Florida Season Win Total Prediction
The ever-brief Will Muschamp era left the bulk of Florida fans in a state of discontent. There seems to be a profound sense of renewed hope, however, under Jim McElwain’s watch.
In his first year as the head coach in Gainesville, McElwain went 10-4 and guided the Gators and a Citrus Bowl berth vs. Michigan. The campaign stood in stark contrast to the previous regime’s blasé output – and it generated a flood in the way of expectations for this coming fall. Online sports book Bovada.lv currently projects UF to win eight contests.
On the surface, one could consider such a number on the low side. Then again, Florida didn’t exactly finish last season with a flourish. McElwain’s troops dropped three in a row in December. A number of pundits also wonder how the school will react to receiving every SEC East opponent’s best shot.
Nonetheless, the Gators much prefer their current position to the 28-21 Muschamp period. Ample excitement surrounds a talented, if raw, offensive cast that once again figures to dominate on the ground. The trio of Jordan Cronkrite, Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson should help ease the sting of the talented Kelvin Taylor’s departure. On the outside, Antonio Callaway possesses breakaway speed and a world of untapped potential. He averaged 17.6 yards and scored six times on 69 touches a year ago.
Up front, Florida must improve substantially. The program just surrendered a nation-leading 45 sacks. Given Martez Ivey’s reputation as the country’s No. 1 O-line recruit in 2015, not to mention left tackle David Sharpe’s unswerving leadership, said unit’s liable to make waves sooner rather than later.
Even so, the protection’s bound to break down from time to time. In those cases, which of four possible options at quarterback can improvise with aplomb? Luke Del Rio ostensibly represents the frontrunner as a result of his familiarity with OC Doug Nussmeier’s system. Don’t discount Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby, though, or freshmen Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks.
In any event, the Gators demand superior production to last season’s Treon Harris-Will Grier debacle. With a rock-solid defense already in place, they only need a competent showing under center, really. Florida’s clearly on the upswing, and a generally favorable schedule seems exceedingly likely to put the reigning division champion on the path back to Atlanta.
TUESDAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL FREE PICK: FLORIDA GATORS OVER 8 WINS (-125)