We ranked each 2019 college football diversion involving Florida teams

For a third year in a row, I’ve ranked all 77 of this season’s college football games involving Division I-A state teams. And for a initial time, a preference during No. 1 was not easy, formed on my dual consistent, rarely biased criteria: How sparkling is a matchup, and how critical do we consider this diversion will be?

Here are this year’s rankings, with notable nuggets on some of a some-more engaging games:

77. Tennessee-Martin during Florida, Sept. 7

Good thing a Gators get a week off after a Miami opener to ready for a strong Division I-AA Skyhawks, who won dual whole games final season.

76. Wagner during Florida Atlantic, Sept. 21

Wagner roughly stayed within 50 points of Syracuse final year, so this one should be a genuine stable burner.

75. Towson during Florida, Sept. 28

A quarterback named Flacco will be concerned in this awful matchup. Just not this one. (DIRK SHADD | Times)

Sandwiched between Tennessee and Auburn, this game’s customarily saving peculiarity is Towson quarterback is Tom Flacco, a younger hermit of NFL quarterback Joe Flacco.

74. Alabama State during Florida State, Nov. 16

Unless a Hornets have another talent like first-round descent lineman Tytus Howard on their roster, a Seminoles’ home culmination won’t have most buzz.

73. South Carolina State during USF, Sept. 14

UCF flog South Carolina State 38-0 final year. Can a Bulls tip that?

72. Texas-El Paso during Florida International, Oct. 19

UTEP has one win over a past dual seasons and competence be a misfortune Division I-A group in a nation this fall.

71. New Hampshire during FIU, Sept. 14

Don’t omit New Hampshire, where Chip Kelly got his start. The Wildcats have beaten 6 I-A teams over a final 15 years, including Northwestern, Marshall and Rutgers.

70. Bethune-Cookman during Miami, Sept. 14

Manny Diaz’s initial home diversion as conduct manager comes opposite a I-AA team. At slightest it’s an overmatched group from Florida?

69. Florida AM during UCF, Aug. 31

Will Notre Dame send Brandon Wimbush be starting for UCF in Week 1? (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Knights’ opener is a best of a I-AA garland given of a amour during quarterback. Does Notre Dame grad send Brandon Wimbush flog out Darriel Mack for a starting pursuit in Week 1?

68. FAU during Ball State, Sept. 14

The coaches are interesting, during least. Lane Kiffin is still Lane Kiffin, and Ball State’s Mike Neu used to face a Tampa Bay Storm as a conduct manager of a Carolina Cobras and New Orleans VooDoo.

67. UMass during FIU, Oct. 5

A outing behind to a state for UMass manager Walt Bell, who struggled as FSU’s descent coordinator final deteriorate before holding over a Minutemen’s rebuilding project.

66. Old Dominion during FIU, Nov. 2

A reunion of Gaither High teammates (Panthers starting descent lineman Shane McGough opposite Royals defensive finish Estefano Feliciano).

65. FAU during Old Dominion, Oct. 26

64. USF during UConn, Oct. 5

63. FAU during Charlotte, Sept. 28

62. Charlotte during FIU, Oct. 12

Charlotte quarterback Evan Shirreffs will be behind in Miami, where he used to fit adult for a Hurricanes. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Former ’Canes backup quarterback Evan Shirreffs earnings to Miami as a starter of a earnest Conference USA program.

61. FIU during Tulane, Aug. 29

60. Middle Tennessee during FAU, Oct. 12

59. FIU during Middle Tennessee, Oct. 26

58. East Carolina during UCF, Oct. 19

57. USF during East Carolina, Oct. 26

56. FAU during Texas-San Antonio, Nov. 23

So how are things going during FAU, Lane? (AP Photo/John Raoux)

A few years ago, a coaching matchup between Lane Kiffin and UTSA’s Frank Wilson would have seemed like a conflict between dual destiny major-program leaders. Maybe both will still get there, eventually.

55. FAU during Western Kentucky, Nov. 2

54. Western Kentucky during FIU, Sept. 7

53. Louisiana-Monroe during FSU, Sept. 7

Willie Taggart hopes to be pumping adult an vehement throng during his home opener. (COLIN HACKLEY | For a Times)

How bad will a accepting (and crowd) be for Willie Taggart during a Seminoles’ home opener if FSU drops a opener to Boise State?

52. Marshall during FAU, Oct. 18

51. FIU during Louisiana Tech, Sept. 20

50. Southern Miss during FAU, Nov. 30

49. Central Michigan during Miami, Sept. 21

Jim McElwain’s final diversion as a conduct manager in Florida didn’t go well. Georgia broken his Gators 42-7. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

The diversion should be a dud, though it’s a Florida homecoming for former Gators manager Jim McElwain, who’s starting his initial deteriorate with a Chippewas.

