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Muschamp states Gators' case for BCS

Florida is the only team to win three games against teams ranked in the Top 10 of the current BCS Standings. And the Gators have a 9-1 record against the nation's most difficult schedule.

But when the latest standings were released Sunday, UF again checked in at No. 6, behind one-loss Alabama and one-loss Georgia, which beat Florida three weeks ago in Jacksonville.

When asked Monday whether his team is getting the respect it deserves, coach Will Muschamp said that he's not worried about a potential lack of respect or the opinion of his program among those outside Gainesville.

"I don’t really worry about the perception of what might be out there," he said.

Then he wised up and proceeded to state the Gators' case for a better ranking, as most coaches in Muschamp's position do this time of year.

"Unfortunately, in our profession, sometimes perception becomes reality," Muschamp said. "I don’t apologize for being 3-1 and the only team in the BCS Top 10 that has that record and a better record than anyone else and has a tougher schedule than anyone else in the country.

"So, I don’t know what else you need to do."

But the problem for Muschamp is that even though his team certainly has the best resume of any one-loss team, the perception circulating in college football circles is that Florida doesn't pass the eye test. Sure, the Gators beat LSU and had a convincing win against South Carolina, but the offense has regressed in the last month and Florida struggled mightily against Louisiana on Saturday.

The USA Today Coaches' Poll and the Harris Interactive Poll, which both use human voters, comprise two-thirds of the BCS Standings, and thus have a large impact on the rankings. Currently, due to their strength of schedule and quality of wins, the Gators are ranked No. 3 in four of the six computer polls, No. 2 in one and No. 6 in the last. Their computer ranking when averaging all six is No. 3. But, in the human polls, they fare much worse. Both the coaches and the Harris poll have Florida at No. 7.

No matter how much hot air Muschamp blows, the Gators aren't likely to move up into contention for the BCS National Championship game unless several teams ahead of them lose. Even then, it's a longshot. Muschamp knows that.

"I don’t really worry about it," he said. "You control the things you can control. That’s one thing I learned last year. Some things you can’t control, so don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about them. Figure out what you can handle, what you can deal with and move forward."

Plus, should the top three remain undefeated, and Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, there is a chance Florida misses a BCS bowl completely, whether it beats Florida State convincingly in two weeks or not.

That's the last thing Florida fans want to hear -- that, in the team's magical turnaround season, it's possible for the Gators to go 11-1 and play in the Outback or Capital One Bowl. But that's reality.

"You look at our record, you look at our schedule and what we’ve accomplished this year," Muschamp said, "we’ve had a hell of a year."

A year that might not be rewarded with a high-paying berth in a BCS bowl.


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