SOS
      #11 – Wash State vs #50 SOS.
      #12 – UF vs #18 SOS
      #13 – Washington vs #54 SOS
      #15 – Texas vs #40 SOS
      #16 – Penn State vs #20 SOS
      #18 – WVU.vs #51 SOS

      Meaning the committing is full of itself with it’s “Body of Work” BS…It’s about Name Recognition, not on-field accomplishments!!!

    • notFromhere
      3:50 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

      Well documented, isaacs.

  25. mapcatfan
    3:36 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Say what we will and quote all of the stats favoring UK that we want. (And I agree wholeheartedly). Someone above asked who we think would win in a game played today – us or Florida? Since when is guessing who *might* win in a hypothetical rematch solid criteria for ranking teams?
    Bottom line is they are Florida, and we are Kentucky. No respect. ?

  26. JaxWildcat
    3:43 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    The answer is simple, we lost to TN (unranked & not bowl eligible). Enjoy the best season & the best bowl we’ve been to in years.

  27. notFromhere
    3:51 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    It would be like trying to understand a drunk person. Can’t no one help you understand a drunk person

  28. CombatMedic_98
    4:39 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Rob Mullen vs Dan Mullen (Florida head Coach) mean anything folks…!?

  29. makeitstop
    5:43 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    I’ll buy LSU being 5 spots better. Fair enough: They beat maybe the best team in the country. They lost to the #1 team, and two top 20 teams on the road, one in OT. But Florida? Literally an almost identical “body of work” w one exception: we looked like crap offensively for half the season, including the UT debacle. But head to head win with almost identical resumes should leave u with a flip of the coin but not 6 poll spots. They are far over-rated and we are mildly under-rated.

  30. IHateLouisvilleFans
    11:37 pm November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Florida sucks

  31. byzr
    7:09 am November 30, 2018 Permalink

    KY won early and lost late. Florida did the opposite so they’re ranked higher.