We’ve had the return of college football in a staggered manor over the last couple of weeks, but tomorrow, the big dogs return. Gator football returns, along with the rest of the SEC, the most dominant division in college football.
Tomorrow we’ll see Florida, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and the rest of the SEC take on their season opening opponents, in a college football season like no other.
Lucky To Be Here
There was a time where I feared we wouldn’t see the Gators at all this year, as college football hung in the balance. When the BIG 10 commissioner came out and cancelled the season, and the PAC 12 swiftly followed, I waited tentatively for the same announcement from the SEC, which would crush my dreams for the year. BUT, we survived.
Gator football is quite literally my favourite thing on earth. Nothing beats the atmosphere in the Swamp, and a college football Saturday in Gainesville is my absolute favourite way to spend my time. There’s nothing like it, and while unfortunately I can’t be there this year, I’m grateful that I get to at least watch my team on TV.
The SEC is divided into the East and the West, with 7 teams situated in each. The SEC teams play the other 6 teams in their division every year. So for Florida, in the SEC East, that means we play Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Georgia, each and every year. We would then also play 2 SEC West opponents each season, which is where LSU, Alabama, Auburn etc feature. The SEC then hosts a championship game between the SEC East and West division champions.
This season, college football teams will only play games within their division. So for Florida, it’s a 10 season game, against 10 other SEC teams. So all this means is that on top of the 8 SEC games we play every season, this year we’ll get an additional two, which for Gators is Arkansas and Texas A&M. A tough schedule, but the Gators have been ranked #5 in the country in the pre season, and have every chance this year at going undefeated, and making the SEC championship game.
Many analysts have picked the Gators to face Alabama in the SEC championship, and i really think we have a shot.
Our rivals over the past few seasons have all seen their quarterbacks leave for the NFL in the season just passed. LSU’s Joe Burrow, Georgias Jake Fromm, and Alabamas Tua Tagovailoa, all left for the NFL, which means the Gators could be in a strong position heading into the season. Of course, college football teams understand the turnover of seniors and NFL candidates, and are typically prepared for the ‘next man up’ mentality. But the experience of the Gator QBs will definitely work in our favour.
We currently have not one, but two experienced and talented quarterbacks, who know our system, our playbook, and have already been with the Gators for two seasons minimum. Kyle Trask declared the starter, with exciting prospect Emory Jones rotating in for certain packages. Both are capable of being a starting quarterback in the SEC, which is not a terrible position to be in in the slightest. I expect to see a lot more of Emory Jones this season.
The Gators also lost some talent to the draft this year, heavily impacted at the receiver position as we lost Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Tyrie Cleveland and Josh Hammond, all of which made NFL rosters, well done boys. Outside of that, starting running back La’Mical Perine, and starting corner CJ Henderson are both now also NFL athletes, and we’ll need our guys to step up into those roles.
Mullen is my king
Dan Mullen has worked wonders since taking the Gators head coaching job in 2017, after a previous stint as their Quarterbacks coach during the Tim Tebow national championship era in the late 2000s. This year, as his own recruits start to come through the ranks and earn starting spots, things are looking brighter and brighter for the Florida Gators.
The Gators finished the season 11-2 in 2019, and i expect us to be even better this year.
Opening the season tomorrow against Ole Miss, i hope to see us start strong, fast, and accurate, and really striker some fear into the rest of the SEC. We have every shot at going 10-0, playing in the SEC Championship game, winning that, and then earning our spot in the College Football Playoff, which makes me nervous to even think about. I’ll be a wreck watching those games.
Only Gators, get out alive…
Watch out for Kyle Pitts, an unbelievably talented tight end, who has a strong case for the best in the nation, and I fully expect to be the first tight end off the board in the first round of the draft come April.
Also keep an eye on cornerback Kaiir Elam, who saw plenty of the field as a freshman last season, and looked very impressive. Gator fans are anticipating he’ll really step his game up in 2020 as he enters his second season for the Florida Gators, and he could be the next CJ Henderson.
I expect to see bright seasons for the likes of Marco Wilson, Shawn Davis, Trevon Grimes & Jacob Copeland. And I’m sure we’ll see some emerging stars from our latest recruiting class.
Let’s have ourselves a season. Go Gators!
Here’s a video of the Gator walk from Gainesville last season, one of the best experiences i’ve ever had.
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