How far-fetched is it Florida Football makes the playoffs in 2024?

The Vegas odds are low, but Cam Jackson has faith in the Gators

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cam Jackson (99) gives fans high-fives after the Vanderbilt game at
Florida Gators defensive lineman Cam Jackson (99) gives fans high-fives after the Vanderbilt game at / Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY
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Odds makers have very little faith in Florida Football for the 2024 season. The current odds for the Gators are +2000 to make the expanded 2024 playoffs. We can almost guarantee Vegas will release better odds of Billy Napier getting fired by the season's end, and it seems crazy to think that Florida and playoffs should even be in the same sentence.

But at least one Florida player thinks Florida has a chance, and it might not be as far-fetched of a possibility as one thinks.

Florida Football: So You're Saying There's A Chance?

Appearing on A Peek Inside Florida Gators Football with Ali Peek, Gator defensive tackle Cam Jackson made a statement that has garnered quite the chatter as expected.

"I feel like we have a chance to be in the playoffs this year and make it to the national championship"

Cam Jackson

Ignoring the fact that if Jackson had said "You know, I think we are going to suck," it would have also generated headlines, this proclamation is going to require a massive leap for the Gators in 2024 to become true.

And we here at Hail Florida Hail have cast plenty of doubt this offseason and don't plan on betting our own money on Florida making the playoffs.

But...there is a pathway, as insane as it may seem, for the Gators to make the playoffs.

A lot has been made about the difficulty of Florida's schedule, but if one looks at the first seven opponents on their schedule, there is no singular game that would create shockwaves across college football if Florida were to win.

The Gators for sure have flaws, but the first seven opponents for Florida have their fair share of flaws too:

1. Miami

Consistently flawed team that chronically underachieves. Plus the game is in Gainesville.

2. Samford

This is one game everyone is giving Florida credit for to win.

3. Texas A&M

For as flawed as Billy Napier has been, he did beat Texas A&M in College Station in 2022. The Aggies will have new coach Mike Elko, but this game will be in Gainesville.

4. Mississippi State

On the road, so there will be challenges. But of Florida's SEC slate, this is the weakest team on paper.

5. UCF

Florida will be coming off a bye, while UCF has to play Colorado the week before. They were also 6-7 last season.

6. Tennessee

As your reminder, Florida beat Tennessee last season.

7. Kentucky

The Wildcats have been a constant sore spot for the Gators, but part of the frustration is that it seems like Kentucky puts all their eggs into the Florida game and then looks like crap the rest of the season.

Again, we do not expect Florida to start 7-0. At best, a 5-2 start feels far more realistic. We are simply stating that if Florida makes any improvement this offseason, it is possible and is the point Jackson is trying to make.

And if the Gators are able to start 7-0 heading into its second bye week, anything is possible. If Florida were able to beat LSU and FSU during their murder's row to close out the season while losing to Georgia, Ole Miss, and Texas, a 9-3 Florida squad would be in the conversation for one of the final playoff spots.

As a reference point, 10-2 Penn State and Ole Miss would have gotten the last two at large bids in an expanded playoff in 2023, and as FSU found out, the committee is willing to leapfrog a team if they have enough quality wins to override their losses.

It's the offseason, and now is the time to dream before everything crashes down.