Last season, the Florida Gators finished with an average 7-6 record. Considering Florida’s tremendous history over the last decade, most sports analyst would consider this to be a very below average finish for the program, despite the tremendous power of the SEC.
College football magazines came out with their pre-season polls and predictions and many do not bode well for the Gators. The overall consensus is that the Gators will be another average team in 2012 in head coach Will Muschamp’s second year at the helm.
Many of the polls are not picking the Gators to finish above 3rd in he Eastern Division of the SEC – and many do not even have the Gators with a ranking inside the Top 20.
The USA Today has shown the Gators some love with a pre-season projection of 14th in the nation and projects DT Sharrif Floyd and MLB Jon Bostic to make the preseason All-SEC team.
Here is a small clip from USA Today:
Best-case scenario — “The defense is indomitable. The Gators find a quarterback. The offense, under (Brent) Pease, progresses to the point where it is not a liability. Florida takes three out of four against LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State to finish 11-1 and win the SEC East.”
Worst-case scenario — “A replay of 2011. The defense is good but not great. The offense is unimpressive, undermined by injuries and hindered by a third system in three years. Florida struggles through the SEC, limping to another 6-6 regular season finish.”
Overall, many analysts do agree that the Gators will be an improved program from last Fall. However, this may not necessarily carry over into the win column for 2012. We have reported on GatorsNow.com several times that the Gators have made several advancements to the offensive line and picked up several key recruits that will be called upon to produce early in their careers as early as this upcoming season.
Will Muschamp continues to remain positive and there is little doubt that his team will not be prepared mentally and physically for competition in 2012, especially given the grueling challenge of playing in the SEC. The difficult part will be overcoming the lack of talent (some would say) and the lack of experience at the quarterback position. The team continues to have healthy competition through Spring Ball and into the summer workouts; however, there is not a clear favorite to earn the position this Fall.
The Gators have much to overcome but they can make several strides this season and could easily crack the nation’s Top 15 with continued progress on the offensive side of the ball and typical hard-nosed defensive production.
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