Florida football is beginning to see some optimism about the future of its program, and it appears that brighter days are ahead.
But the Gators don’t have very lofty expectations as we head into the 2023-2024 season. The offense is filled with more question marks than answers, and the defense hasn’t been consistent in years.
We’ve all accepted that the Gators are in a rebuilding stage, working on rebuilding the program and focusing on recruiting the next great Gators.
But some of the win projections for UF aren’t just inconsistent, but they don’t make a whole lot of sense.
Draft Kings released their SEC win totals a few days ago, and the Gators have the second-lowest total at 5.5 wins. Only Vandy is lower at 3.5.
As I’m sure you could pick up from the tone of this piece so far, I think this is a bit too low. No, the Gators are not going to come out and win 9+ games and shock the world.
But give me a break, we aren’t missing a bowl game.
ESPN currently has the Gators favored to win eight of their games. This includes their matchups against FSU (50.3%), South Carolina (58.9%), Missouri (58.1%), and Tennessee (51.7%).
The only games where the Gators are currently underdogs are all road/neutral games against Utah, LSU, Kentucky, and Georgia.
So if ESPN says we’re favored to win eight, what’s that total doing at 5.5?
Is this team the same squad that we’ve seen run the SEC in the past? Obviously not.
But to set the win total at 5.5 seems to undervalue this team’s ability and what they’ll do. Florida is going to run the ball, and they’ll run it well. They brought in plenty of defensive transfers to add to returning talent, and all the feedback on new DC Austin Armstrong is overwhelmingly positive.
Who knows, maybe it’s just my bias. But to put real American dollars on Florida to miss a bowl game doesn’t seem responsible.
If it were up to me I’d just knock the number up to 6.5. Are the Gators really that much worse than the likes of Auburn and Mississippi State?
Obviously, we won’t know anything until the games get played. But with Draft Kings saying it’s a toss-up if we make a bowl game and ESPN saying we’ll win eight games, it’s clear nobody really knows what to expect from Florida football this year.
Keep up with Florida football at Hail Florida Hail.