Florida football is heading into the year with low expectations and a ceiling right around 7-8 wins. Not even the most optimistic Gator fan will debate that, including me.
But where I draw the line in my mind is when people start to say that Billy Napier is on the hot seat this fall and could get shown the exit if Florida doesn’t turn it around in a big way this fall.
We talked about this once already when Brandon Walker said the Gators could get rid of Napier this fall, but now Stewart Mandel is also hopping on the fire-Napier train.
He has a pretty low record prediction for Florida as well. And as you guessed, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Florida football: Overreactions galore
"“[He’ll be fired in] Week 11. Big brand SEC programs don’t let coaches have two bad seasons, and Napier, 6-7 in his first one, has the makings of a last-place team this fall. That former Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz is his best option at that position does not bode well. If he really goes 3-9, the boosters will find $32 million to pull the plug.”"
A lot to unpack here.
First, “the makings of a last-place team” is just flat-out incorrect. People are blinded by Mertz’s past and use that as an excuse to say that there’s no hope on the Gators’ roster.
Graham will do better in the Gators’ system, and it’s no new idea that quarterbacks excel at a new school after transferring.
Florida’s RBs are unstoppable, and the defense is loaded with talent under Austin Armstrong. No more third and Toney or third and Grantham. That’s gone.
And then the 3-9 record prediction is quite the bold statement.
The win total for Florida is set at 5.5 with money coming in on the over. So if you want to say the Gators go 5-7, that’s fine. Even though things are falling into place for them to break past that, do whatever you want to do.
But dropping that number down to three is simply ignorant and shows that people are just looking at the surface and making their own assumptions without digging into who this team really is.