The Gators come in receiving more 1st place votes in the AP Poll than any other team before them. They are the defending national champions. So what will stop them from a repeat title and an unbeaten season?
5 teams might have a say. And that is stretching it. Florida benefits from playing only 4 “true” road games and avoids Ole Miss and Alabama out of the SEC West. Out of conference they play Charlston Southern, Troy, and FIU. There is really NOTHING that jumps out to suggest they will stumble before the SEC Title game.
But I’ll try. Here are the 5 best possibilities to derail the champs, in order.
1) Swine Flu. Or another illness or plague that could take down the Florida football team. I’d say this would be there biggest challenge. Stay healthy.
2) LSU. Death Valley. A place Urban Meyer hasn’t won…yet. But the Bayou Bengals should be better this season with presumably more steady quarterback play and are one of the few teams in America that actually can match Florida athlete for athlete.
3) ARKANSAS. Seems like a stretch, but the Gators have lost to an SEC West team every year since 1999. Plus, didn’t anyone see Auburn two years ago or Ole Miss last year coming? Year 2 of the Bobby Petrino offense and a blue-chipper in Ryan Mallet (Michigan transfer), a stud RB in Michael Smith, and nice group of WR that could challenge that great Gators defense. They do catch Florida the week after the LSU game too, which may benefit them.
4) GEORGIA. Florida has dominated the series of late winning 9/11 and 16/19 but it seems when the Dawgs beat Florida its when little is expected of them, like this year. They lose Stafford and Moreno, but the cupboard isn’t bare and perhaps they’ll have a chip on their shoulder after last years timeout drama.
5) FSU. Gators have won 5 straight against the Noles, but it is a rivalry. 3/5 contests weren’t even close however, so even though the Seminoles look to be improving, I wouldn’t hold your breath on November 28.
After that, it would be onto the SEC Title Game and National Title Game if none of the above happens. There is reason for great excitement in Gainsville this fall!