For most of the year, voters were operating under the assumption that at some point Florida would lose a game. That makes sense somewhat, considering how Florida is about 10 or so plays from being 8-4 right now. Plus, no one was expecting UCLA to beat USC, so why consider the relative merits of Florida and Michigan when it doesn’t matter anyhow?
After Michigan – OSU, people were enamored at how exciting a game it was, and left Michigan at 2. The entire next week, they looked at the records and schedules and realized that #3 USC probably had a better claim to the #2 spot than Michigan did, so they bumped USC up over UM. Simple enough right? They did not put Florida over Michigan though since #3 carries no special significance, so why spend that much time thinking about who really belongs there?
Well, USC lost to UCLA. Now, it was time to actually visit the question of who deserves the #2 spot. Michigan has a better loss than Florida, but that only goes so far since Michigan did in fact lose to Ohio State, and even though the score was close, the Buckeyes gave away a lot of points in the second half through unforced turnovers and they still won. Florida’s 10-point loss to Auburn was really a 4-point loss since Auburn scored on the last play of the game, a failed hook-and-ladder play.
Florida has played more bowl teams. Florida has defeated more bowl teams. Florida has played more ranked teams. Florida has defeated more ranked teams. Florida had the strongest schedule in the country. Florida won the toughest conference in the country. Michigan’s only important injury was to Mario Manningham. Florida played most of its games without Marcus Thomas, and had nagging injuries that hampered Percy Harvin, Deshawn Wynn, Earl Everett, and most of the offensive line. Florida lost Tony Joiner in the first series against Arkansas and later Ray McDonald too, plus Ryan Smith was battling cramps and Drew Miller had trouble staying on the field. Florida still won by 10.
Michigan has the edge over Florida in only one category – best loss, and really, think about that. Their best game was a loss? Florida beats Michigan in every other category. That is why the voters changed their minds, and why Florida is rightly in the BCS Championship game.