Stewart Mandel has given the Gators plenty of praise in his recent columns, but I couldn’t help but note this gem under the “Story Highlights” section of his article about the Gators winning the BCS –
The Florida program is quickly starting to resemble Pete Carroll's Trojans
To which I say –
Pete Carroll wishes his program resembled ours.
I cast a somewhat controversial vote for Utah as number 1 in my BlogPoll ballot, but I stated then – and restate here – Florida is the best college football team right now, bar none. Florida also has the best program.
Everyone knows Florida has won two of the last 3 BCS titles. What isn’t as widely recognized is the level of competition Florida had to face in accomplishing that task.
Over the past three years the Gators have posted a record of 35-6 on route to their 2 SEC and BCS titles. No team has faced a harder schedule during that time. Florida has played teams since 2006 with a cumulative record of 280 wins and 155 losses, or a winning percentage of 64.37%.
In fact, no other team even comes close.
The top ten toughest schedules for the past 3 years are (with winning percentage) –
1 Florida 64.37%
2 Georgia 58.94%
3 Oklahoma 58.81%
4 Arkansas 58.56%
5 Virginia Tech 58.33%
6 Oklahoma St. 58.25%
7 Kentucky 58.21%
8 SMU 58.16%
9 Oregon St. 57.91%
10 Michigan 57.84%
Florida faced teams with a winning percentage 5.43% better than the team with the second toughest schedule Georgia. But win-losses, the Gators played teams that won 46 more games, and lost 8 fewer, than the second place Bulldogs.
And what of those Trojan’s that the ever praiseful Mr. Mandel thinks that Meyer’s Gators are beginning to resemble?
Well they did lose one less game than Florida in the past three years, but they also won one less to, for a 34-5 overall record. In doing so they played teams with a cumulative record of 195-208, or a winning percentage of 48.39%. Or, rather, a losing percentage of 51.61%. This record of tepid achievement places them 79th of the NCAA’s 119 teams.
In other words Florida played teams with a nearly 16% better winning record than USC, or teams with a cumulative 85 more wins over only a 3 year period. The same teams Florida played also had 53 less losses.
Even more interestingly, Florida has faced the toughest schedule in the SEC while over the past 3 years, while USC has faced the softest in their conference. By conference –
Not only have the teams with the 4 toughest schedules in the SEC played a tougher slate than the top Pac Ten team in Oregon State, EVERY SEC team has played a harder schedule than Southern Cal by a significant margin. In fact every SEC team played a harder or as hard schedule over the last three years than the bottom 4 Pac Ten teams.
It’s harder to be Vanderbilt than it is to be USC.
Opponents Records: 280-155 (64.37%)
Opponents Records Rank: 1st in NCAA
2 Conference Titles
2 BCS Titles
Opponents Records: 195-208 (48.39%)
Opponents Records Rank: 79th in NCAA
3 Conference Titles
No BCS Titles
I know which program I’d rather resemble.