Florida Football: Gators can't use inexperience as excuse in 2024

The Gators have the 4th most returning production in the SEC

Oct 28, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier stands on the
Oct 28, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier stands on the / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

One of the themes for Florida Football in 2023 was the amount youth they played. Freshmen play 2,660 snaps for Florida last season, the fifth most among Power Five teams.

But entering the 2024 campaign, while Billy Napier and crew still won't be tenured compared to some teams nationally, the Gators won't be able to fall back on youth as an excuse if the season goes south once again.

Florida Football: Older and wiser

ESPN released their list of what percentage of returning production will each team have in 2024. While determining what counts as production is subjective, there is general correlation with how tenured a team is compared with how well they preform on the field.

Michigan won the national title despite relatively lackluster recruiting classes compared to other traditional powers because they were able to assemble a senior-heavy team in 2023 that was rich with experience.

Heading into 2024, Florida won't have an experienced ladened roster like Michigan had, but it won't be so devoid of returners as it was in 2023.

Based on ESPN's algorithm, Florida will have the 4th most production returning in the SEC and 32nd most in the country.

This paints a picture that while Florida also has one of the hardest schedules in the country entering the 2024 season, they are not so devoid of talent that one can have a woe-is-me mindset. Outside Texas A&M and Texas, Florida has more returning production than everyone else on their SEC slate.

It's with that in mind we are going to continue to pump a narrative we have mentioned before; it is not unfair, even with the schedule in front of the Gators, to expect that in year three of the Napier Era that if Florida doesn't go at least 8-4 there should be some serious conversations about the direction Florida is heading under Napier.