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Tuesday October 16, 2012 If Gators keep winning, their No. 2 ranking in BCS standings shouldn't be up for debate

Updated: 4:43pm, October 16

Ever since the BCS rankings were released Sunday night and the Gators checked in at No. 2, there has been a lot of debate over whether Florida should have been that high.

No one has been louder in their argument against than ESPN personality Michael Wilbon, a well-respected former columnist for The Washington Post who now works on multiple ESPN platforms, including “Pardon the Interruption” with his former Post colleague Tony Kornheiser.

“Florida being No. 2 in the BCS poll, that, that’s a joke!” Wilbon said on Monday’s show.

Wilbon argued that no team with nonconference opponents Bowling Green, Louisiana Lafayette and Jacksonville State should be ranked that high. He also opined that he doesn't think the SEC is as good as it has been in recent years.

The BCS is based on what teams have done up to this point in the season, and if you look at the Gators’ track record, you can see why they are ranked so high in the initial BCS rankings. The Gators have three SEC road wins (Texas A&M, Tennessee and Vanderbilt) and they beat then-No. 4 LSU at home.

Are the Gators currently the second-best team in the nation behind Alabama? That’s certainly debatable, but what isn’t at question is that the computers and humans who make up the BCS obviously respect what Florida has done in the first half of the season.

Of the 60 voters who make up The Associated PressTop 25 Poll, only two have Florida ranked second: Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Scott Wolf of the Los AngelesDaily News. Still, forty-one voters have the Gators at No. 3, 13 have them at No. 4 and four voters rank the Gators fifth. None have Florida below fifth.

Click here for a complete list of AP Top 25 voters and their position for the Gators. In the other human poll – the USA Today Coaches’ Poll – Florida is currently fourth.

Meanwhile, the computer polls that factor into the BCS rankings have the Gators anywhere from No. 1 (Anderson/Hester Top 50) to fifth (Billingsley Top 50). So again, humans or computers both respect what the Gators have done the first half of the season.

Two of those nonconference opponents that Wilbon lamented – Louisiana Lafayette and Jacksonville State – don’t come to town until November. Before then, the Gators still have to face No. 9 South Carolina and No. 13 Georgia. They close the season at No. 12 Florida State.

The season remains young and much remains undetermined, but if the Gators go 6-0 in the second half of the regular season like the did the first, then it’s likely Wilbon can expect to see the Gators at No. 2 or higher in the BCS by season’s end whether he agrees or not.

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