After a surprising year (good and bad) Urban Meyer attempts to revolutionize the SEC again with his spread offense, excessive finger pointing, and refusal to wear jean shorts like most Gator fans. Whatever, Florida is still Florida, which means they have a ton of athletes thanks to the amazing foresight to place their campus in prime recruiting territory.
Sept 2 Southern Miss W: Unfortunately the Golden Eagles don't have Brett Favre any more. Though they came one uncalled pass intereference away from beating bama in Tuscaloosa last year. I don't know jack about them, but they aren't winning in the Swamp.
Sept 9 Central Florida W: George O'Leary may have just landed a big contract, and UCF may have given teams like South Carolina a little trouble last year, but they are still probably the 5th best team in the state of Florida. Back in the Spurrier days you could count on the Gators to put up at least 50, now a days I'd think low 40's is about right. And I got just a hunch that the Golden Knights aren't ready to match that kind of offensive display.
Sept 16 @ Tennessee L: After two weeks of knocking off the rust, Florida finally faces their first real challenge. Urban Meyer was 1-3 outside the state of Florida last year (lost at bama, LSU, USC, won at UK) and I don't see him fairing much better this year. UT still has a defense, and they don't really have a choice but to improve on offense with David Cutcliffe back in control. This has really got to be tough on Chris Leak. Let's just say that he chose to go to UT instead of Florida and everything happened about the same which is highly unlikely. So he's a senior and he gets David Cutcliffe to come in and tailor the offense for his senior year. That's right, the guy who made sure that the Mannings became top picks in the NFL and somehow turned Tee Martin into a national champion. Or he could be in his current predicament of having to run the option with a wide receiver and what not. He may not actually be tall enough to be a NFL star, but he should have at least dominated in college. Of course that's what happens when you put your future in the hands of the Zooker.
Sept 23 Kentucky W: Life must be starting to get pretty rough in Lexington now that they hardly even have the basketball season to look forward to. I don't see why team like this don't embrace the cheating ways of Hal Mumme and others. The Wildcats aren't cheating anymore, and it will show on the field. The third easy win of the season will help Florida get over the fact that Phat Phil just beat them.
Sept 30 bama W: Revenge game. Of course bama really came out of this game worse off than Florida, with Prothro's injury effectively ending their season. On the plus side, this game was solely responsibile for Brodie Croyle getting drafted in the 3rd round. Urban Meyer will surely want to avenge his "welcome to the SEC" moment from last year. And if I remember correctly bama won on their last trip down to the swamp in 1999? Anyways, bama doesn't have the same level of D this year, and the Florida D should be able to stack the box.
Oct 7 LSU W: Second week at home and the chance to really get the season turned around and on the right track. Les Myles got blessed with a ridiculously easy road schedule last year, no such luck in year 2. Look for the Gator D to grab a few turnovers and be able to move the ball on a less experienced and talented LSU defense than we've see the last few years. Also welcome back to the top 10.
Oct 14 @ Auburn L: The last time the Gators came to Auburn they had Rex "at least the scout team stopped us a few times" Grossman, Jabar the thief Gaffney, and Darth Visor and a #1 ranking. They still left with a loss and were a direct cause of me rushing the field and getting tackled into a speaker by a police officer who then decided to let me go since there were 5 thousand other people rushing the field all around me. This time around, it could turn into an offensive showdown. Unless I had a little too much Southern Comfort before a game, I don't recall Auburn playing against a spread offense in recent memory, and I'm not sure that Muschamp has too much experience with it either. On the other side of the ball, Al Borges is easily the best offensive coordinator in the SEC and maybe the nation and well Charlie Strong has never scared me. I think Auburn gets the last score at home though.
Oct 28 World's Largest Cocktail Party W: Damn you Michael Adams, I'll call this game whatever I want. Joe T3 almost beat the Gators last year, and I'm betting he gets another chance this year. UGA has to slip up and win this game occasionally right? Maybe not. I originally had this as a UGA win but the fact the UF gets an off week (though UGA is playing MSU at home which is basically an off week), the young secondary, and recent history of this game, just won't allow me to pick the dawgs. Which is a shame because Auburn always beats UGA after they win against Florida.
Nov 4 @ Vanderbilt W: Road games at Vandy are great, or at least the ones I've been to. The stadium was just about 50/50 Auburn/Vandy, I love hitting up Tootsie's, Legends and Rippys downtown, and it's not even hard to get a hotel or a parking spot 20 yards from the stadium. And you know for a fact that your team is going to emmerge with another conference win.
Nov 11 South Carolina W: Uhhh, l'd hate to think what would happen if Florida lost this game. How lucky was Zook that Spurrier wasn't coaching in the SEC while he was there? He would have had an even shorter tenure as coach. Seriously though, I don't see how Florida loses this one. Their might be some fans who are still conflicted about this matchup, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't extend to any of the players and coaches.
Nov 18 Western Carolina W: ho freaking hum
Nov 25 @ Florida State L: Originally had this one as a Florida win, but there's no reason to let schemes and what not cloud a decision. Florida isn't going to win 3 in a row in the series and especially with two of those coming on the road. It's not the same old FSU, but they still have some pride.
Now seems like a good place to point out that specifics only get in the way of preseason picks. I have no idea who's going to get injured or what coaching changes are going to work out. So you have to go with general thoughts. On a week to week basis you can look at how individual units match up and coaching philosophies. But for now I'm sticking to my petty biases and theories.
I'll have to look at UT's season first, but two SEC losses and losing the head to head with UT probably keeps them out of the SEC Championship game. 9-3 ain't bad though, with a shot to get 10 in a decent bowl game.