Following its opening night loss against Utah, everyone pointed and laughed at Florida football. Now, it isn’t to say that the scorn wasn’t warranted, but 11 of the other 13 teams in the SEC had the benefit of playing a cupcake while the Gators had to play a top-15 team on the road.
And now, after week two of play where Florida played a near-perfect game against its cupcake, maybe Florida losing to Utah wasn’t the problem.
Maybe the SEC just isn’t that good in 2023.
Florida Football: The pack has caught up
It’s amazing what happens when you get to play a cupcake.
With victory in hand, let’s take a look around the rest of the SEC:
- Georgia started slow for the second straight week
- Alabama lost by double digits at home to Texas
- Tennessee was tied at 6-6 with Austin Peay with two minutes left in the first half
- LSU gave up a touchdown and a field goal on its first two defensive possessions to Grambling
- Ole Miss had to pull away late from Tulane
- Texas A&M lost to Miami by double digits in a half-full stadium
- Vanderbilt lost by double digits to Wake Forest
- Kentucky was only leading Eastern Kentucky 21-17 with 10 minutes left in the game
- Arkansas only averaged 3.8 yards per carry vs. Kent State
- Missouri only beat Middle Tennessee State by four
- Mississippi State had to go to overtime to beat Arizona
- South Carolina gave up 21 points to Furman
- Auburn needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Cal
If Florida was at the bottom of the pack last week in the eyes of some national prognosticators, one could argue the Gators had the most impressive week two in the SEC.
“BuT BEn, yoU plaYeD a CUpCaKe.”
Right, like the rest of the conference did last week while you were writing Florida’s obituary.
Is beating Austin Peay 30-13 supposed to strike fear in Gainesville? Is barely surviving Eastern Kentucky supposed to make Gator fans feel hopeless? Is giving up 21 points to the fighting Billy Napiers supposed to scare Graham Mertz?
We have to call it like it is and say that the SEC suddenly is pedestrian in 2023. However, given the daunting task that the Gators faced with its schedule at the start of the season, this might not be a bad thing as Florida football is still building and needs some confidence-boosting wins while building its machine.