48. UCF during Tulsa, Nov. 8

47. FIU during Marshall, Nov. 30

The regular-season culmination could confirm Conference USA’s East Division.

46. UConn during UCF, Sept. 28

RIP, Civil ConFLiCT. You’ll shortly be gone, though never forgotten, during slightest as prolonged as I’m around to make jokes about it. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Bring a few boxes of tissues for a final book of a Civil ConFLiCT. Or only watch for a train-wreck intensity of a inclusive UCF offense opposite a Huskies invulnerability that was, though hyperbole, one of a misfortune in college football story final season.

45. UCF during Tulane, Nov. 23

44. Vanderbilt during UF, Nov. 9

43. UCF during FAU, Sept. 7

42. FAU during FIU, Nov. 9

Butch Davis vs. Lane Kiffin is still a cold matchup in a Shula Bowl. (Times 2017)

Seven of a final 8 Shula Bowls have been motionless by during slightest 10 points, though I’m still intrigued by Butch Davis vs. Lane Kiffin.

[ RELATED: Butch Davis still amatory a coaching life during FIU ]

41. Louisville during FSU, Sept. 21

40. Louisville during Miami, Nov. 9

39. BYU during USF, Oct. 12

38. FAU during Ohio State, Aug. 31

Former Georgia star partisan and stream Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could be creation his initial college start opposite FAU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The near-certain blowout will expected be a initial career start for Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields, a former luminary partisan who eliminated from Georgia after one season.

[ RELATED: College quarterback transfers rippling from Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields ]

37. SMU during USF, Sept. 28

36. FSU during Wake Forest, Oct. 19

35. Miami during Pitt, Oct. 26

34. Miami vs. FIU, Nov. 23 (Marlins Park)

The Orange Bowl saw some ancestral games and players, like Edgerrin James, so a Hurricanes personification during a former site adds a good hold to a non-conference schedule. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Although I’m customarily not high on football being played during ball stadiums, a ’Canes returning to a site of a aged Orange Bowl is flattering cool, generally deliberation this weekend’s sore slate.

33. USF during Navy, Oct. 19

32. UCF during Pitt, Sept. 21

31. Georgia Tech during Miami, Oct. 19

One former Temple manager (Geoff Collins) opposite another (Manny Diaz, technically).

30. UCF during Temple, Oct. 26

29. Temple during USF, Nov. 7

28. Miami during North Carolina, Sept. 7

Long before a turnover chain, Manny Diaz was Mack Brown’s defensive coordinator during Texas. Until Brown dismissed him dual games into a season.(AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Manny Diaz’s ACC opener comes opposite Mack Brown … who dismissed Diaz as his defensive coordinator during Texas dual games into a 2013 season. Awkward.

27. FSU during Boston College, Nov. 9

The Eagles have beaten Florida teams in dual uninterrupted Red Bandana games, including a 32-point stomping of a ’Noles in 2017. The Bucs should be examination using behind AJ Dillon, a intensity first-round pick.

26. Syracuse during FSU, Oct. 26

25. Miami during Duke, Nov. 30

24. North Carolina State during FSU, Sept. 28

Ex-FSU quarterback Bailey Hockman will be behind in Tallahassee, maybe as a starter during NC State. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

A intensity punish mark for quarterback Bailey Hockman. The former four-star lefty eliminated after finishing third in FSU’s quarterback foe final year and is contending for a Wolfpack’s starting pursuit this season.

23. UF during Missouri, Nov. 16

22. Wisconsin during USF, Aug. 30

Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor rushed for 100-plus yards on Miami in a Orange Bowl. What will he do to USF? (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Although it’s a entrance of Kerwin Bell’s offense, I’m equally meddlesome in how a Bulls’ invulnerability fares. Good fitness interlude Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who has some-more rushing yards (4,171) by his sophomore deteriorate than any actor in Division I-A history.

21. Cincinnati during USF, Nov. 16

20. FSU during Virginia, Sept. 14

The Seminoles’ ACC opener comes divided from home, in primetime, opposite a Cavaliers group that won 8 games final season, could plea for a Coastal Division this year and has a intensity first-round cornerback (Bryce Hall). That creates this a wily highway trip.

19. Virginia Tech during Miami, Oct. 5

18. USF during Georgia Tech, Sept. 7

Geoff Collins had some swag when he was a defensive coordinator during Florida. Now he’s perplexing to piquancy adult Georgia Tech. (Times 2016)

The Yellow Jackets are fascinating as they transition from a old-school triple choice to a new-school swag embodied by new manager Geoff Collins (a former UF assistant). The Bulls, then, yield an early, engaging exam for Collins’ rebuilding project.

17. Memphis during USF, Nov. 23

16. Virginia during Miami, Oct. 11

This Friday night diversion during Hard Rock Stadium could confirm a Coastal.

15. Houston during UCF, Nov. 2

Houston quarterback D’Eriq King has been obliged for 10 touchdowns opposite USF over a final dual years. What will he do this time opposite UCF? (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)

I’m vehement to see what ex-West Virginia manager Dana Holgorsen does with dynamic quarterback D’Eriq King. First group to 50 wins.

14. UCF during Cincinnati, Oct. 4

Friday night during Nippert Stadium between a tip dual teams in a AAC East? Smells like difficulty for a Knights.

13. Tennessee during Florida, Sept. 21

12. UF during South Carolina, Oct. 19

Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks have top-20 potential, and this one comes during a finish of a tough three-game widen for UF (vs. Auburn, during LSU, during South Carolina).

11. Stanford during UCF, Sept. 14

The good-not-great Cardinal should be a Knights’ best Power Five competition in years. This one will also have an outsized impact on how we perspective a slipping Pac-12.

[ RELATED: No, UCF, USF’s array with Florida, Miami don’t set a bad fashion for a AAC ]

10. UF during Kentucky, Sept. 14

I never suspicion Florida-Kentucky would be so high on this list, though the Wildcats’ ancestral streak-snapping win final year makes this one intriguing. The Gators haven’t mislaid dual in a quarrel to Kentucky given 1976-77.

9. USF during UCF, Nov. 29

Will USF be means to keep UCF from using divided from a Bulls this time? (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

Only one of a final 5 meetings has been motionless by one score. Not certain this one is, either, though a adversary still belongs in a tip 10.

8. Auburn during UF, Oct. 5

The prohibited chair never cools off during Auburn. Would it startle we if a Tigers struggled early, mislaid during UF and afterwards dismissed Gus Malzahn streamer into their open date?

7. FSU during Clemson, Oct. 12

The durability picture of 2018 FSU was a shirtless highbrow reading a book during the Tigers’ 49-point blowout. Hopefully a on-field product provides adequate party this time.

6. FSU during UF, Nov. 30

We’re during slightest dual years divided from this apropos a must-see inhabitant diversion again, though it’s still a sour adversary with huge in-state bragging rights.

5. Miami during FSU, Nov. 2

The Florida State-Miami adversary is always, always intense. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

Higher than UF-FSU given it should be some-more competitive. The comparatively late date also gives Manny Diaz’s send portal army adequate time to figure itself out.

[ READ MORE: Miami Hurricanes sojourn kings of NCAA send portal ]

4. UF during LSU, Oct. 12

The Gators will be personification in Baton Rouge this tumble for a initial time given a Hurricane Matthew spat. (Times 2018)

The Gators’ initial outing behind to Baton Rouge since a Hurricane Matthew kerfuffle could be a top-10 showdown. The Tigers competence not have another tip linebacker for a Bucs to draft, though they do have a span of intensity initial rounders in a delegate (safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton).

3. FSU vs. Boise State, Aug. 31 (Jacksonville)

Willie Taggart’s initial big-name opener didn’t go well. How will he do a second time around, opposite Boise State? (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)

A neutral-site opener opposite a good though rebuilding Broncos is huge for Willie Taggart’s perception. A repeat of final year’s big-name opener (a 24-3 home detriment to Virginia Tech) would boost a doubts about his destiny in Tallahassee. But if a ’Noles flog Boise, we can see a 5-0 start that would assistance uncover Taggart is on a right track.

2. UF vs. Miami, Aug. 24 (Orlando)

Manny Diaz will make his entrance as a Miami Hurricanes’ conduct manager opposite his former boss, Dan Mullen. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)

I primarily put this during No. 1 given it’s their initial assembly given 2013, and Manny Diaz’s conduct coaching entrance opposite his former Mississippi State trainer (Dan Mullen), and it’s during a cold neutral-site venue to flog off a 150th anniversary of college football. But a Week 0 stakes aren’t utterly as high as…

1. UF vs. Georgia, Nov. 2 (Jacksonville)

Florida-Georgia hasn’t been tighten lately, though it’s still a biggest diversion in a state this year. (Times 2018)

The Gators and their fans have been holding shots (some subtle, some not) during a SEC East’s large Dawgs. Georgia should start a deteriorate in a tip 3 and has won a final dual games in a adversary by a total 54 points. If UF wants to lapse to inhabitant prominence, it has to hit off Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs. That creates this diversion a measuring hang for a Gators’ arise underneath Mullen and a biggest one in a state this season.

Contact Matt Baker during mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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